Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

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CorruptUser
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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Oct 17, 2013 5:27 pm UTC

I think there was this one socialist utopia project in the 19th century, maybe Fourierism, where everyone's rank was based on age. The oldest would rule while the youngest would be slaves, eventually growing into the oldest. Some of the youngest soon realized they could, you know, start a new society next door. This made conditions even worse for the remaining young people, who then left, making it worse for the few left, until no one was left.

It's not sustainable to depend on the next generation to subsidize the current's lifestyle is what I'm saying.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby addams » Thu Oct 17, 2013 5:34 pm UTC

Silknor wrote:
nitePhyyre wrote:There's no way they are disavowing that position as a tactical maneuver. The tactical move is to say:

"ok, Republicans, listen up. You have 2 options. Either pass a bill that ends this default debacle, or, before we default I'll pass a Executive Order that does. And believe me, if I'm forced to pass an executive order, if I'm forced to do your job for you, you won't like it. You don't like The Affordable Care Act? Neither do I. Say hello to the american NHS. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. I don't even know all of the things I'll imagine between now and then. What are you gonna do? You'll never pass impeachment. And by the time you take it through the courts, it'll be too late."

On another note, don't impeachments have to be actual crimes? Whatever justification they use to keep issuing bonds, I'm not sure what laws, if any, that would break. Treason?


Implementing a national health system by executive order? Not only would that be plainly unconstitutional (and by the way, the courts can block things really fast, long before ruling on the merits), but the sheer abuse of power required to do so would probably be enough to either make conviction in the Senate, or at least Republicans winning huge in 2014, a reasonable possibility.

Indeed, failure to raise the debt ceiling followed by executive action to circumvent it looks like a goldmine for Republicans compared to what they got. The deal gives them basically nothing, they folded. Obama would be at the center of massive litigation, Congressional inquiry, and likely impeachment. Every criticism they've been making about abuse of executive discretion or a lawless administration, no matter how wrong headed, would find new footing. At least with the platinum coin the Administration could claim to be following the letter, if not spirit of the law. That's the first half of why ruling out a 14th amendment solution could be a tactical move. The second is that by linking failure to raise the debt ceiling with actual failure to pay all our bills, the consequences of Republican obstruction become much, much higher. That incentivizes both moderate Republicans and outside groups (like business and Wall Street) to put huge pressure on them to raise the debt ceiling.

Yes, impeachments need be high crimes or misdemeanors. It's clear though that issuing bonds in violation of the debt ceiling violates the law (I'm not including superpremium bonds, as suggested by Matt Levine, here, I haven't seen any legal analysis of that option, the basic idea would be when a $100 bond rolls over, you issue $100 in face value debt, but sell it for say $275 and offer a really high interest rate). Remember that only Congress is authorized to issue debt on behalf of the United States, there's no inherent presidential power to issue debt. Which means if Obama directs Treasury to issue debt in violation of the law, he would be violating the law and the constitution. That's why even advocates of Obama declaring the debt ceiling unconstitutional refer to it as the "least unconstitutional option":

Yet there is no question that President Obama would be operating outside the law, which clearly could subject him to impeachment for simply carrying out his constitutional duties, which most likely would be to try to avert a financial catastrophe. Moreover, the President would be violating the duties of his office if he failed to act, and simply did nothing.


Yes, not borrowing, not doing any clever workarounds, and simply not paying all the bills also seems unconstitutional, since the President is legally obligated to follow the laws saying X program must be funded in this amount and Social Security payments must be Y. That doesn't actually make violating the law regarding debt issuance constitutional though, it just means he's in a really terrible spot where the "best" option is a gimmick and waves of litigation, and the worst option is violating the constitution.

Good Morning to you too, Trolish....Trolish umm... What is your Name? Silknor

That is a big ole mass of
"You are Fucking Damned! You are Damed if You Do! You are Damned if You Don't! You are Fucking Damned."
Did I mistranslate it?

The question becomes;
Does The Executive Branch do Generous and Fair?
Does The Executive Branch do?....
The Executive Branch can surrender.

The president of the US can issue a statement. "I Surrender to the TEA Bagger of the US. Bonner; You are Now The Highest Ranking Officer of The Land."

Would it cause a Power Vacuum? How?
Don't Yell at me!

The Judiciary? The Baggers with Orange Man; Bonner leading the charge would file an Injunction. No medical care to be administered within the borders of the US until this thing is decided!

Good Boy! Bonner! Good Boy!
Of course, Hospitals will behave as if nothing has happened.

