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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 5:07 am 
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From David Brooks of the NY Times...

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We’re in the middle of a financial crisis, but most economists say there is a broader economic crisis still to come. The unemployment rate will shoot upward. Companies will go bankrupt. Commercial real estate values will decline. Credit card defaults will rise. The nonprofit sector will be hammered.

The party will inherit big deficits. David Leonhardt, my colleague at The Times, estimates that the deficit will sit at around $750 billion next year, or five percent of G.D.P. Democrats had promised to pay for new spending with compensatory cuts, but the economic crisis will dissolve pay-as-you-go vows. New federal spending will come in four streams.

First, there will be the bailouts. Once upon a time, there were concerns about moral hazard. But resistance to corporate bailouts is gone. If Bear Stearns and A.I.G. can get bailouts, then so can car companies, airlines and other corporations with direct links to Main Street.

Second, there will be more stimulus packages. The first stimulus package, passed early this year, was a failure because people spent only 10 percent to 20 percent of the rebate dollars and saved the rest. Martin Feldstein of Harvard calculates the package added $80 billion to the national debt while producing less than $20 billion in consumer spending.

Nonetheless, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi promises another package, and it will pass.

Third, we’re in for a Keynesian renaissance. The Fed has little room to stimulate the economy, so Democrats will use government outlays to boost consumption. Nouriel Roubini of New York University argues that the economy will need a $300 billion fiscal stimulus.

Obama has already promised a clean energy/jobs program that would cost $150 billion over 10 years. He’s vowed $60 billion in infrastructure spending over the same period. He promises a range of tax credits — $4,000 a year for college tuition, up to $3,000 for child care, $7,000 for a clean car, a mortgage tax credit.

Fourth, there will be tax cuts. On Monday, Obama promised new tax subsidies to small business, which could cost tens of billions. That’s on top of his promise to cut taxes for 95 percent of American households. His tax plans would reduce revenues by $2.8 trillion over the next decade.

Finally, there will be a health care plan. In 1960, health care consumed 5 percent of G.D.P. By 2025, it will consume 25 percent. In the face of these rising costs, Obama will spend billions more to widen coverage. Obama’s plan has many virtues, but the cost-saving measures are chimerical.

When you add it all up, we’re not talking about a deficit that is 5 percent of G.D.P., but something much, much, much larger.

The new situation will reopen old rifts in the Democratic Party. On the one side, liberals will argue (are already arguing) that it was deregulation and trickle-down economic policies that led us to this crisis. Fears of fiscal insolvency are overblown. Democrats should use their control of government and the economic crisis as a once-in-a-lifetime chance to make some overdue changes. Liberals will make a full-bore push for European-style economic policies.

On the other hand, the remaining moderates will argue that it was excess and debt that created this economic crisis. They will argue (are arguing) that it is perfectly legitimate to increase the deficit with stimulus programs during a recession, but that these programs need to be carefully targeted and should sunset as the crisis passes. The moderates will stress that the country still faces a ruinous insolvency crisis caused by entitlement burdens.

Obama will try to straddle the two camps — he seems to sympathize with both sides — but the liberals will win. Over the past decade, liberals have mounted a campaign against Robert Rubin-style economic policies, and they control the Congressional power centers. Even if he’s so inclined, it’s difficult for a president to overrule the committee chairmen of his own party. It is more difficult to do that when the president is a Washington novice and the chairmen are skilled political hands. It is most difficult when the president has no record of confronting his own party elders. It’s completely impossible when the economy is in a steep recession, and an air of economic crisis pervades the nation.

What we’re going to see, in short, is the Gingrich revolution in reverse and on steroids. There will be a big increase in spending and deficits. In normal times, moderates could have restrained the zeal on the left. In an economic crisis, not a chance. The over-reach is coming. The backlash is next.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 7:55 am 
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LAMystreaux wrote:
Exactly my point. The story here is the initial encounter this guy had with Obama, but of course let's not shed a bad light on The One. We must deflect the attention to something else, regardless of relevance to the big issue.



