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Super Committee Update

Time’s almost up for the bi-partisan deficit-reducing Congressional Super Committee. We’ll look at what’s coming from behind their closed doors.

From right to left, former Senate Budget Committee Chairman Pete Domenici, R-N.M., former White House Budget Director Alice Rivlin, and former Sen. Alan Simpson, R-Wyo., and Erskine Bowles, co-chairs of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, offer their advice to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction during a hearing on  Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011.  (AP)

From right to left, former Senate Budget Committee Chairman Pete Domenici, R-N.M., former White House Budget Director Alice Rivlin, and former Sen. Alan Simpson, R-Wyo., and Erskine Bowles, co-chairs of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, offer their advice to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011. (AP)

The loud ticking sound around Capitol Hill these days is the clock moving down on the so-called Congressional Super Committee charged with taking a big whack out of the US deficit. Last summer, American finances went to the very brink in a super-charged partisan standoff. Triple-A rating – gone.

In the years ahead, it could get much worse. This squad of six Republicans and six Democrats was sent off to find a way forward. Now, they’ve got about two weeks left to do it. It could all blow up.

This hour On Point: behind closed doors – taxes, spending, deficits and the clock ticking on the Super Committee.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Felicia Sonmez, congressional reporter for the Washington Post.

Howard Fineman, Editorial director of the AOL Huffington Post Media Group.

Allen Sinai, chief global economist, strategist, and president of Decision Economics.

Rep. Tom Cole, congressman from Oklahoma’s 4th District.

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times “There are only three weeks left for the Congressional supercommittee to come up with a plan to reduce the federal deficit by at least $1.2 trillion, and there is no sign that the panel is anywhere close to reaching an agreement. Only one side, in fact, seems to be trying — the Democrats — and it is being far too accommodating, given the fierce obstructionism of the other side, the Republicans.”

Wall Street Journal “House Speaker John Boehner gave new urgency to the drive for a deficit-cutting deal by saying he would press lawmakers to approve any agreement a congressional supercommittee makes, no matter what it contains. ”

The Economist “Despite becoming more extremist and obstructionist, the Republicans triumphed in the mid-term elections. Next time round, they may be in for a shock.”

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  • Roy Mac

    So the update is that Graham saves the Pentagon and other GOP functionaries change the law to give cover to all of the GOP members who’ve pledged allegiance to Grover Norquist.  Blah, blah, blah.  Why waste an entire hour of airtime on this?

    • ipwichma

      I think this hour will be extremely interesting. 

  • Ellen Dibble

    Why isn’t Europe getting all jittery over the possibilities of this committee not being as “super” as it is cracked up to be?  Because the powers that be in Europe still think the stand-off in Congress is pretense and posturing, and that American leaders will figure something out.  Those American Congressional leaders just will keep pretending to be hard-line until the last minute; that’s the idea.  (Really?)  I wish those Europeans would tell that to the American corporations with all this money in reserve, so they can start hiring and get the ball rolling.

  • Brian

    Let it die! This country desperately needs the (automatic) $454 billion in defense cuts. It’s not the Cold War anymore and it’s time we realize that.

    • EasyPickens

      Why not make it an even Trillion $ – - just to start.

  • BoreandSnore

    Super Committee – snore. 

    What tower of Babel ridiculousness.  Now, after 10 years of runaway spending, our government is actually worried about our deficit?

    Don’t buy into this ‘austerity’ nonsense.  Maybe when the banksters and government officials start getting their just deserves…

    Check this out: One year at Princeton University: $37,000. One year at a New Jersey state prison: $44,000.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/11/chart-one-year-of-prison-costs-more-than-one-year-at-princeton/247629

    Since we have the highest and probably most expensive incarceration rate on the planet maybe we should look into why.

    Remember, it’s the price of justice under our laws.

  • JustSayin

    I’m wondering if the people of the USA have any power over congress other than the useless voting. Can we just put them on vacation for six years… Can the people hire 100 ordinary working Americans (not politicians, not millionaires, not lawyers, and definitely not democrats or republicans… Lifetime Independents only) to fix the nations problems before the Congressional junta completely destroys the nation?

    Now that would be a Super Committee we could believe in. If nothing else it would be funny to see 15 thousand lobbyists running around with 15 thousand briefcases full of cash is a desperate attempt to bribe them all before any decisions were made. 

  • ipswichma

    When will the “super committee” bail out the middle class?
    Look how rich the big banks have become. This is a trend that started
    in 1973 when the average wage has been falling and yes, the rich continue to get richer through Repulsican and Democratic administrations. Public education and the sense that public money could be used with private money to invest in our country’s progress was once the engine our  economic growth that all shared in… now that is gone. Today is National Bank Transfer Day… this may do more to get the “super committee moving that anything. I’m headed toward my local B of A today. Check out today’s story about profits for banks in the Washington Post. 
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/wall-streets-resurgent-prosperity-frustrates-its-claims-and-obamas/2011/10/25/gIQAKPIosM_story.html

  • JustSayin

    I’m sitting here looking at that picture above, and thinking of the members of “The Super committee”.  Are the American people brain dead to believe the idea of “super” anything from Congress?  Just look at that picture above… does it inspire you with hope?

    For the congressional membership this will really rake in the cash. Super amounts of cash flowing in to purchase influence. Congress and it’s corporate friends know how the game is played…. Threaten “new” legislation for monetary rewards.

    Congress (the very entity that created the nations downfall due to its corruption and it’s abject larceny) is now in charge… Oops… in “super charge” of fixing the nation they destroyed through their countless previous super committees?

    This thinking is identical to the idea that an unregulated Wall St. will be self correcting… We see where that has gone in the last 30 years!

    Wave after wave of pumping and dumping the economy, with Congress writing the bailout checks each time to the crooks from the general fund as reward for committing the crimes. And let’s not forget that after each crime, Congress decriminalized each offensive act so it would be legal for the next round of pump and dump.

    If ordinary Americans were in charge of congress for three weeks, The wars would last about fifteen minutes. The military budget would be slashed by half in about 1 hour. Congressional perks and pensions would last about 6 minutes. The reinstating of Glass-Stegall would be done in two hours. A national usury law overriding the SJC Marquette decision, would be done in two hours.

    In one day the nation would be recovering and the people would be coming out of debt.

    • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

      “If ordinary Americans were in charge of congress”

      I’d love to believe that were true, I’d certainly be on your side of those issues but I’m not confident enough other “ordinary americans” would feel the same way. After all, people who call themselves “ordinary” somehow think people like Palin, Bachmann, Caine and Perry could run the country.

      • JustSayin

        But those people seated in Congress already believe that people like Palin, Bachmann, Cain and Perry could run the country.  So how could ordinary Americans be and worse?

        • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

          I’m not so sure the folks on the Super committee think the Republican presidential hopefuls could run the country. Don’t get me wrong, I’m mad as hell at the moment, not just at my local utility company (Connecticut Light and Power) for keeping me in the dark for 5 days and 5 nights, but at state and federal government for allowing the country to fall apart and for utilities like CL&P to provide such awful service.

          Just like I’m mad at the healthcare and insurance industries…

          But, I don’t think “ordinary americans” or members of congress are up to fixing the problems which no doubt partly start by allowing businesses like CL&P to influence state regulatory boards and even our own moron Governor who thinks we have too many trees here and if we had fewer everyone would be happier. What a ####ing moron, and I voted for him! Ugh.

  • Not an Alex Jones fan

    Super Committee?

    Where in the Constitution is the authority for a Super Committee granted?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCHJoh9ywlM&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PLD828130491FC405B

  • Hidan

    The super committee is doomed to fail. There’s already talk that the defense cuts would happen as stated. That the Super committee members are being flushed with lobbying dollars and that because the members are not actually voting they can have multiple close door meeting with lobbyist and the likes without reporting it.

    “The only thing super about the bipartisan Super Committee tasked with
    reducing the federal deficit is its uncanny ability to keep a
    secret—from just about everybody. That’s the consensus from “Republicans
    and Democrats, liberals and conservatives in and out of Congress”
    according to The New York Times,
    and reporters and legislators aren’t happy. When Super Committee
    members exit seven hour-long meetings, they “skitter away” from
    journalists waiting outside the door.”

    http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2011/10/open-secrets-super-secret-super-committee/43534/

    • JustSayin

      That’s why congress moves so slow. They threaten, some money is delivered, they threaten a little less, some more money arrives. Repeat this about 10 time to garner maximum profit, and no “harmful” legislation.

    • nj

      No problem if they “fail.”

      The Congress critters who love their “defense” spending have a plan; wriggle out of the trigger:

      http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=2B1269D3-3565-400E-A60F-56F720F13C90

      Trigger-unhappy lawmakers eye exit

      Lawmakers from both parties have warned what a disaster the automatic spending cuts would be if the deficit-slashing supercommittee fails to reach a deal in just under three weeks.But the reality is that the so-called trigger might not carry the live round everyone fears.A growing number of lawmakers are already talking about reversing the automatic spending cuts to defense and domestic programs that would go into effect if the supercommittee doesn’t find at least $1.2 trillion in deficit cuts by Nov. 23.Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) confirmed Thursday that they’re working on “alternative” legislation that would scale back the size of cuts that can be made to the Pentagon. On the other side of the political spectrum, liberals are talking about rolling back automatic cuts to domestic programs.“We can’t afford the cuts as the secretary of defense has said and service chiefs have testified,” McCain, the top Republican on the Armed Services Committee, told POLITICO. “We can’t afford that size in cuts.”—snipped

    • Steve

      Hidan,

      thank you for information.
      I would ask that you question the conclusion that the super committee will fail.