Bonners vien on the side of his neck might start to show.
!No More Medical Care For Those Losers!

All Hospitals are Shut with the Government? No? Why not?
Because Hospitals are private places? oh.

Bonner and the Baggers are saying, "NO!" to Government Health Care, Government Oversight, Government.
What the Executive Branch might say is, "No to your, 'No'."

In Math land and English that is a Positive.
I am fairly sure of it. "No to your, 'No'." is "Yes."

"Yes. Yes." The president or anyone else for that matter could walk to a that podium and say. "Yes. It is done."

"Today by Executive Order, The US has a Nation Health Care System.
"It is one of the best. It is as of The Day (fill in the blank) available to all persons."

"There will be Oversight by International Teams.
Thank you in advance, Europe, Africa and Asia."
Spoiler:
Send out invitations to everyone in the UN.
Gott'a start somewhere.


If we The People in general are so fucking screwed;
If our chief executive is so fucking screwed;
No matter what he does he is in grave danger.

If that remains true. Then let him, let us go down with a little Nobility.
Some will say, "When they come asking for help, we help."
How will we help? Hospitals have all the stuff for giving people baths.

I think one of the very first things is Spa Day at the OK!
Nurses and doctors are such busy people.


Do we have a shortage of medical personal?
Police cross train when I come from.

A police is a likely to be a nurse as s/he is to be a police.
Some people become police first; then become nurses.
Some people become nurses first; then become police.

No police ever get to skip Medical Training.
They do now?

When do you come from? Where the Executive Branch is captive and victim of The Fifth...(da-scary-fucking-da)... Estate?

Spoiler:
Peace is hard, too.
Back a long time ago, a Nurse was not allowed to call Time of Death.
That made for some strange paperwork.

Not everywhere had doctors and nurses.
Some places had one and not the other.

I listened to a woman speak.
It was not funny, sort of.

We were fairly well educated people.
She was fussing because some old arcane law was still in enforce.

Can you tell if a person is Really dead? How?
Silly question? Not really. We had to be able to give a guess about hours and minutes.

Creepy job. What do you want to do?
I don't mind Bones. Bones are great.

We can tell a lot about a creature by looking at its bones.

EDIT:
As long as we are putting words in the mouths of others;

"There will be a test of the National Broadcast''.....no. no. no.

Monday morning there will be a mandatory session of the US Congress.
There will be a standardized test of each desk. Take the test. You don't have to pass it.

Of course, we get to talk about the test, After! It is Taken! Everyone gets the Same Test!
How hard is that?

Everyone has tanked a test or two. No big deal.
Congress can study and retake as individuals.

Someone could get the Most Improved Award.
"Look! I can subtract!"

Bragging in the Halls. Like a Golf game.
Everyone whispering. "what will the scores be like, this year?"

Dreaming of a nation with Character.
Class clowns are fun. So are people that know stuff.

Bonner is a funny guy. He does not laugh when he is on TV.
Does he like being an actor? He acts like he does.
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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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Oct 17, 2013 6:01 pm UTC

leady wrote:Even if you think the US mechanism of the debt ceiling is pretty insane (and it is) the principle of a cap of debt is not.

"public debt" is just tax on the unborn and should be against the views of both sides.


Well, it would help if the cap on debt were something inflation/economy-adjusted rather than in absolute dollars. Poland's constitution sets a hard debt ceiling of 60% debt-to-GDP ratio, and, in practice, Polish governments are required to take debt-reducing measures if the debt-to-GDP ratio exceeds 55%. Though like most countries with debt ceilings, they can be breached in the event of a certain national disasters, which gives governments a fair bit of leeway. Similarly, countries with balanced budget legislation typically restrict deficit spending to some percentage of GDP except in emergencies.

Though, the debt ceiling is also a bit more of a problem in the US since Americans are unreasonably adverse to tax increases compared to most other populations.

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CorruptUser
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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Oct 17, 2013 6:26 pm UTC

That's because of the number of people that live paycheck to paycheck even in the upper tiers of socio-economic status who simply can't afford more taxes. 'Why do they do that' is the question we should ask. Is it keeping up with the Jones's or more keeping away from the Brown's*?


*Instead of trying to match your neighbors' lifestyles, you are trying to end up in the best neighborhood possible so your kids make friends with the best people possible. The result being things like the Five Towns in MYC, where people who can barely afford to live there at a quarter million/yr income are neighbors with all the others who can barely afford to live there.