I know you guys are biased, but do you not find it interesting that McCain focused so much on this guy in the last debate and didn't do any research on the background of this guy? That to me, is the story here. McCain mentioned Joe the Plumber more times than I can remember (would have made for a dangerous drinking game!). Whether it made McCain's position on the tax issue less credible or not, it was just a very risky and absentminded move IMO; to not look more deep into the questionable background of 'Joe the Plumber' before focusing so much on him just doesn't make me feel very confident in the folks running his campaign.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 12:27 pm 
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chadwick wrote:
LAMystreaux wrote:
Exactly my point. The story here is the initial encounter this guy had with Obama, but of course let's not shed a bad light on The One. We must deflect the attention to something else, regardless of relevance to the big issue.



I know you guys are biased, but do you not find it interesting that McCain focused so much on this guy in the last debate and didn't do any research on the background of this guy? That to me, is the story here. McCain mentioned Joe the Plumber more times than I can remember (would have made for a dangerous drinking game!). Whether it made McCain's position on the tax issue less credible or not, it was just a very risky and absentminded move IMO; to not look more deep into the questionable background of 'Joe the Plumber' before focusing so much on him just doesn't make me feel very confident in the folks running his campaign.



LOL! We are biased?

Joe The Plumber is not running for the highest office in our Nation. Obama is.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 6:25 pm 
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LAMystreaux wrote:
chadwick wrote:
LAMystreaux wrote:
Exactly my point. The story here is the initial encounter this guy had with Obama, but of course let's not shed a bad light on The One. We must deflect the attention to something else, regardless of relevance to the big issue.



I know you guys are biased, but do you not find it interesting that McCain focused so much on this guy in the last debate and didn't do any research on the background of this guy? That to me, is the story here. McCain mentioned Joe the Plumber more times than I can remember (would have made for a dangerous drinking game!). Whether it made McCain's position on the tax issue less credible or not, it was just a very risky and absentminded move IMO; to not look more deep into the questionable background of 'Joe the Plumber' before focusing so much on him just doesn't make me feel very confident in the folks running his campaign.



LOL! We are biased?

Joe The Plumber is not running for the highest office in our Nation. Obama is.


I feel sorry for Joe (or whatever he goes by). He's not running for anything and didn't choose to have himself thrust into the national spotlight. Most of us have things we wouldn't be happy to have broadcast on national TV, and there's no reason we need to learn about Joe's dirty laundry. McCain didn't do him any favors by turning him into a symbol, and the media's decision that Joe's personal details are important is shameful. Sometimes analogies and metaphors are a bad idea.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 6:33 pm 
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abalone wrote:
McCain didn't do him any favors by turning him into a symbol, and the media's decision that Joe's personal details are important is shameful. Sometimes analogies and metaphors are a bad idea.



The only reason it has become important is because the media needs to deflect attention from Obama's comments and discredit the guy to whom Obama spoke. Americans are stupid to ignore what was said.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 5:42 am 
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LAMystreaux wrote:
chadwick wrote:
LOL! We are biased?

Joe The Plumber is not running for the highest office in our Nation. Obama is.


My point is that you are biased toward McCain since that is who you support.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 5:45 am 
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LAMystreaux wrote:
The only reason it has become important is because the media needs to deflect attention from Obama's comments and discredit the guy to whom Obama spoke. Americans are stupid to ignore what was said.


Again, I think another reason this has become such a hot point with the media is because it shows the lack of research McCain and his campaign did before using Joe as a focal point in their debate tactic...something you have not addressed yet.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 6:07 am 
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chadwick wrote:
LAMystreaux wrote:
chadwick wrote:
LOL! We are biased?

Joe The Plumber is not running for the highest office in our Nation. Obama is.


My point is that you are biased toward McCain since that is who you support.


As you are biased toward Obama.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 6:11 am 
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chadwick wrote:
LAMystreaux wrote:
The only reason it has become important is because the media needs to deflect attention from Obama's comments and discredit the guy to whom Obama spoke. Americans are stupid to ignore what was said.


Again, I think another reason this has become such a hot point with the media is because it shows the lack of research McCain and his campaign did before using Joe as a focal point in their debate tactic...something you have not addressed yet.