      I would suggest that they will succeed with their agenda but that their definition of success is very different from yours.

  • Hidan

    Sept 30: The committee beings meeting in secret

    October 2: A grand bargain is ruled out
    October 5: A deal is likely!
    October 7: Committee members receive influx of cash It pays to be on the Super Committee. Susanna Kim at
    ABC News reports that the
    members “received over $83,000 from lobbying
    groups in the three weeks after being appointed to make $1.2 trillion in
    budget cuts.”
    October 10, a deal is unlikely!
    October 10: Committee may slash Medicare

    Top contributors to super committee members
    RankContributorTotalFrom IndividualsFrom PACsTo DemsTo Repubs1Club for Growth $1,013,407$991,066$22,3410.0%100.0%2EMILY’s List $710,314$687,280$23,034100.0%0.0%3Microsoft Corp $662,572$444,072$218,50085.7%14.3%4AT&T Inc $568,045$92,783$475,26248.2%51.8%5Blue Cross/Blue Shield $461,920$106,156$355,76447.3%52.7%6United Parcel Service $457,384$5,250$452,13452.2%47.8%7General Electric $452,999$213,699$239,30050.7%49.3%8Citigroup Inc $443,006$258,006$185,00038.6%61.4%9American Bankers Assn $431,383$28,050$403,33340.6%59.4%10National Assn of Realtors $424,600$4,250$420,35047.2%52.8%

    http://www.opensecrets.org/news/reports/supercommittees.php

    Notice the dreaded GE is giving close to half to Republicans

    • Hidan

      RankContributorTotalFrom IndividualsFrom PACsTo DemsTo Repubs1Club for Growth $1,013,407$991,066$22,3410.0%100.0%2EMILY’s List $710,314$687,280$23,034100.0%0.0%3Microsoft Corp $662,572$444,072$218,50085.7%14.3%4AT&T Inc $568,045$92,783$475,26248.2%51.8%5Blue Cross/Blue Shield $461,920$106,156$355,76447.3%52.7%6United Parcel Service $457,384$5,250$452,13452.2%47.8%7General Electric $452,999$213,699$239,30050.7%49.3%8Citigroup Inc $443,006$258,006$185,00038.6%61.4%9American Bankers Assn $431,383$28,050$403,33340.6%59.4%10National Assn of Realtors $424,600$4,250$420,35047.2%52.8%

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

    Do you think this “behind closed doors” charade could come up with a better adjective?  

    “Super”  ???  A super-committee??   is this a saturday morning cartoon?  a new pickup truck?   or  new fastfood burger?  How dumbed-down have you become?

    And they expect intelligent people to participate in the democratic process by voting?    How insulting to human intelligence.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

    I read that a guy lost his arm testing out a guillotine.  The newer
    units should come with safety instructions before they are installed on
    Wall Street and Washington D.C. 

  • Rob (in NY)

    Tom, 

     This has to do as much with basic math as it does political ideology.  Current federal spending is about 25% of GDP and projected to increase significantly unless entitlements are restructured, whereas federal revenues are only about 15% of GDP as a result of the deep recession, tax cuts without spending cuts, as well as loopholes.    Spending is at or near post WWII high, whereas revenues are at a post WWII low.    The reality is that any deal will need to move both government spending and tax revenues closer to their respective historical  averages of 18-20% of GDP.   

    I actually believe that there are members of Congress on both sides of the aisle that recognize the reality that some form of compromise will be required to address these structural budgetary issues. For example, there was this  bipartisan letter from 100 House members as well as over 40 Senate members encouraging the committee to “Go Big” and effectively endorsing Bowles Simpson, etc….. Recent comments by Speaker Boehner have also indicated he would likely vote for any compromise    The bottom line is that the Grover Norquists of the world and the left wing of the Democratic party (e.g, Krugman types) will both scream bloody murder.   The question is whether Boehner can deliver enough GOP votes  and whether Obama can deliver enough Democratic votes to overcome the fringes on both sides who believe they can impose a hard left or right solution. 

     

    • nj

      Ha! I love Rob’s attempt to cast the Wall-Street owned, Catfood Commission which wants regressive tax reform and a 75%:25% spending reduction:revenue-increase plan as the sensible middle between the “fringes” on “both sides” (“left wing” Krugman types and Grover Norquist).

      This is how distorted the perception of the political spectrum has become.

    • Anonymous

      There may be politicians on both sides of the isle who recognize that compromise is necessary, but on the whole, those lone voices aren’t going to matter much.  The Republicans have made it abundantly clear that they will not agree to anything that even remotely smacks of a tax increase on the rich, which means there can be no compromise.  Eventually, I imagine the Democrats will cave to tax increases on the poor and spin it as a “compromise”, but it will be a sell out.

      Very few people, even on the left, are opposed to long term entitlement and tax reform.  We’re simply opposed to using the need for long term reform as a vehicle to impose a more regressive tax system, to implementing extreme austerity measures in a struggling economy, which doesn’t work as we are all too painfully seeing in Greece and other countries which have been trying them, and to short-sightedly sacrificing environmental protections in the name of stimulating growth.  The last being a defacto subsidy for business, letting the American public pick up the cost both directly in clean up, and indirectly in increased health care costs for primarily the poor, who tend to live in more heavily polluted areas.

  • Anonymous

    When the Supercommitte unveils its ‘compromises’, I trust the imbalance between the price paid by the 99% versus the 1% will be as lopsided as ever. When will the people who really went to the party be asked to pay to clean up the mess?

    The miscalculation by our Cleptocrats will likely be akin to poking a sleeping tiger with a sharp stick. It will stir and next November, party of No will feel the claws of the 99% whom they have pushed to the point of motivating them to vote in massive change… as much as can be expected with the two parties having locked in their candidates.

    • Nbodley

      I’m wondering whether a third party will have a strong showing in a year. Statistics from Morning Edition show formidable dislike of both major parties.
      We’ll see.

      • Modavations

        Dr.Mengela(?) had higher approval ratings

        • nj

          Higher than yours, even.

  • Gregg

    I am beginning to hate the phrase “raise revenue” because it’s never sincere. I am told we can raise revenue by selling some federal land but I don’t think the “raise revenue” crowd wants that revenue. If the goal is to raise taxes then say it. The two are not the same. Even then the term “raise taxes” is not any more clear than “cut taxes”. Are we talking payroll tax, tax rates, tax credits, capital gains or what? They all have different implications. “Loophole” is another one. Every deduction for going green is a loophole. Charitable deductions are loopholes. Heck anything can be a loophole. I don’t even want to get started of “fair share”.

    Nothing will get solved until we sharpen the language and get serious. The “super-committee” will need to do such but I can’t imagine why the rest of the legislature is agreeing to relegate their duty.

    Simply raising taxes on the rich will be counter productive. This is especially true if we expand tax credits and cut payroll taxes with the notion Keynes had a clue. It is time to go big. Raise revenue by broadening the tax base. The entire taxing process needs an overhaul. The debt commission had the right scale by lowering the rates and ending deductions. Cain’s 9-9-9 is the right scale. Newt’s gotta big plan and Perry’s offering 20% flat tax. I’m sure everyone here hates them all but it’s time to stop pussy-footin’ around.

    Of course the gorilla in the room is Obamacare.

    • Modavations

      Mica was on C-span and said,right  around the corner are 2 vacant properties, that peeps want to make into hotels and stores.He could get 500million for these two properties alone.Democrats say Nyet.There are 15 Republican “jobs bills”  sitting on Harry R.”s desk.He refuses a vote,because he knows many Senate Dems.will vote,Da!!!

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Both Perry and Newt offer an optional flat tax.  It keeps the current, bloated, destructive tax code.  How can that possibly work?  Now you need to do your taxes twice to decide whats best for you.

      I think the Simpson-Bowles tax reform was the right direction but even that could be simpler.

    • Anonymous

      You may recall that one of the first things John Boehner did after becoming Speaker in January was to ask the CBO to score H.R. 2, Republicans’ bill repealing Obamacare.

      The CBO wrote back on February 18, 2011 and said that repeal would increase the deficit by $119 Billion.

      That’s because Obamacare (as future generations will proudly call it) will cut the deficit, not raise it.

      http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/120xx/doc12069/hr2.pdf

      • Modavations

        All those numbers have been reworked and CBO says Obamacare will baloon the deficit.How ’bout insurance co.s selling across state lines and Tort Reform.Ma. health care finances are in crisis.Our governor even tried”price and wage control”.

        • Anonymous

          That’s not true.

          You cannot cite a single CBO report that says that.

    • Anonymous

      You’ve asserted that raising taxes on the rich will be counter productive.  Why?  Clearly that alone cannot save us all, but as part of a plan, why exactly would that be counter productive?  Why exactly should the working class have to shoulder more of the tax burden?  How exactly has deregulation, as Newt and the rest of his ilk argue for, helped us out?  Like when we deregulated the banks and allowed them to gamble with depositors’ money?  That sure did wonders for the economy.  Didn’t at all, say, allow an elite group of financiers to make a fortune by blowing up our economy.  No sir.

      • Hillarion

        See the movie “Inside Job”.

      • Modavations

        Any taxes are counterproductive.Why do you think the Dems allowed to Bush Tax cuts to continue?Cut the spending.Cut,cut,cut.Since 2007, households have cut their debt buy 550Billion.Govt.has amassed another 4 trillion.Cut,cut,cut,allow term limits and forbid solons from becoming lobbyists for 5 years

      • Gregg

        I guess I should be more specific. Regarding tax rates, “Rich” has come to mean those earning over $250K. That includes many many small businesses which are the job creators. I would have no problem with Buffets notion to define “rich” as $400 million and up.