Yes, I chose 'Brown' for its implied racial undertones.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby morriswalters » Thu Oct 17, 2013 6:40 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:I think there was this one socialist utopia project in the 19th century, maybe Fourierism, where everyone's rank was based on age. The oldest would rule while the youngest would be slaves, eventually growing into the oldest. Some of the youngest soon realized they could, you know, start a new society next door. This made conditions even worse for the remaining young people, who then left, making it worse for the few left, until no one was left.

It's not sustainable to depend on the next generation to subsidize the current's lifestyle is what I'm saying.
How quaint, however I see no mention of slaves in the Wikipedia entry. There was something amusing about the oceans turning to lemonade. However putting that aside, given the amount of money and effort I put into raising children, they might feel a little more generous towards their old father. Of course if I could have put them to work in a workhouse and made them earn their keep I might feel differently. Why do you think people are having fewer children in wealthier countries?

CorruptUser wrote:That's because of the number of people that live paycheck to paycheck even in the upper tiers of socio-economic status who simply can't afford more taxes. 'Why do they do that' is the question we should ask. Is it keeping up with the Jones's or more keeping away from the Brown's*?
No, I suspect that they spending tomorrows capital so their children have the advantages of association. However it does seem to belie your earlier post quoted above.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby sardia » Thu Oct 17, 2013 6:48 pm UTC

Your argument is horribly flawed. Money is fungible and by your logic a simple increase in the inflation would make them all homeless. Your example makes a mockery of the poor. Give me one example of one of these people taking a payday loan so they can buy groceries.

Leahy. I disagree with any rule that eliminates flexibility or the ability to take in new information. What's wrong with sticking to a budget? If the parties are too scared to fix the budget, what makes you think a simple cap is going to fix anything? The only ways these rules work is if you had authoritarian powers, which all of you want but none will admit. You want someone to brutalize criminals, tell you how to live, and rule you like a king. None of the simple fixes you described work in a democracy. Democracy requires compromise, and incremental progress.
Last edited by sardia on Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:07 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:06 pm UTC

Sardia, are you referring to my Keeping Away from the Browns scenario, or some else?

The people living paycheck to paycheck despite earning deep in the six figs is actually far more common than you'd think should be. It's not like a tax increase merely means one less Hawaiin vacation a year or slightly less saved for that yacht, they'd have to move somewhere cheaper, with people they don't want to associate with. That's part of why they are so vehemently opposed to tax increases.

The irony being, the way economics works out, if everyone took a payout the prices might fall and they'd still be exactly where they are. The only people really losing would be the landlords.
Last edited by CorruptUser on Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:15 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby sardia » Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:09 pm UTC

Corrupt, I was referring to your post. It was quite mystifying since keeping up with the Browns/Jones doesn't capture the essence of the cashflow problem the US has.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Xeio » Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:13 pm UTC

sardia wrote:Your example makes a mockery of the poor. Give me one example of one of these people taking a payday loan so they can buy groceries.
I'm wondering, were you intending to be sarcastic here? Because the first Google result may be enlightening if not...

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:26 pm UTC

If you earn $250k/yr, you can get a fairly large credit card with relatively decent rates. It's when you have a credit limit of $400 and the card is maxed that you have to get a payday loan or worse. But that does mean that every person with a high income can easily cut back their spending if taxes rise.


Sure, I say 'too bad, there are people living on a tenth of what you do' if they whine about taxes rising. Just that it's not like they are sitting on piles and piles of cash and won't feel any pain from a tax hike.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby addams » Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:37 pm UTC

Xeio wrote:
sardia wrote:Your example makes a mockery of the poor. Give me one example of one of these people taking a payday loan so they can buy groceries.
I'm wondering, were you intending to be sarcastic here? Because the first Google result may be enlightening if not...

In 1990 something, Before intellectualism as I knew it collapsed;
A study or two were done on how expensive it is to be poor.

Not in all places. What did the man say?
"It does not 'have to' be this way."

He did not feel elevated by the poverty of others.
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Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Puppyclaws » Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:45 pm UTC

Xeio wrote:
sardia wrote:Your example makes a mockery of the poor. Give me one example of one of these people taking a payday loan so they can buy groceries.
I'm wondering, were you intending to be sarcastic here? Because the first Google result may be enlightening if not...


Sardia clearly was talking about people who make 250K a year but "live paycheck to paycheck" and how they are not like the people in your article. I have to agree, this phenomenon seems.... questionable. And insulting to the poor to compare them.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:58 pm UTC

Umm... I only brought up the people making 250k/yr and living paycheck to paycheck as why some richer Americans are so vehemently against tax increases.