What is there to address? The media has spent more time on Joe the Plumber than the comments Obama made to said plumber. I work hard for my money. I am not happy with someone saying they want to spread the wealth around. Are you? If you can't see that the bigger issue is the words from Obama, then you are more biased than I thought.

What reason would McCain have to do a background check on Joe the Plumber?

Does Joe's background, or how Obama's tax plan will effect Joe change in any way what Obama said about spreading the wealth around?

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 6:16 am 
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If you believe in " Trickle Down Economics " does that make you a socialist also?

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 6:51 am 
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LAMystreaux wrote:
As you are biased toward Obama.




Yes, I am. When you are in support of someone and agree with them on many issues, then yes, you are biased toward them.

My whole point in bringing up what I did though, was to look through the bias, and ask, why didn't his campaign look further into this guy before using him as their focal point. Without doing so risked yet another backfire. Although not as big as the whole Ayers incident, they should have learned to do some research.

And yes, I frankly agree with Obama's tax plan.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 7:56 am 
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chadwick wrote:
LAMystreaux wrote:
As you are biased toward Obama.




Yes, I am. When you are in support of someone and agree with them on many issues, then yes, you are biased toward them.

My whole point in bringing up what I did though, was to look through the bias, and ask, why didn't his campaign look further into this guy before using him as their focal point. Without doing so risked yet another backfire. Although not as big as the whole Ayers incident, they should have learned to do some research.

And yes, I frankly agree with Obama's tax plan.


They were not using him as a focal point. They were using the incident with him and Obama as a focal point. Big difference, and to keeo insisting otherwise is disingenuous.

Again, I have a bigger problem with someone wanting to take my hard-earned money and give it to someone who did not earn it than I do with someone missing some research, which in the end does not matter to the point anyway.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:41 am 
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LAMystreaux wrote:
They were not using him as a focal point. They were using the incident with him and Obama as a focal point. Big difference, and to keeo insisting otherwise is disingenuous.

Again, I have a bigger problem with someone wanting to take my hard-earned money and give it to someone who did not earn it than I do with someone missing some research, which in the end does not matter to the point anyway.



Actually, they did both. They used the incident some...but used his lifestyle A LOT in the debate.

Getting personal I know, but if you make over $250,000 a year, you are by far the highest paid band director I have ever heard of.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:40 am 
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chadwick wrote:
Getting personal I know, but if you make over $250,000 a year, you are by far the highest paid band director I have ever heard of.


MOST people don't make $250K

Promising to 'nail' these people makes some others happy.

Personally, I am striving to BE one of those people someday.

It is class warfare through and through. The very nature of these "haves" is that they don't have a majority of the voting power so it is easy for the politicians to hold this out as "we'll teach those ba$tards for making so much money while the rest of us suffer so". Why should success be punished? This premise promises to doom a large portion of the electorate to remain in the "have not" category.

Also, I bet if LA owned a marginally successful music store, the $250K figure would be attainable. He would also be employing others and generating local sales tax revenue. So by all means, tax the hell out of those entrepreneurs who dare to be marginally successful.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 10:51 am 
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WE ARE SPARTACI wrote:
Also, I bet if LA owned a marginally successful music store, the $250K figure would be attainable. He would also be employing others and generating local sales tax revenue. So by all means, tax the hell out of those entrepreneurs who dare to be marginally successful.

Tax the hell out of those entrepreneurs who are business-stupid, is more like it.

I suggest you take some economics or business classes and learn about things like liquidity and DWC (days working capital). Quite simply, if your business makes $300K and you have $250K in liquid assets getting taxed, you are a horrible, horrible businessman.

There are so many tax breaks, so many little secret nooks and crannies for business to hide money in, that most companies can easily minimize their liquidity and pay (comparably) very little in taxes. For example, in Q2 of this year (Apr-Jun) my company posted $2.555B in revenues and yet is on the hook to pay only $70M in taxes. That's a tax rate of 2.74%. Does only 2.74% of YOUR money go to the government?

Stop worrying about businesses. 99% of the time so little of their money actually ends up getting taxed that I have absolutely no qualms about raising the tax rate for the $250K+ crowd.

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