    • Modavations

      Gen.G,commander of the “liberated middle states”,Where are my emeralds?

    • nj

      For two paragraphs, Greggg actually sounds rational, but, true to from, he veers back to his comfortable mythology of cutting taxes to raise revenue and the right-wing’s regressive “flat taxes.”

      • Gregg

        Thanks NJ, that’s the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me. I tried to be careful not to advocate anything but I will point out the debt commission used the phrase “Lower tax rates to raise revenue”. But I was mainly talking about the scale of the solution. The entire tax code needs a makeover and I realized the ones I listed were not popular around here. I haven’t heard any big ideas from the left. Got any?

  • Anonymous

    It’s a political problem, not a fiscal problem.

    Republican sabotage was rewarded in 2010 and they think it will work again.

    Fareed Zakaria:

    “America has many paths to solve its deficit problem. Were it to implement the Simpson-Bowles Deficit Reduction Plan, for example, it would instantly give America among the strongest public finances of any rich country. 

    Were Congress to simply allow the Bush tax cuts to expire, returning rates to where they were under Bill Clinton’s presidency, when America created almost 25 million jobs. That one action would provide the federal government with $3.9 trillion in revenues over the next decade and basically solve the deficit problem. We would still face the long-term problem of entitlements, especially health care costs, like every other rich country, but the short and medium-term crisis would be over.” 

    http://www.cnnstudentnews.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1107/03/fzgps.01.html

    • Modavations

      Republicans are obligated to vote against laws they feel are detrimental.They so no,I say Hell No.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Obama will never allow the Bush tax cuts to expire since 75% of the Bush tax cuts were for the middle class.

      • Modavations

        Obama knows that rising taxes kills the economy and falling rates,produce abundance.The problem is that no matter how much extra income is produced,the solons will bloww it and blow some more.

      • TFRX

        Wait, that’s how you label “loaves for the rich, crumbs for the rest”?

    • William

      Should we not go back to Bill Clinton’s spending levels too?

      • Modavations

        Govt. spending is usually 18% of GDP.It is now at 25%.Clinton’s economic run.was precisely because Newt and the boys,dropped the Cap.Gains taxes.Bill was saying ,during his 1st two years,”we envision 200 billion deficits, per annum,for as far as the eye can see”.In history,some guys are standing at the right place, at the right time.

    • Hillarion

      Anybody who thinks the USA doesn’t have the money for a modern, first-world nation should Google on [quadrillion derivatives]. For the under-educated, a quadrillion is a thousand trillion, and a trillion is a thousand billion. (That’s in the USA; there are two schemes for defining very large numbers. See Wikipedia.)

      I don’t know who said it: Taxes are the membership fee for a civilized society”.

      I question the emotional maturity of those who want full government services, but don’t want to pay for them. Concisely, they want something for nothing.

      Watch the movie “Inside Job” for some perspective. IIrc, free copies are available for those who are broke. Along the way, note who declined to be interviewed — sort of a “who’s who” in microcosm, loosely speaking.

      Back to the more-direct topic, assuming the super-committee remains deadlocked, we must realize that Social Security is separately funded, and afaik is in quite-good shape fiscally. It must not be part of the cutbacks.

      • Modavations

        I’ll bet John Corzine refused.80% Wall St.Bank money, wennnt to Dems.After Barney Frannk sung the praises of OWS,he got on a jet, for a Wall St.fund raiser.The High Priest of Wall St.is Schumer.Bloomberg,last week ,said the banks didn’t cause the collapse,it was Freddie and Fannie

        • nj

          A cat walking over the keyboard would make more sense than this.

  • Anonymous

    Want to see where the deficit came from?
    That giant orange blob in the middle is the Bush tax cuts.

    • Gregg

      Static analysis. The world doesn’t work that way. The CBO will project any numbers they are given.

      • Anonymous

        Reagan’s director of Office of Management and Budget – David Stockman – calls the Bush tax cuts “the biggest fiscal mistake in history”.

        Specifically, Stockman told Dylan Ratigan that Bush’s advisers forecast a $5 trillion surplus over 10 years. But “two unfunded wars and a Fed engineered housing bubble later”, we’re in a $ 5 trillion cumulative deficit. So Bush made a $10 trillion mistake.
        http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2010/12/reagans-omb-director-bush-tax-cuts-the-biggest-fiscal-mistake-in-history-extending-them-wont-stimulate-the-economy.html

        • Modavations

          No matter how much revenue is produced, the solons will blew it and blow some more.There in lies the rub,comrad

        • William

          Were the tax cuts a mistake or was the overspending the mistake?

        • Gregg

          Yes, I’m aware of Stockton’s comments. He’s entitled to his opinion. The fact that Bush advisers forecasts did not pan out is what I mean about the CBO. The CBO (or Bush advisers that used the CBO) did not factor in 0/11 or the bursting Dot Com Bubble. The same was true for Clinton when the CBO projected $200 billion deficits as far as the eye could see. Had they factored in the tech bubble and Clinton/Newt balanced budgets the projections would be far different… and closer to reality. Surplus reality. The projections you linked not only didn’t factor in the above, they assumed no change in the behavior of the taxed. It is not a static world.

          Regarding the unfunded wars, two points: 1) The numbers don’t add up and the case cannot be made the wars were as significant as blamed and, 2) Obama has yet to work under a budget. This unprecedented recklessness means NOTHING is funded. At the very least equal blame should be put on the “Stimulus” bill which cost more than the wars and yielded less.

  • Worried for the country(MA)

    What the hell happened to Simpson-Bowles?  Obama dropped that like a hot potato even though it only solved 1/2 the problem.

    • Modavations

      Democrats don’t want to cut.They are the “Big Govt.Industrial Complex”(Solyndra,GE,80% of Wall St.Bank money,the callous welfare state,and on and on).If the Dems. would quit closing down the Gibson Guitar Co.s of the country,we’d certainly be better off.

      • TFRX

        Gibson Guitar?

        Sounds like someone’s “knowledge” of the “facts” is a bit off key.

        • Steve__T

          As Always

      • Anonymous

        So?

        • Modavations

          Right on schedule,comrad

    • TFRX

      I dunno. What did the report say?

      Oh, wait: The commission overstacked with Beltway Inbreds, and even then they didn’t agree on anything.

      “What verdict did that hung jury return?” Answer: None.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1816544 Dan Trindade

    In my view as America is a big country, we need a big government to provide the services we as citizens expect and require to have a good life. Though we may discuss or question these services and the need for one or the other, the fact remains that extensive bureaucracy, government infrastructure, and yes revenues, i.e. taxes, are required to pay for and provide them. To say we need smaller government then, though it implies lower taxes, inherently means fewer services. This is not to say that we should allow government power or taxes to grow unchecked. Big government does not and should not inherently mean inefficient government. It is our responsibility as citizens to ensure that those that represent us and provide the services we need are doing so effectively, efficiently and with our best interests at heart. If we do not hold them to the highest standards possible, we have no one but ourselves to blame when our country declines.

  • Retiree near Boston

    Every job is important, if people are to pay their mortgages, feed their families. How does slashing government spending (jobs) alleviate the recession? The problem is that the regulatory function of government has been captured by the private sector, where the 1% have prospered enormously from bubble-and-bust economics, immunized by their (largely top 1%) allies in Congress.  

    http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2011/11/chart-of-the-day-1.html

    There are solutions aplenty, such as a Constitutional amendment to reverse the Citizens United travesty, just nobody among these fat cats willing to do the right thing.         

    • Modavations

      The Unions now favor Citizens United

      • Anonymous

        That does not mean thing in light of the the travesty of the Citizens United ruling.

        • Modavations

          When  the Union Dog wags it’s tail,the wags will soon follow.As the Boston OWS guys say,down with Burger King(Big Burgers,I guess).

          • Anonymous

            Whatever, I could use stronger words, but to me I find you one contemptible little man with nothing much to say.

          • Modavations

            I am not an idealogue,so I couldn’t care less about your views.I hope we always have the left.I like to show my kids Brontosauras Fossils ,also

          • Retired near Boston

            It’s sad how Modavations, like some of my rightward-tilted friends, steers the conversation away from the core issue – in this case our corrupt, pay-to-play political system – and onto one of his favorite targets.  This is how we lose the battle, gang.  You’ll find that across the board, the 99% who can’t pay-to-play understand the rot in the system. 

          • Modavations

            43% of the peeps approve of OWS.That’s from USA Today.All politics lead to Rome

  • Charlie

    I have ZERO confidence that they can reach agreement on how to achieve the objective.  More brinksmanship will play out and in the end our pensions and savings will pay the price.  Where is the leadership?  The only growth industry in the US today is election spending. 

  • TFRX

    John Boehner … would press lawmakers to approve any agreement a
    congressional supercommittee makes, no matter what it contains.

    Sucker. I want to play poker with that man.

    Not GOP’s Three-Card Monte, but poker.

  • Drew You Too

    Another wasted Monday morning On Point (just my opinion).

    Every time someone says “Super Committee” all I hear is “Think Tank”.
    The difference of course being that the think tanks got things done that should never have happened while the Super Committee gets nothing done that needs to happen.

    Super Committee = Dumb Tank

    Have a great day everyone

  • Modavations

    Cambridge,trying to out liberal Madison,has closed the schools today, for a Muslim Holiday.I think Diwali starts,mais je ne sais pas.The point is liberal braggin rights.

    • Anonymous

      You are one offensive little man. 