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sardia
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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby sardia » Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:22 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Umm... I only brought up the people making 250k/yr and living paycheck to paycheck as why some richer Americans are so vehemently against tax increases.

And I bring up the relentless propaganda machine by the GOP and right wingers who have brainwashed the public into believeing low taxes + high services is perfectly ok. It doesn't make it true, though I probably have more evidence for my claim than yours. 3rd Alternative, Americans are stupid.

I wonder if this has taught anyone anything. There's evidence that the GOP and a large section of the US believes that they fought a legitamite battle and should try again.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby gnutrino » Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:27 pm UTC

So as a non-American I'm wondering what the chances are of the GOP accepting defeat and not repeating this charade in February now that the Dems have basically called their bluff on this. I mean, I'm for pointless posturing as much as the next man but the world economy isn't at peak health at the moment and this shit isn't exactly helping.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Thesh » Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:32 pm UTC

gnutrino wrote:So as a non-American I'm wondering what the chances are of the GOP accepting defeat and not repeating this charade in February now that the Dems have basically called their bluff on this. I mean, I'm for pointless posturing as much as the next man but the world economy isn't at peak health at the moment and this shit isn't exactly helping.

About as likely as it not raining next year... anywhere on the planet.
Summum ius, summa iniuria.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby addams » Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:37 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:
gnutrino wrote:So as a non-American I'm wondering what the chances are of the GOP accepting defeat and not repeating this charade in February now that the Dems have basically called their bluff on this. I mean, I'm for pointless posturing as much as the next man but the world economy isn't at peak health at the moment and this shit isn't exactly helping.

About as likely as it not raining next year... anywhere on the planet.

What?
Have we gone into Politics as usual?

There has been compromise to the point of Nothing?
ech. Nothing new?
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.
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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:17 pm UTC

sardia wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:Umm... I only brought up the people making 250k/yr and living paycheck to paycheck as why some richer Americans are so vehemently against tax increases.

And I bring up the relentless propaganda machine by the GOP and right wingers who have brainwashed the public into believeing low taxes + high services is perfectly ok. It doesn't make it true, though I probably have more evidence for my claim than yours. 3rd Alternative, Americans are stupid.

I wonder if this has taught anyone anything. There's evidence that the GOP and a large section of the US believes that they fought a legitamite battle and should try again.


I worked as an accountant for a summer. Public accounting. In Florida. *shudders*.

Florida is special when it comes to accounting. Why? Because in most states, your clients come to you to find out how much they owe the government, and if you can arrange their business to take advantage of every tax break reasonable, great. But in Florida, the clients are smarter. They know how much they owe the government, $0, and it's your job to figure out the math or they will find an accountant who will.

Anyway, you wouldn't believe the horrid clients I saw. This one guy owned a few businesses, was earning about $500,000/yr, yet was still massively in debt because he lived in a $3m house, a trophy wife and a new mistress every few months for starters. That's just the tip of the iceberg. So don't tell me there aren't rich people living paycheck to paycheck.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Silknor » Thu Oct 17, 2013 11:59 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Yes, they are the primary driver, but the executive branch is making enforcement decisions that affect costs without recourse to the legislative branch. There was talk a couple years back, I believe, of requiring legislative approval of any executive change modifying costs by over 100 mil, but it never went anywhere. Had it been law, that would have been invoked many, many times over the past few years. Unlimited borrowing potential plus the increased latitude for executive changes we've seen over the last few years would mean a very strong executive branch indeed.


The legislation you mention, the REINS Act, would require Congressional approval of regulations imposing at least $100 million in economic costs, not changes in federal spending. But yes, executive branch decisions can impact federal spending and revenues for sure. Just in recent examples, the widespread use of a place of celebration rule for recognition of same-sex marriages and various regulations implementing parts of the ACA may have notable impacts on federal cash flows.

But on the broader point I have to disagree. Unlimited borrowing would have effectively zero impact on presidential power. The debt ceiling doesn't constitute an effective constraint on federal spending or deficits historically and it's likely to do so even less in the future as the last few weeks will embolden presidents to stand firm and demand clean (or very close to clean) increases. 2011 is the major counterexample, but is there that much doubt that significant cuts could've been achieved through other methods? Negotiations over a government shutdown could've led to a similar deal, given the public pressures at the time for (counterproductive) austerity.

By contrast, if the debt ceiling is breached for long enough for the Administration to need to start making decisions about who gets paid, leaving aside the technical issues, that would constitute a massive increase in presidential power. Would you really want any Administration deciding which bills get paid and who gets left out to dry?

Yes, the republicans got something from this negotiation.