      • Modavations

        Comrad,why does a contrary world viewthrow you into a spasm of hand wringing.Has anyone ever seen Jeffe and Bernie Sanders in the same room?

    • John in Amherst

      Ya ya, we all know GOP bragging rights will never extend to equal protection for all under the law or protection of religious freedom for non-Christians, so what is the point of your off-topic sniping?

      • Anonymous

        When is Flying Spaghetti Monster day? 

      • Modavations

        The schools of Sommerville banned Halloween.Thanksgiving is now “Fall Day”.Of course,May Day will always be!!

  • Modavations

    Seriously,Is there a bigger, Democrat Rump Swab, then Howard F.?

  • Anonymous

    It used to be called “brinkmanship.”  Now we’re facing the degree of childishness, self-importance and irresponsibility in those we elect to Congress.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not holding my breath. $1.2T is not nearly enough, and we all need to share in the sacrifice…

    Neil

    • Modavations

      That would be 120Bill.per year.Tip mony,these days

    • Hillarion

      ¨…we all need to share in the sacrifice…”

      Baloney! Read Barbara Ehrenreich; see the movie “Inside Job”. You have a bizarre idea about what’s been happening, imho.

      I’m reminded of the cartoon that had a sign saying “100% Compassion-free”.

      • Anonymous

        Please explain to me how the richest people are sacrificing anything to help their fellow citizens?  How are those of us not in the military are sacrificing anything for the war efforts?

        The economy has to work for all people, or it will fail.  What happens to the least among us affects us all.

        I’ve my head on pretty straight; thanks anyway for your free advice.

        Neil

  • Anonymous

    It seems to me that we are heading towards a Constitutional crisis.
    Congress has an approval rating below 10%. In my opinion we are in a Constitutional crisis. Our government is dysfunctional.

  • John in Amherst

    The deal was initially to hold the promise of cuts to programs dear to both parties (social policies for the Dems, Pentagon for the GOP) in order to force action.  Now, as the deadline nears, the GOP is attempting to weasel out of it’s part of the bargain by putting mechanisms in place to retain defense spending.  Looks like the GOP blinked first.  Now the Neros in both parties fiddle while the republic closes in on conflagration, and once again the GOP demonstrates its willingness and ability to do ANYTHING to make Obama look bad, regardless of the cost to the country. 

    • Hillarion

      (Quoting, in part:)
      “…the GOP demonstrates its willingness and ability to do ANYTHING…”

      Seems to me that in a different context, sometimes such people are called terrorists. I do think that’s too strong a term; “social saboteurs” might be more appropriate. Perhaps, “Dark Age advocates”?

      I used to be a Democrat; no longer.

      Actions often have consequences. I fear the consequences.

    • Modavations

      The Pres.of Greece was schooled in Amherst,Ma..Doesn’t that say it all

      • John in Amherst

        No.  Actually, it makes as much sense as many of your quips, which is to say none.  My place of residence, or the alma matter of a pol (even if it is rated as one of the top academic institutions in the world) is not germaine. 

  • nj

    Ha! Erskine Bowles, on the board of directors of General Motors, Morgan Stanley, North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Co., and Facebook is pretending to care about the “little guy.”

  • JustSayin

    We the taxpayers of the USA are paying for the defense of the world. They call The USA the biggest grouping of suckers on earth, because we pay for their defense, and support their economies through thousands of military bases…  The committee can’t find any cuts in the military spending?

    http://www.globalissues.org/article/75/world-military-spending#tab-content-us-military-spending-1

    The Congressional stupid committee is composed of left and right ideologues. How about six independents.

    • Steve

      There was a book published in the 80′s, Paul Kennedy perhaps, that discussed this issue along with the potential decline of the US.

      • Hillarion

        Thom Hartmann speaks very well of Chalmers Johnson, a very perceptive author, well worth reading. Chalmers recently passed away, an unfortunate loss. IIrc, one of his titles was “The  Sorrows of Empire”.

    • Yar

      Just Sayin, have we really ‘paid’ for that defense?  We borrowed money from China to finance our wars.  The soldiers who came back wounded or in a box have paid, their families are paying, but the biggest problem with defense in a deficit ideology is that we don’t share the pain evenly.  We should have added a dollar to the price of a gallon of gas on the day we invaded Iraq.

      • JustSayin

        Agreed. I kept on asking where are the war bonds? Should have been a good investment with Iraq being the conflict that was supposed to pay for itself.

      • Steve

        Yar,

        we also have a penchant for disposing of or neglecting those soldiers who come home injured or shattered.

        • Hillarion

          In earlier decades, many of them would have died. Quite a few will probably live for decades with terrible injuries that, until recently, would have been fatal.

          Compassionate care for them will be costly.

          Back when the “rotated-alpha” “ribbon” magnetic stickers saying “Support our troops” were a new thing, I was tempted to spit in disgust at the rank hypocrisy — once they came home, support nearly vanished. Things have improved, some, I gather.

          Fwiw, I’m a Korean War vet; saw no action, though — just Taiwan Patrol.

  • Yar

    If the conservatives actually ever shrank government to the levels they advocate, their business leaders will be the ones screaming the loudest. Take out government spending and the pot boils dry pretty quick.
    Then what happens? 
    What percent of Walmart sales come directly from a government check?
    What percent of our GDP is government spending?
    I would rather see a pledge to take no campaign or PAC contributions while in office than a no tax pledge. 

    • Hillarion

      Quoting:
      “I would rather see a pledge to take no campaign or PAC contributions while in office than a no tax pledge.”

      Excellent.

      I’m amazed, sickened, and disgusted by the Norquist pledge. Norquist has entirely too much de facto power. According to him, I qualify as a social parasite, because I paid into Social Security all my working life, and it now keeps me able to live decently, if modestly. He might be elated if people like me committed suicide (bathtub drowning) to help the economy.

  • TFRX

    What in the hell is a “Republican defense hawk”? Given their results, hasn’t that term become just some Birthrighteous gobbledygoop, like the Eleventeenth Earl of Barnestoneworth?

    And can we get a genuine liberal guest on the panel?

    (For today’s purposes, a genuine liberal would be someone who can say whatever they want without worrying about the WaPo editorial page*, doesn’t go to cocktails with Beltway Inbreds, and can’t talk about the immediate deficit without using the words “business cycle” in every paragraph.)

  • Simple

    We do not need Democratic plan. We do not need a Republican plan. We need an American plan.

  • Joe

    Something that needs to stop is the analogies about the budget and deficit.  When people describe the problem as akin to a business with greater disbursements than incomes, or a household with too much debt and expense, it’s a tempting analogy, but not an accurate one. Households and businesses do not have the option of raising taxes, and so the analogy is not an apt one.  We need to describe government as government, because despite the similarities with other situations and the tempting simplicity of such comparisons, the problem we face is unique to the federal government.

  • JustSayin

    Can the “Super Committee” agree on the waste here: Military Golf Course Guide http://www.militarygolfcourseguide.com/

    “Many
    military courses have now opened play to civilians and veterans. Check each
    course for their policy.”

  • Erin in Iowa

    Why is $800 billion not enough in cuts, but the same amount is too much to raise taxes?

  • nj

    Wanting to be taken seriously, the Boner wants to make an overhaul of the tax system a part of the deal. There’s an entire three weeks left before the Stuporcommittee’s report is due, so that shouldn’t be any problem.

  • TFRX

    A Republican Senator wants the American people to “have confidence in Congress” (some paraphrasing)?

    Maybe if he and his didn’t spend 3 years pissing into the punchbowl, I wouldn’t be laughing so hard.

    • TFRX

      (Cole R-OK in the House, not Cornyn R-TX in the Senate. I stand by the rest.)

  • Kathy

    Our system is broken because the Republican party are fanatics and the Democratic party are spineless. 

    • Hillarion

      …and both parties have “sold out” to the 1%.

  • Sara7c

    If the Super Committee is so capable, why do the American people need the House and Senate, or even local politicians? We don’t need a “super committee”, we need need those on the left and right to take the cameras and microphones out of the spotlight. I’m tired of politicians behaving as contestants on a political game show that last’s on- and -on and on.  

    • Modavations

      Belgium hasn’t had a govt. for 18 months.No one even notices

      • Anonymous

        So.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve been trying to float the idea of participatory budgeting at a national level.  Split the tax revenue evenly among all the US citizens and allow them to allocate that money to the government programs that are important to them.  So, suppose USA rakes in 1 trillion dollars, and there are 250 million Americans, that would give us 4000 dollars for each American to spend on the government programs listed.  You can borrow money, but that will be deducted from the 4000 dollar income that you have.  So, you have the incentive to balance your portion of the  budget.

    Details need to be hammered out as in how often can people allocate budget.  Who decides what gets on that list, etc, etc.  

    But the idea is that politicians shouldn’t make budgetary decisions, because simply that can’t and this is embarassing.   And even if politicians could make a decision,  there is no way that a group of 200-300 people in D.C, can be a statistical significant representation of the populace over 100′s of millions.

    Now politicians can add as many military and entitlement programs that they want, WE decide to which ones we want to pay for.  Great.

    What do you think?

    • Hillarion

      “Split the tax revenue evenly among all the US citizens and allow them
      to allocate that money to the government programs that are important to
      them.”

      What you propose, as I read it, is replacing a professional-level
      representative federal government with individual decisions. I think
      it’s far better to repair than to substitute a different scheme.

      It’s still possible for us to tell our reps. and senators what we want! If enough people holler, we can influence what happens. “Public outcry” still means something, fortunately.

      While I understand what you are driving at, I have doubts that the US population, considering the collective level of its emotional maturity and quality of its education, would collectively make wise decisions. The original idea of having representatives was that they would be better able to make such decisions; they would be professionals. Very sadly, that principle has almost vanished, in practice.

      Our reps. should be aware of countless details regarding governing; most of use don’t have the time or energy to become really well-informed enough to make wise decisions. Elect first-rate reps. (and senators) and have them govern.

      I think it’s much better to have a well-educated citizenry (we surely do not, right now; even what constitutes “well-educated” is probably misunderstood).
      Along with that, we would have decent, competent representatives who would either be professionals, or learn “on the job”.

      In the late 1980s, a free advertiser-supported periodical [mis]quoted somebody: “The key to a thriving democracy is an educated populous”. I hope you note the misspelling.

  • sailon_52

    The Republicans are asking for cuts to entitlements. For the millions of people who are hanging on by their fingernails economically, that amounts to cutting their nails. What replaces the safety net when that’s gone? You can’t make up many years of savings lost in the last couple of years of your career. It’s no big sacrifice for the wealthiest to pay a little more. It won’t change their ability to put a roof over their head or make them loose their health care. Social Security is retirement savings for millions of people. They have no pensions.

    • Hillarion

      I’m currently somewhat perplexed by why the majority of the super-wealthy are so heedless — apparently dismissive [when they think] of the 99%. It seems to be some sort of “social disconnect”, for lack of a better term. Fairly recently, I heard a comment saying that the USA is developing a social caste system.

    • TFRX

      Yep.

      Any politician who routinely conflates SocSec, Medicare and such into “entitlements” wants you to be scared and ignorant, and is not to be trusted.

  • JustSayin

    Congress warning of an apocalypse. LOL! 

    The blind spot for those greedy selfish ideologies is stunning. It’s entirely of their own making!  Who are they going to blame now the homeless…

    • Modavations

      You guys have made an occupation of Poverty

      • JustSayin

        Centipedes and millipedes are not insects because they have more than six legs, but they are closely related invertebrates.

  • Jtdiehr like deer

    A resolution could be a patriot tax. Start at 100% abovepoverty level. Apricot 40000. A flat tax that lasts 10 years the same as the bush tax cut. A flat tax 1%that is up to 90000. 2% 90 to 250k. 3% 250 & up. Being patriotic we all should sacrifice a little to benefit all.

    • Hillarion

      In general, I think you have some good ideas.

      Just a detail: “Apricot 40000″ — Kindly, please clarify?
      (Btw, not all keyboards have a dollar sign…)

  • Eugene Kwon

    Frankly, I am disgusted by the circularity of the whole debate.  ”Let’s do just enough to give me something to campaign with and get re-elected.  Who cares that other people suffer so I can coast in a DC office four more years.  Then when I’m back in office, I’ll have something left to do…or to push off until the next election.”

    Congressmen and Senators are children.

  • Ansapphire

    When this Super Committee goes through people are going to explode.  Not one in the Political community or the media are paying attention to what in the regular people really want our goverment. 

  • Elizabeth

    Concerning your earlier question to a caller about Social Security, it should not be considered an entitlement program that should be cut to lessen our country’s deficits.  It should stand alone.  If the funding of the program will not sustain the benefits that it promises, then the program benefits should be cut back so that the program funding will support what is promised.  But that is totally independent of being cut to help with the country’s deficits outside the Social Security program.

  • Will H

    The main problem is that BOTH parties are captured by the top 1% and little people have no voice.  The rest of us are just manipulated to vote one way or another by this phoney right vs left debate whereas it really should be about right vs wrong! 

    What we need is a third party that 1.) pay their candidates and pay them well, and 2.) ban their candidates and their staff from working with lobbyists.  The American people can only dream…  People talk about term limits all the time as the solution for corruption and cronyism.  Term limits is exactly the WRONG cure for the corruption disease.   Everyone in politics then would try to cook up a get rich quick scheme or shoot for that nice paying lobbyist job afterwards.

    Melrose, MA

    • Steve__T

      You nailed it!

  • john in VT

    Howard Fineman and the comfy DC pundits like him want us to believe BOTH parties are “playing to their base, trying to score points,” as he just said on-air. In fact, ONE party is proposing significant cuts that its base objects to, while the other side is proposing NOTHING substantive. One side is proposing revenue that most Americans support, the other side is absolutely against doing so. Come on, Tom: don’t be a perpetuator of conventional DC ‘wisdom.’

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Are you saying the Dems in DC are the only ones playing politics?
      I strongly disagree.  The Dems are clearly MORE guilty of playing politics but both sides have fault.

      • TFRX

        Sorry, your comment has had an anonymous hold placed on it until such time as you get tired of waiting for approval and go back to the rest of your life.

        Yes, the Dems are playing more politics than the most obstructionist Congress in history.

    • Anonymous

      And let’s not forget:  this whole deficit “crisis” is a political concoction on the part of the GOP.  An economic recovery, which that party seems determined to prevent or at least delay, would boost our revenues. 

      Social Security?  A non-crisis until something like 2036-40.  Just look at the numbers.

      Medicare/Aid?  A victim not of the people it serves but those who (as someone rightly said) speculate on health care, those who provide prescription drugs, and those health care administrators who should have — decades ago! — been forced to clean up their acts.

      So we’re fighting a fight that doesn’t really exist, that’s been constructed in order to enable the right’s political kills.  See schools, teachers, collective bargaining, voting procedures, and on and on.

  • Paul from Green Bay

    Bugs me that people (and Tom) are talking about us becoming Greece. Our debt is in our own currency so we will never be Greece. We have time to do the real and right things because other countries have bigger problems than us, including China, Japan, and especially Europe.

    As the republican congressman put it, lets debate what needs to be done over the next two years and not get hysterical. It’s a serious problem and needs seriousness from our citizens. We have a chance to come out of this with a dynamic economy.

  • Eugene Kwon

    can we follow up this supercommittee with a committee on campaign reform?  maybe we’ll actually get something done in the long-term if we do.

  • sailon_52

    Why doesn’t the media do more reporting on Grover Norquest? If he’s the hidden power behind the gridlock pledge, he should be exposed. HE hasn’t been elected for anything!! Put him up to public scrutiny.

    • William

      Who are the “hidden powers” behind the left? We never hear about them. Put them up to public scrutiny too.

      • Anonymous

        Oh please. What a load of bunk. This nation has been right of center for ages. The Republicans keep moving the goal posts toward the right. The left is pretty much out in the cold and has been for over 30 years.

        • William

          So there are no left wing, liberal “special interests” that put pressure on Congress to get their special projects?..none at all?..out in the cold?…I think not….

          • TFRX

            Who on the left is saying “forget all those other pledges you made to the Constitution or your state or district, this is the one that counts”?

            Would it be any clearer to you if Norquist demanded the Republicans swear to their marriages before him? Apparently the vows they made in their churches before their Gods and their spouses and families didn’t count.

          • William

            What pledges? Take from the majority and give to the minority? Where does it say we have to spend every penny on failed government programs that accomplish little if anything? Have we not seen the failure of the Great Society programs after trillions of dollars being transfered from producers to non-producers? We can’t downsize anything in government? No programs can be deleted to save Social Security or Medicare? Head Start is so vital to our national interest that it can’t be eliminated despite fact that the GAO said it accomplishes little if any good?

          • TFRX

            The pledge to Saint Grover supercedes the oath of office for the GOP. And the Republicans aren’t operating on a case-by-case basis. They gave up the opportunity to claim that years ago.

            I’d ask you to stop being their sucker, but that’s water over the dam.

          • william

            You libs bow to the “god of big government”….anyone that dares limit the spending or size of government is evil….such fools….

          • TFRX

            Quit while you’re behind, chump.

            Stop the apparently not anatomically impossible move you perform on a regualar basis and pull your head out your tight echo chamber.

          • Anonymous

            There is not arguing with people like yourself who think Social Security is a failed program. It’s very interesting how the right loves to lump SS and Medicare together into one huge program when they are separate. One thing that has always puzzled me is how you call SS and entitlement and yet you don’t call IRA’s or 401K’s the same.
            They both are funded by contributions from earned income. The right uses language in such fascinating ways to fool people. People are waking up to the foolishness of the extreme right and how this extremism has taken over the GOP. You are a good example of this by the way.

          • Modavations

            Last Week, Pres.Obama said the war on poverty had been a failure.No sh-t Sherlock

          • TruthSquad

            source????

          • william

            I find it interesting how you try to defend social security when it was pass off as “insurance” by FDR but was actually a tax. Medicare…it gives away at least 60 billion dollars a year to fraud and you call that a “successful program”?….IRA’s and 401′s? ….you are not part of the nutter left that wants to take those programs away from working people are you?…they are different…if they fail? I don’t have to pay them…Social Security is in negative area now…and we have to make up the losses….Medicare is bleeding red ink and will bankrupt the government if it is not “fixed”…..You liberals love failure.. what is your fix?..more money….

          • ulTRAX

            For the record, the number may be 70 billion and it’s NOT all fraud. It’s the estimate for IMPROPER PAYMENTS… which includes fraud, but also needless medical testing etc. Obamacare has provisions to crack down on improper payments.   

          • Anonymous

            They have no power or clout whatsoever. You’re tilting at windmills here.

          • William

            Really? Is that why women are now getting free birth control pills?…no power huh?

          • TruthSquad

            That’s between a woman and her doctor. I thought the GOP was in favor of getting Washington out of these decisions. But we know they are nothing but hypocrites.

      • nj

        Please tell us who you think comprises “the left” these days. 

        It’s okay, i’m sitting down, so when i start laughing uncontrollably, i probably won’t hurt myself.