They did? Besides that the CR was at sequestration levels? That was the Democrats' offer even before the government shutdown. All the Republicans got besides that (and make no mistake, the spending levels of great import, but it would be wrong to say they got them from the negotiation I think) is that HHS will have to submit two reports on income verification for exchange subsidies. Unless they just really hate trees and/or HHS staffers, it's hard to say that's a win of any sort.

LaserGuy wrote:Well, it would help if the cap on debt were something inflation/economy-adjusted rather than in absolute dollars. Poland's constitution sets a hard debt ceiling of 60% debt-to-GDP ratio, and, in practice, Polish governments are required to take debt-reducing measures if the debt-to-GDP ratio exceeds 55%. Though like most countries with debt ceilings, they can be breached in the event of a certain national disasters, which gives governments a fair bit of leeway. Similarly, countries with balanced budget legislation typically restrict deficit spending to some percentage of GDP except in emergencies.


A higher debt-GDP ratio when a recession comes around is both inevitable and desirable. Inevitable because GDP falls, desirable because fiscal policy should be counter-cyclical, eg. as private spending (and in the U.S., state spending as almost all have balanced budget requirements) falls, government spending should increase. Balanced budget legislation to restrict the size of the deficit or caps on debt-to-GDP would require spending cuts/tax increases during the recession, which can easily make it far worse than a hands-off approach, much less proper stimulus plus automatic stabilizers.
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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Darryl » Fri Oct 18, 2013 3:52 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:
sardia wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:Umm... I only brought up the people making 250k/yr and living paycheck to paycheck as why some richer Americans are so vehemently against tax increases.

And I bring up the relentless propaganda machine by the GOP and right wingers who have brainwashed the public into believeing low taxes + high services is perfectly ok. It doesn't make it true, though I probably have more evidence for my claim than yours. 3rd Alternative, Americans are stupid.

I wonder if this has taught anyone anything. There's evidence that the GOP and a large section of the US believes that they fought a legitamite battle and should try again.


I worked as an accountant for a summer. Public accounting. In Florida. *shudders*.

Florida is special when it comes to accounting. Why? Because in most states, your clients come to you to find out how much they owe the government, and if you can arrange their business to take advantage of every tax break reasonable, great. But in Florida, the clients are smarter. They know how much they owe the government, $0, and it's your job to figure out the math or they will find an accountant who will.

Anyway, you wouldn't believe the horrid clients I saw. This one guy owned a few businesses, was earning about $500,000/yr, yet was still massively in debt because he lived in a $3m house, a trophy wife and a new mistress every few months for starters. That's just the tip of the iceberg. So don't tell me there aren't rich people living paycheck to paycheck.

Here's the thing, though. Those 6-fig earners who are living paycheck to paycheck chose to do so. People living paycheck-to-paycheck on minimum wage are forced to do so.
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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby addams » Fri Oct 18, 2013 4:25 am UTC

The Republicans have done it, again?
It must be easy, they are not that talented.

The Republicans have badgered and threatened so much there is very little left to say or do.
Then they fuss and fuss. "You Robed Us!" they complain.

I have met these people. Did they win another round?
They are sure a bunch of winners. They even win poorly?

The poor US. Are hearts all over the world breaking for our people?
If not they should be.

World! Hey! World!
The people of the US are suffering while her Statesmen plan the next stage in drowning her in the bathtub.

I have heard it with my own ears.
It is a slogan that keeps the TEA Baggers all pulling toward a common end.
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We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
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Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Derek » Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:10 am UTC

morriswalters wrote:However putting that aside, given the amount of money and effort I put into raising children, they might feel a little more generous towards their old father. Of course if I could have put them to work in a workhouse and made them earn their keep I might feel differently. Why do you think people are having fewer children in wealthier countries?

Maybe if you didn't have to support your father, you would have been able to save more for your own retirement and wouldn't need your children's support.

It is precisely because people have having fewer children that the "children support the parents" model is unsustainable.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby leady » Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:01 am UTC

Darryl wrote:Here's the thing, though. Those 6-fig earners who are living paycheck to paycheck chose to do so. People living paycheck-to-paycheck on minimum wage are forced to do so.


Ah yes, the rich choose to make bad choices in life & the poor (in the US) appear through abiogenesis - I love that argument

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Diadem » Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:13 am UTC

One thing I have been wondering: Is there anything in the compromise except a temporary extension of the debt ceiling / suspension of the shut down?

Any concessions about The Affordable Care Act? Any austerity measures?