        • William

          The MSM, Georage Soros, Hollywood, the Education industrial complex, the Enviromental lobby,…the left is very strong in this country and they get what they want passed in Congress. Try to cut anything out of the Dept. Of Education and watch the left go beserk. Try to cut out free breakfast programs in school and out come the nutters crying kids will starve.

          • Steve__T

            Why would you want to cut education? aren’t there enough dummies running our country? Why would you want to cut free breakfast to poor kids going to school?

            Just let me be clear I don’t like lobbyist of any stripe
            I don’t like 90% of the congress or senate
            and I don’t like you.

          • William

            Did I saw cut eduction? where? I said eliminate the Dept. of Education..there is a difference…it has been a failure…

          • nj

            That’s what i thought.

            Corporate media is the “left” now.

            Totally clueless.

    • Hillarion

      Indeed, he reminds me of the expression “personification of evil”, but that’s too strong (I think…). Taking him seriously as a political force makes as much sense as paying obeisance to Daffy Duck. Nevertheless, he does have undue influence.

      Just in case a misspelling would hinder searching, his last name is “Norquist”.
      It’s a typical Scandinavian name.

  • Rob (in NY)

    Hey liberals with regard to Social Security, the specific reforms proposed by the Simpson Bowles include does the following:  

    1) A phased increase in the retirement age to 69 by 2075;
    2) Increasees progressivity of benefit formula” — i.e., reduce benefits by 2050 for future higher earners (like me), relative to current benefits;
    3) Indexing future cost of living increases to a different measure of inflation, rather than wages;
    4) Increases the social security controbution ceiling (so 90% of wages are subject to social security taxes, rather than

    Please spare us the drama.   Nowhere, do they  recommendthese darconian ”cuts” in benefits for current  or near benefiaries. 

    • nj

      The net result of which will be to maintain a meager (~$1,000/month) benefit to seniors. This is the best the “richest country on earth” can manage?

      • Hillarion

        As I noted earlier, Google on [quadrillion derivatives] — while most “hits” seem to refer to another fiscal bubble, it’s plain that there is no shortage of money in the USA.

        Fwiw, my monthly S.S. income (my only income) is about what you state as typical. For reasons I prefer to keep private, I actually live decently. (I did have to retire at 62, partly because of age prejudice, partly because my primary skills were becoming outdated and I didn’t keep up.) Retiring early means a 1/3 cut.

    • TFRX

      Don’t forget Plumber’s Crack: If you’re working class/manual laborer, if SocSec will make a bigger part of your retirement (not a smaller one), your life expectancy has barely budged. If you’re in the top half of income earners, your life expectancy has gone up noticeably. (This is compared to a couple generations ago.)

      We’d be asking the Joe Lunchbuckets or two-job-workers to give up one of their precious years of retirement so the white-collar types can get more retirement income on their way to their low 80s.

      That’s another one of those “average” being meaningless data points.

      • Rob (in NY)

        You make a fair point regarding those who work in manual professions who may not physically be able to continue working,
         but presumably many these people could be covered by the disability portion of social security during these bridge years prior to  reaching retirement age.   The Simpson/Bowles reforms to Social Security actually raise MORE revenue than is actuarially necessary to ensure the disability portion of the social security program is solvent.   

        Of course, we would obviously need to manage fraud  in that I am sure nobody wants to pay disability benefits and than find the recipient doing marathons and training for an Ironman triathlon (e.g. there have been cases similar to this with the police and transit departments in the NYC suburbs and Long Island)  

        • TFRX

          My great grandparents, manual laborers all, didn’t know what
          “retirement” was. Social Security changed all that. Now elderly poverty
          is slashed by tons.

          I don’t see it as “may not be able to physically continue working”. I’m saying, in the light of pols and thinktankers who like to use oogedy-boogedy talk about SocSec and entitlements to scare voters into thinking it’s going broke tomorrow, what is the point of raising the retirement age now?

          This isn’t disability payments these people deserve, actually it’s the opposite, as far as I’m concerned. It’s doubly pernicious that the people making these decisions in the Beltway show up for a TV panel or committee hearing in a suit and say “I could work this job three more years, why is everyone else such a lazy goldbricking whiner?”

          I want these Joe Lunchbuckets to be able to collect SocSec before they’re disabled.

          • Kathy

            Isn’t it incredibly sad that in a country that is supposed to be the pinnacle of human civilization, we are having a discussion that amounts to one side saying we should support people who are so old they are physically unable to continue laboring without death and the other side says that’s no excuse let them die?

          • TFRX

            Hear, hear.

    • rickC

      btw, lets not forget that their is NO Simpson-Bowles (The committe could not agee) , just what those two released on their own, which was not their charter to do in the first place. Tom Ashbrook’s repeated citing of “Simpson Bowles” lends creditbility where none was earned aka getting a plan with enough votes to pass their committee.

  • Dan

    I find the low congressional approval rating deceptive. With an approval rating so low you would expect a lot of new people being elected, yet there are relatively few long-term incumbents being seriously challenged. If there is no accountability at the state and district level for the nations frustration at congress there is no pressure on congress to actually change. 

    • TFRX

      It’s not deceptive. People generally approve of their own Congresscritter; it’s everyone else’s who is ruining things.

      That’s why even when there’s a “sea change” like in 1994, reelection rates barely dipped below Politburo levels.

      • ulTRAX

        The Republican “revolution” of 1994 represented the approval of about 17% of the voting age population. We should never forget that in the US voting rates are amongst the most abysmal in the “democratic” world and it’s dangerous to make generalizations about the population as a whole based on US elections.

        What if we had an election and nobody came?

        http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/2005/12/what-if-there-was-election-and-nobody.html

        • Modavations

          We don’t need no stinking elections.Us Politiboro types know what’s best for the masses.

    • Hillarion

      I think what you’re pointing out is the remarkable likelihood that people will often vote against their best interests.

  • Ansapphire

    I love the doublespeak different tax rates but no new tak hikes.  And the corporations get at tax cut again.

  • Free

    Fineman says both parties to blame. That’s bunk! Dems are adults, making proposals that its base hates and that actually hurt its core constituencies. GOP are babies who refuse to eat their peas, won’t do ANYTHING to hurt the 1% that form that party’s base. 

    • Hillarion

      I no longer have much respect for Democrats, because I think they have become too beholden to the likes of lobbyists and toxic campaign contributions  — essentially, corruption, mostly by different names.

      Regarding emotional maturity, however, I agree. For some time, I have maintained that in D.C. there’s an epidemic — an epidemic of retarded emotional development. I tweeted that idea a while back, suggesting that too many are in their early teens, emotionally, and a mother replied that they are more like the “terrible twos”.

  • TFRX

    All you need to know about Grover Norquist, and the treatment or non-examination he gets from our media betters.

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/grover-norquist-cult.gif

    • Anonymous

      How big of a bathtub do we need to solve the Grover Norquist problem?

      • Hillarion

        Hmmm… Red Sea? Tempted to say, big enough for all Republicans, but that’s just too easy.

    • Hillarion

      Haven’t looked at the link yet, but I expect Good Stuff. The cartoon is a gem! Thanks, indeed. I saved a copy.

  • Talknationradio

    The question is, why do America’s retired, unemployed, and poor, have to take a cut when the real problem is ‘spending’ related to soaring health care costs. End Wall St. speculation in drugs, health insurance, and basic care, and you solve a lot of the problem. This is stacking up as corporations, Wall Street, versus the majority of the American people again… as before when the Congress at large was on this issue. On Nov. 9, 2011, the Occupy Movement holds their Occupied Super Committee. There people can find analysis that includes Americans, not just Rep. v Dem., and or pundits plus corporations and lobbyists.

  • Wes, Cambridge, MA

    We have a shrinking middle class and a growing poor and homeless class. We have growing numbers of underemployed and unemployed people, a growing jobless middle class, and a growing working homeless class. It is all because of the greed of the rich, who cannot see beyond their own bank accounts. The so-called super Committee is just an excuse to starve the poor. As Scrooge would say, “If they’d rather die, then they had better do it and decrease the surplus population.”

    Scrooge saw the light and learned to care about humanity. Can the rich of today open their hearts and share their good fortune with the rest of us?

  • ulTRAX

    There are numerous prerequisites for self-government to work and one is that the People are rational enough to make rational decisions. It’s a sad comment on the political state of affairs in the US that IRrationality is so prevalent. Yes, I’ve debated enough Dems to know they are not immune, but it’s really the irrationality on the Right that is the most prevalent and the most virulent. But why?

    The Right has a minority agenda of protecting wealth and power. It’s NOT something they can run openly on… and unless they can attract a coalition, they’ll be in minority status forever. But if the Right can’t admit their true agenda, how do they attract a coalition?

    In the US, they play the emotional cards… God, gays, guns, family, race, apple pie, and the flag. They are the experts in scapegoating and creating decisive wedge politics to exploit. They secretly undermine something that works, then claim the “fix” is to further undermine it. They push free trade then blame US workers for being overpaid. They undermine the working class then blame accuse public sector workers of having it too good.

    The Right has formulated a narrative that justifies heaping even more wealth on the rich and why we can’t afford a civilized nation that takes care of its own people. It’s NOT a policy that will convince many of their own coalition, so they developed a secondary strategy to destroy the fiscal health of the federal government with irresponsible tax cuts and reckless spending, then use the debt they are largely responsible for as a pretense for weakening or abolishing all those New Deal and Great Society programs they’ve always opposed.