None of the news media seem to write anything about this.
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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Thesh » Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:41 am UTC

As far as I know it just orders reports about the ACA are to be made by HHS, and a spending increase of a couple billion dollars to a dam project or something in Mitch McConnell's state of Kentucky. I'm on my phone so, sorry, no links.
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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:20 am UTC

My point is that it's not easy to scale back for many, even at the top, which is part of the violent hystrionics whenever someone mentions that perhaps those that benefit most from society should you know, support it the most.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby morriswalters » Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:33 am UTC

Derek wrote:
morriswalters wrote:However putting that aside, given the amount of money and effort I put into raising children, they might feel a little more generous towards their old father. Of course if I could have put them to work in a workhouse and made them earn their keep I might feel differently. Why do you think people are having fewer children in wealthier countries?

Maybe if you didn't have to support your father, you would have been able to save more for your own retirement and wouldn't need your children's support.

It is precisely because people have having fewer children that the "children support the parents" model is unsustainable.
Children don't support parents in most cases. Children care for parents when parents cease being able to care for themselves. They don't want to do that. The end stages are ugly and it is emotionally and financially draining. The assumptions that set this crisis up were that the next generation will be larger than the last and that the economy would always expand quickly enough to support it the programs that were put into place. It doesn't seem to be working.

The thing about the yammerheads who drove this crisis is that they are right to fear what it is they fear. But the Republicans went all in on stopping The Affordable Care Act and lost. They should have fought to make it as good as it could be when the handwriting was on the wall. They compounded their error by trying to defund rather than fix. Being stupid twice doesn't equal smart.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Silknor » Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:34 am UTC

Here's a list of the miscellaneous provisions:
$2.2 billion for a Kentucky river project (as Thesh noted, Senate Minority Leader McConnell's state).
$450 million for rebuilding projects for flood-stricken areas of Colorado
$174k to Sen. Lautenberg's widow, the standard death benefit.
A few small spending tweaks, though overall funding remains at sequestration levels.
And the automatic cost of living increase for Member of Congress was cancelled.

And as expected, back pay for furloughed workers. But no actual ACA concessions (just the two reports) and no new austerity (just a continuation of spending at sequestration levels).
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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:30 pm UTC

If the Repubs were smart, and the ACA is a disaster waiting to happen, they should let it go through. Then when the shit hits the fan, it would be the strongest argument ever that Democrats couldn't manage a party in a brewery, let alone a country.

But if the ACA actually does improve health care for most Americans, then they would want to sabotage it anyway. So IMHO, the Repubs hostility to the ACA is practically an endorsement of its efficacy.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:37 pm UTC

leady wrote:Even if you think the US mechanism of the debt ceiling is pretty insane (and it is) the principle of a cap of debt is not.

"public debt" is just tax on the unborn and should be against the views of both sides.


Yeah, the mechanism is currently not effective. Hell, this mechanism was designed as a fix to the last mechanism(individual votes on each issuance of bonds), since that invariably broke down into factional battles. Looking for a new mechanism is reasonable, even if I have little hope that this lot will agree on one.

sardia wrote:
So...what, precisely, should be the limitation on debt, and how should it be handled, then? Surely you agree that SOME limit on indebtedness should exist, yes?

Also, I'm a libertarian, not a republican. Your expectation that I would be concerned about GOP setbacks is laughable. I view both sides as pretty equally terrible in this mess, and certainly both have used it in the past

You're asking a deceptive question, similar to you're against terrorists right? The purpose of the debt limit was to spark discussion about the budget and the fiscal future of the country. If you're claiming the debt ceiling crisises are helping reduce our deficit, then I have a bridge to sell you. What we have here is leveraging the debt limit as a weapon to force policy concessions for one side or the other. Surely you wouldn't appreciate me raising taxes on guns or demanding that voting is now a mandatory holiday that everyone must attend in exchange for raising the debt limit say...2 months. And then I do it again, but this time for abortion and carbon taxes. How are you gonna stop me? Should you try to stop me? Cphite appears to agree that the founders would approve of me holding the world economy hostage for my own partisan gain. You know, if I were republican, and not screwing the GOP with my demands.


It's not deceptive in the slightest. I'm open to hearing alternative mechanisms, and explicitly asked for your opinions there. I can agree that a limit on debt is desirable, but still hate the current system.

And yeah, there has pretty much always been using the debt as a political weapon. It is particularly bad now, not because the debt limit is any different, but because we've had a rise in partisan divisiveness over the past decade or so. You are still assuming that I am somehow shilling for the "wrong" side. I'm not. I blame both sides.