    To make fiscal irresponsibility seem the opposite, the Orwellian Right propaganda industry concocted numerous myths about the benefits of tax cuts for the rich… that these tax cuts created massive revenue booms and they paid for themselves. To further sabotage the collective IQ of the right wing faithful, the Orwellian Right concocted plausible but idiotic notions about finance that only spending matters. Since no movement can take root unless it’s portrayed as being highly principled and trying to accomplish something positive, the Right pretends to be saving the programs they hope to destroy… or they are helping the “job creators”.

    The Right has spent 3 decades trying to create this budget crisis and they know to allow tax rates to go back even to the Clinton era, would wreck their strategy of fiscal devastation. This explains why they are so adament against new revenue.

    The above is a nonsensical but coherent narrative and mindless sycophants on the right have eaten it all up… and we see them here day after day.  They range from the ones that at least make an effort to back up their claims. But there is a greater number who operate on a primitive level of irrationality where they can do nothing more than throw out vaguely plausible, but not verifiable, accusations and defenses. They spout nonsense and yet believe they are making devastating rebuttals… even as they deny hard facts presented to them. This level of irrationality IS a threat to the nation.

    Someone once said the first one to bring up the Nazis loses the argument. It’s nonsense. We really DO need to understand the mindset of a good percentage of the population to understand how Nazism could take root. And if there’s one truth… it operated on a similar level of irrationally and scapegoatism the Right encourages here in the US.

    • Modavations

      For the 59th time,Orwell was a reformed Communist.He loathed Socialist-Communists(today’s “Progressive).What is more Orwellian then you using him ,as a fig leaf, in your diatribe.
      George Orwell:
      England is the only great country whose Intelligentsia are ashamed of there own nationality.They get their cuisine from Paris and their politics from Moscow.
           Ultrax and Barney Frank were seperated at birth!!

      • ulTRAX

        For the 60th time, you numbskull… the term is ORWELLIAN not Orwell… and as I’ve already proven, my usage is correct.

      • Steve__T

        And you were just separated from a rational brain.

    • Modavations

      During the Regan Enlightenment,twenty million jobs were generated.The tax cuts spurred the economy and to the dismay of the Left,revenues doubled.Clinton and Newt dropped the Cap.Gains taxes and he balanced the budget for three or four years.When Regan took office,the Dow was 800.Guess what it was when he left

      • ulTRAX

        You’re pulling numbers out of a hat without context and trying to make them seem meaningful! Unless there’s a recession, JOB ARE ALWAYS BEING CREATED.

        What we DO know is Reagan’s SPECIFIC PREDICTIONS for his tax cuts fell pitifully short. In Feb 81 Reagan predicted 13 million new jobs by 1986 and they got something like 8.5 million. And of course you’re sweeping under the rug the deep Reagan Recession which started about 6 months after he took office. Unemployment was 10.8%… deeper than in 2009… and unemployment was 8%+ for all of 82 and 83.

        Yup… Reagan’s Supply Side miracle.

        You’re doing what the Orwellian Right always does… take one variable… tax cuts, and credit them with all economic activity. You sweep under the carpet the collapse of oil prices and Reagan’s own $2 TRILLION in Keynesian deficit spending.  

        • ulTRAX

          Slight correction… and why it’s dangerous to cite stats from memory. Here are the seasonally and not seasonly adjusted unemployment numbers from    82 and 83 from the BLS.. dashed between months…1982: 9.4-9.6-9.5-9.2-9.1-9.8-9.8-9.6-9.7-9.9-10.410.5 1983 11.4-11.3-10.8-10.0-9.8-10.2-9.4-9.2-8.8-8.4-8.1-8.0 Source: Series Id:           LNU04000000Not Seasonally AdjustedSeries title:        (Unadj) Unemployment RateLabor force status:  Unemployment rateType of data:        Percent or rateAge:                 16 years and over

          Here are the monthly seasonally adjusted unemployment numbers
          for 82 and 83

          1982: 8.6-8.9-9.0-9.3-9.4-9.6-9.8-9.8-10.1-10.4-10.8-10.8
             1983: 10.4-10.4-10.3-10.2-10.1-10.1-9.4-9.5-9.2-8.8-8.5-8.3

          Source: Series Id:           LNS14000000
          Seasonally Adjusted
          Series title:        (Seas) Unemployment Rate
          Labor force status:  Unemployment rate
          Type of data:        Percent or rate
          Age:                 16 years and over

          • Modavations

            I can say that in three sentences.Under Regan 20 million jobs were created.Under Regan tax cuts,receipts to the govt.doubled.Under Regan we were optomists.

          • ulTRAX

            Thanks for proving that you intend to keep lying here. BTW, Reagan did NOT create 20 million jobs. About 16.1 million jobs were created in those 8 years. But then I’m sure you don’t care about being 4 million off any more than you care about being 34% off on revenues.  

            I’d insist you retract, but that takes integrity… of which you have none. If you had, you’d not be back here repeating your lies.

            SOURCE: BLS

            Series Id:           LNS12000000Seasonally AdjustedSeries title:        (Seas) Employment LevelLabor force status:  EmployedType of data:        Number in thousandsAge:                 16 years and over

          • ulTRAX

            It comes as no surprise that ModEvasions refuses to acknowledge the numbers and later writes he still will use the 20 million number.

      • ulTRAX

        The DJIA grew BECAUSE OF NEW IRA MONEY FLOWING INTO THE MARKET.

        • Modavations

          The judges have voted,you’re triple twist,with a double half gainer gets
          9.5,8.5,and 7.You ,Representative Frank, have won today’s acrobatics award

      • ulTRAX

        Revenues “doubled”. I can check that but just like I don’t believe you’re 20 million number is correct. I’m tried of doing research to disprove claims you assert but make NO effort to prove.

        And let’s not forget that there were some massive tax HIKES during the Reagan years. The Orwellian Right dishonestly claims those revenues as “proof” tax cuts create revenue booms. So you’re again pulling a number from your butt trying to make it seem significant.

        Where’s the context?

        Without out Reagan’s  irresponsible tax cuts, revenues might have TRIPLED. 

        • ulTRAX

          Moda you are a LIAR… and I think for that reason you should be banned. Using government numbers, I ALREADY PROVED TO YOU in the Herman Cain forum that your “Reagan doubled revenues” claim is FALSE.  

          This lie is right from Limbaugh… revenues doubled under Reagan and the Dems spent it. This is how the Orwellian Right can have their cake and eat it. They can claim tax cuts created a revenue boom, and to explain how they could be a deficit when the government was rolling in dough, they blame spending. Of course revenues did NOT double under Reagan. Total revenues… including Reagan’s tax HIKES, were $599.272 billion in FY81 and $909.238 billion in FY88.   source: THE BUDGET FOR FISCAL YEAR 2012, HISTORICAL TABLES Table 1.1—SUMMARY OF RECEIPTS, OUTLAYS, AND SURPLUSES OR DEFICITS.

          Revenues only went up 66% not 100%. And the 1981 dollars are those inflated dollars. Again, you can claim that’s a lot, but without context it’s meaningless.

          In constant 2005 dollars Reagan revenues were 1,251.4 billion in FY81 and in FY88 1,421.1 Billion… ONLY a 13.5% increase over EIGHT years. Those numbers from Table 1.3—SUMMARY OF RECEIPTS, OUTLAYS, AND SURPLUSES OR DEFICITS ( ) IN CURRENT DOLLARS, CONSTANT (FY 2005) DOLLARS.

          In comparison, during Clinton’s 8 years revenues in constant dollars grew by 52%. Now THERE’S the context you’re empty claims avoid.

          • Modavations

            Moda should be banned…..For christ sakes,,this is what Orwell wrote about.He loathed the Progressive.He knew they are the totalitarians,the thought police.If Ultran had his way he’d commit me to the Gulag.If Ultran had his way he’d burn the books.

          • ulTRAX

            Yup, in your mind your repeated LYING to members of this forum isn’t an issue. Protesting your lying is UNACCEPTABLE is the evil.

            Are there any non-braindead right wingers out there?  

      • ulTRAX

        Back to your empty claim Newt is responsible for the Clinton Surplus?  I DEMOLISHED that claim a few weeks ago and you KNOW it.  What the Orwellian Right did was dishonestly take a pessimistic CBO snapshot back in 94-95 projecting 200 billion dollar deficits. If some years later the deficit is gone the Right dishonestly credits Newt.  But as I demonstrated from the intermediate CBO projections of the time, the deficit was shrinking BEFORE the GOP took the House… and Newt’s spending cut numbers only total about 12% of the 800 BILLION dollar deficit you claim would have existed. Newt helped, but it was the Clinton 1993 approach that was key.

        • Modavations

          Just another leftist rewrite of history.By the way,Che was not a misunderstood genius,he was a mass murderer.Bill Clinton for his first two years said,”we’ll run 200 bill.per annum deficits ,for as far as the eye can see”………….

          • Bob

            Why should I trust the opinion of someone who makes up punctuation marks?  Don’t you have any sense of order sir?

          • Modavations

            Dude,I don’t want you to trust me,I’m sowing doubt!!!I’m showing you another angle.

          • ulTRAX

            Moda actually believes his lies and distortions deserve equal weight with hard facts.

          • truth squad

            Can anyone trust Moda to be an honest jeweler when he’s so dishonest here?

            BOYCOTT MODAVATIONS IN BOSTON!!!!!!

          • GlennC34

            Use a space after commas.  All ending punctuation goes inside the ending
            quotation marks with the exception of the ellipsis which is used
            independently and in addition to other punctuation marks. So you final
            sentence should be:

            Bill Clinton for his first two years said, “We’ll run 200 billion per annum deficits, for as far as the eye can see.” . . .