As for your platonic ideal that of Libertarianism that you claim to follow, it's a sick joke. Who in Congress is the closest to "Libertarianism" as you define it? Now what about all those others who claim the mantle of small government, and what did they mean by small government? You should be more offended that the GOP is equating small government with government only for the rich and white.


Congress isn't following ideals. Congress is occupied by two power networks who are more concerned about fighting each other than ideals. Hell, one party could take a position on something neither of them cared about beforehand, and the other would step up to oppose them. They are treating the whole mess as a zero sum game. It isn't for you and me, of course. Regardless of who "won" this fight, you and I would be worse off because of the fight existing at all. For them, though...as long as they lose popularity slower than the other team, net win is how they see things. This is the real problem, and it hasn't gone away.

CorruptUser wrote:I think there was this one socialist utopia project in the 19th century, maybe Fourierism, where everyone's rank was based on age. The oldest would rule while the youngest would be slaves, eventually growing into the oldest. Some of the youngest soon realized they could, you know, start a new society next door. This made conditions even worse for the remaining young people, who then left, making it worse for the few left, until no one was left.

It's not sustainable to depend on the next generation to subsidize the current's lifestyle is what I'm saying.


I've actually been stewing on something like this. Moving isn't what will kill us(in fact, it's one of the few things that might reduce the disaster, because immigrants actually help). Liberalism, as an ideology, relies on change bringing improvement. It's kind of the core philosophy there, and if we ever reach a point where every possible change makes things worse, liberalism stops being an effective approach. Obviously, we're not there yet, but we are at a point where grand changes tend to come with a hefty price tag. This, too, is manageable, so long as the economy is improving faster than additional costs are being added.

That, however, is where the problem comes in. Number of workers and efficiency of those workers pretty much determines how productive an economy is. Our reproduction rate has been dropping for a while. Now, the effect of this has been masked by other joiners, such as a workplace that has been increasingly open to women post WW2. That's basically capped out. It stopped increasing, and it seems likely that the vast majority of women who want to be in the workplace already are...and even if there are a few more out there, we're gonna hit the cap soon. So, that effect goes the hell away, and we start experiencing a workforce volume issue.

Now, there's also worker efficiency. Thing is, we've done rather a lot on that. Mechanization and automation have been behind a LOT of our post WW2 boom times. More can be done, but the low hanging fruit has definitely been picked. We're third in the world in productivity/hr worked, and we work more hours than anyone else in the top what, twentyish? More hours is an unlikely solution. In fact, it may actually hurt due to lowering productivity/hr. Improvements in productivity/hr have been decreasing since about '07, across all sectors.

So, long story short, our economy is not going to improve as well as it has been improving. In fact, it's already down. It's been slowly decreasing ever since the post-WW2 boom. This means that the amount of new, expensive programs(or improvements in older ones) that can be supported is decreasing, and will continue to decrease. Hell, without changes, programs that kick in at a certain age, such as medicare and SS, will get more expensive over time as lifespans increase. The cost of supporting the aged is going to rise. At some point, liberalism dies.

Of course, I fully expect everyone in politicis to gleefully ignore the obvious, trivial to discover statistics, and not bother to look down the road further than the next election, and just keep squabbling over who is in power.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby sardia » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:44 pm UTC

Anyone notice how the GOP has ignored all the damage has been done to the economy and the power of the dollar? Namely, being a superpower has perks which the GOP is throwing away. I want you to remeber that next time they brag about how awesome the us is or how patriotic we are

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:48 pm UTC

sardia wrote:Anyone notice how the GOP has ignored all the damage has been done to the economy and the power of the dollar? Namely, being a superpower has perks which the GOP is throwing away. I want you to remeber that next time they brag about how awesome the us is or how patriotic we are


Both parties are eagerly disclaiming all responsibility for the bad, blaming that on the other party, and trying to claim credit for all the good, meager as that is.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Diadem » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:49 pm UTC

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"?

CorruptUser wrote:If the Repubs were smart, and the ACA is a disaster waiting to happen, they should let it go through. Then when the shit hits the fan, it would be the strongest argument ever that Democrats couldn't manage a party in a brewery, let alone a country.

But if the ACA actually does improve health care for most Americans, then they would want to sabotage it anyway. So IMHO, the Repubs hostility to the ACA is practically an endorsement of its efficacy.

Everywhere in the world, the abolition of slavery was vehemently opposed by large groups, your country even started a civil war over it, but once it happened it was almost universally accepted as a good and even self-evident thing within a few years.
Everywhere in the world, introduction of universal suffrage was vehemently opposed by large groups, but once it happened it was almost universally accepted as a good and even self-evident thing within a few years.
Over here in The Netherlands, gay marriage was vehemently opposed by large groups, but once the law was passed opposition pretty much disappeared overnight. A few marginal groups still actively oppose it, but rest either considers it self-evidently a good thing, or simply doesn't care enough to oppose it.

Social progress always happens like that. In a few years time, the ACA will be entirely uncontroversial, and even the Republicans will probably attack anybody who dares challenge it. Honestly I'm more worried about the ACA becoming so popular its flaws become unfixable.
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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:57 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"?


They've already found ways to try to describe this in other ways, but realistically, it's a well placed perk to a key individual. Even if the project is worthy, the bundling of it with this bill indicates that it's a payoff.

CorruptUser wrote:If the Repubs were smart, and the ACA is a disaster waiting to happen, they should let it go through. Then when the shit hits the fan, it would be the strongest argument ever that Democrats couldn't manage a party in a brewery, let alone a country.

But if the ACA actually does improve health care for most Americans, then they would want to sabotage it anyway. So IMHO, the Repubs hostility to the ACA is practically an endorsement of its efficacy.


I suspect you're giving Republican strategists too much credit here. Strategists on both sides tend to take a very particular view, and the image they have of the opposing worldview is often...odd. Not quite accurate.

In particular, a number of Republicans see the US as already in decline. Going from a great nation to something less good, and something like this as greatly speeding the decline. From that perspective, you don't have time to wait for it fail. You HAVE to fight it now. Yes, this viewpoint is flawed, but it exists all the same, and is taken seriously.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Diadem » Fri Oct 18, 2013 1:10 pm UTC

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.

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 tricks. 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?

It could have been a complete confidence that Washington would reach a deal. But such complete confidence seems not justified. So I don't think that's it.

My explanation is that the market didn't respond because it doesn't know how to respond. Because, well, what do you do in the face of a US default? By stocks? Yeah, right, as if the stock market won't crash in such a scenario. Buy real estate? Eh yeah, a deep economic crisis will kill the housing market as well. Buy debt from other countries perhaps. As soon as you can find a country that won't be affected by the US defaulting I guess.

That doesn't mean that market isn't going to respond though. You can be certain that traders all over the world are scratching their heads now, and wondering how they can cover their asses if things go wrong in February. Political leaders in Asia and Europe will see this as another confirmation of their growing suspicion that they should be moving away from the dollar as a reserve currency.

This crisis, especially if it happens again in February, could have very long lasting consequences for the US. The status of the US as the only super power in the world is at stake here.

Not that I think this would be a bad thing, by the way.
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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Oct 18, 2013 1:18 pm UTC

Umm... Stocks are measured in dollars but not dollars so they are resistant to inflation. Dollar collapses, the price for stock skyrockets.

They are resistant, not immune, as the (real, not nominal) costs of inflation can still harm stock. If the dollar goes down to a tenth of its original value, the stocks will be 'worth' somewhat less than ten times their original price.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby leady » Fri Oct 18, 2013 1:18 pm UTC

Social progress always happens like that. In a few years time, the ACA will be entirely uncontroversial, and even the Republicans will probably attack anybody who dares challenge it. Honestly I'm more worried about the ACA becoming so popular its flaws become unfixable.


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...

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Oct 18, 2013 1:28 pm UTC

Eh, depends on what the alternatives are. Foodstamps are expensive as a program, but remove food stamps and the crime rate would spike and the courts would be clogged further and jails would overflow, plus the increased diseases from the jails, lost wages, etc. Medicaid is the same way, as we should never have someone mugging people so their mother has access to Lipitor.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby elasto » Fri Oct 18, 2013 1:55 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:The thing about the yammerheads who drove this crisis is that they are right to fear what it is they fear. But the Republicans went all in on stopping The Affordable Care Act and lost. They should have fought to make it as good as it could be when the handwriting was on the wall.

The problem is it doesn't win them any political points to do that - no matter how sensible and moral it would be to do so. The ACA was the Dems idea and so they get all the credit if it works and take all the blame if it doesn't.

It's actually a good argument for a British style parliament with the legislature and the executive always from the same party: It's obvious who to blame when a crappy law gets passed.

In the US the opposition has the ability to make a law crappier than it could otherwise be but won't be held accountable for doing so by the electorate. Building in incentives to act against the people's and the country's best interests is a really crappy design.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby sardia » Fri Oct 18, 2013 3:16 pm UTC

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.

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 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.


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