            How can anyone trust your opinion on anything when you can’t even compose a credible English sentence?

          • Modavations

            I’m talking on the phone and typing.Sorry for the error,but surely you get the jist

          • nj

            So you must have been talking on the phone for every post you’ve ever written here. It must be stressful being so busy all the time.

          • ulTRAX

            People can learn punctuation.

            It’s much harder to reverse a self-sabotaged intellect.

          • nj

            Functional illiteracy is only one of many reasons to treat the credibility of Moda-troll’s posts with as much seriousness as one would regard advertising copy for air freshener.

          • ulTRAX

            Repeating false or irrelevant claims doesn’t make then any more true. Your “200 billion” argument was shot full of holes. Time to deal with reality Spanky. Up to it?Didn’t think so!

        • Modavations

          Are you trying to tell us that dropping the Cap.Gains to 15% ,from 28% ,was not responsible for the bouyant economy.Why one would say your thought process, is “Orwellian”

          • ulTRAX

            Sorry Moda, you’re trying to hijack this thread by repeating lies and distortions that were demolished weeks if not months ago.

          • Steve__T

            Way to go! there is an old saying “It’s better to be thought of as an Idiot than to open your mouth and remove all doubt!” Thanks for opening your mouth there is no doubt…..your an Idiot.

          • ulTRAX

            Gee Moda, are you saying there’d be no dot com stock bubble if there hadn’t been a capital gains cut  in 1997? ROTF

            BTW, Einstein, in 1997 the rate was cut from 28% to 20% NOT 15%. I know it’s too much to ask but GET YOUR GODDAMN FACTS STRAIGHT!

             
            http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/tax-policy/tax-analysis/Documents/ota81.pdf

            Shows that this tax cut was predicted to CUT REVENUE by about 50 BILLION in the first 4 years!!!

            THAT’S WHAT TAX CUTS DO!!!! REDUCE REVENUE!!!!

        • William

          Deficits go away if you don’t spend money you don’t have..so the problem is over spending and the solution is cut spending….

          • ulTRAX

            Thanks for your lesson in Orwellian Math. Reasonable people know there are TWO variables in a budget: spending AND revenue. That this still doesn’t sink in PROVES you are not reasonable. So what’s the point of coming here each day when all you’re doing is confirming your idiocy?  

          • William

            We have listened to the big government big spending crowd for years and they always failed to cut spending..now they want to blame the working people…”you don’t pay enough in taxes…that is the problem”..”if you paid just a little more everything will be ok”…yeah…right….

          • ulTRAX

            No, your view goes beyond Orwellian Math into Psycho-Political Math. No matter how much debt we have, you think the GOP can pass all the irresponsible tax cuts it wants. Then if if this results in deficits, the GOP is eternally blameless. So unless the Dems cave in 100% with spending cuts… then they are entirely to blame. Translated that means the GOP can be as irresponsible as it wants yet it’s never to blame for anything. WOW!

            Are you in fourth grade?

            Are there are non-braindead dittoheads out there? Or is that a contradiction in terms.   

      • ulTRAX

        BTW, thank for proving what I wrote above about the nutcase right:

        The Orwellian Right presents a nonsensical but coherent narrative and…. mindless sycophants on the right have eaten it all up… and we see them here day after day.  They range from the ones that at least make an effort to back up their claims. But there is a greater number who operate on a primitive level of irrationality where they can do nothing more than throw out vaguely plausible, but not verifiable, accusations and defenses. They spout nonsense and yet believe they are making devastating rebuttals… even as they deny hard facts presented to them. This level of irrationality IS a threat to the nation.

    • Bruce

      You’re exactly right…the supply-side, tax-cutting delusion that Reagan and Bush II bought into, we can all agree by now, has been an abject failure insofar as it failed to generate enough economic growth to pay for vital government functions and services without incurring enormous debt, whether the goal was to win the Cold War or to fight the War on Terrorism.  Supply-side tax-cutting mania has always been a smokescreen to “starve the beast” and roll back New Deal reforms, regulations as well as entitlements.  It provided Reagan and the Right the equivalent of a free-lunch–a cost-free, painless path to prosperity that conservatives are still peddling today. 

      Those who rail against corporate cronyism and marginalization of the Rule of Law need to look at the GOP leadership, and ask why align with a Party whose leaders seem to take their No Tax Pledge to Grover Norquist more seriously than their Oath of Office and obligation to serve the public interest (recall debt ceiling debacle).  I wonder what the Framers of the Constitution would say about their blatant obstructionism, malfeasance and dereliction of duty.

      • Modavations

        80% of Wall St.Bank money ,goes to Democrats.Just ask John Corzine.Republicans are small businessmen.We want everyone to get rich so you’ll buy our products.Adam Smith’s invisible hand, will take care of everything else.Your disgust is toward the Crony Capitalists(Solyndra,GE)and to that I agree!!!

        • Bruce

          What disgusts me are those who champion the cause of Wealthcare past or present. Some prominent examples that make your lists pale by comparison:  Phil Gramm (Enron Loophole engineer and Glass-Steagall repeal); Reagan (Savings & Loan collapse); Gingrich (largest capital gains tax cut in U.S. history); Greenspan (Reagan appointee whose fidelity to Adam Smith and low-interest rate policy lead to small businesses being crushed after the housing bubble burst).  

          Come to think of it, small businesses have been victimized by the GOP leadership historically in another way; GOP intransigence on estate tax exemption (all or nothing stance) resulted in many family owned businesses, farms, etc. being sold rather than passed on to the heirs during Bush II’s reign.

          Watch out, there is more to come from this Tea Party-dominated GOP:  making the Bush era tax cuts permanent, eliminating the estate tax, and allowing the wealthy to shift more of their income into capital gains taxed at the lowest rate.  

          This is an agenda tailor made for the 99 percenters to debunk–more trickle-down demagoguery when what actually has been happening is redistribution from the working, middle-classes to the top. 

          • Modavations

            So when Pres.Clinton repealed Glass Steagall,Mr.Graham had a gun to his head.What about Nafta,what about MFN for China.We had Graham Hollings(auto cuts if deficit reductions #’s were not met)twenty(?) years ago

          • ulTRAX

            Just because Clinton subscribed to nutty right wing economic ideas DOESN’T MAKE THE LESS RIGHT WING.

          • Modavations

            The judges say 8,8.5 and 7.6.While your score slipped,your acrobatics remain impressive

          • ulTRAX

            Only in your warped mind does your post mean anything. In the end free trade and deregulation remain RIGHT WING IDEAS.

          • Bruce

            I agree, Clinton deserves some of the blame as well as credit.  His tax and fiscal policies helped to boost employment and enlarge the middle-class to historic high levels.  Income inequality declined during his tenure, and he left a budget surplus to Bush.  And after pivoting to the Right, yes, he did buy into some of the deregulation and globalization mania that defined the conservative, laissez-faire agenda of his day and that still resonates with the Right. Clinton’s mistaken embrace of deregulation (legislation sponsored by Gramm) and free-trade without conditions makes my point. 

          • ulTRAX

            Clinton didn’t pivot to the right. He ran on welfare reform and NAFTA, only one with labor and environmental provisions Bush1 would not include.

        • ulTRAX

          Have any FACTS to back that up? According to

          http://www.acrreform.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/Fact-Sheet-Wall-Street-Money-in-Politics1.pdf

          Since 1990 Wall Street favored the GOP until 2008, and even then they barely favored the GOP… $160 million to $150.

        • ulTRAX

          Gee… no retraction from Moda after his baseless assertion was proved wrong? OF COURSE NOT!!

      • William

        What is wrong with doing away with failed new deal, great society, etc..programs…?..why not starve the beast?..it’s a failure…duty to do what?..spend more money on more failed programs?…before you know it some Senator will push the idea of buying people diapers….

        • ulTRAX

          Baseless assertions from one of those right wingers that doesn’t realize that in intelligent discussions people at least try to prove with credible sources that which they claim.

          • William

            You have a difficult time defending failed programs….Medicare lose what? 60 billion last year to fraud…Medicaid lost what?..twice that?..who knows…for you big government guys..no problem..just raise taxes..more money will fix it….kill off a bad idea?..never…just more money……

          • ulTRAX

            I’m sure this simple logic will elude you but programs than need to be better administrated or some small actuarial adjustment ARE NOT FAILED PROGRAMS. I’m for better administration, going after all waste, fraud, and abuse… putting scammers and Wall Street scum in jail, and making actuarial adjustments to programs like SS.

            You just hope to throw the baby out with the bath water and get rid of these programs.

  • Modavations

    Tommorrow, Virginia goes Red again.

    • ulTRAX

      Off topic.

  • Modavations

    Tommorrow N.Y.will vote to allow Fracking.There is 10 trill.under Penn.and NY.

    • ulTRAX

      Off topic.

  • Modavations

    Speaking of Penn.,Harrisburg(the capital)went bankrupt,Professor Mann got caught sayning “Hide the Decline,and now Gerry Sandusky(also Penn State?)gets busted molesting indigent boys.He should try out for the Priesthood.

  • Modavations

    Grow the economy,taxes are generated and you have money to run govt..This can be done by dropping the Corporate Tax rate to 28%(on par with Eng.).Between Fed and State taxes it’s 40%.Get rid of the EPA,NLRB(Boeing,Boeing),Dept of Education(we are now 27th in the world.This year American kids had their worst scores in all disciplines,ever.)and Dept of Energy(it was formed in the 1970′s to break our dependence on foreign oil.Back then we imported 30%.Today we import 70%).

    • ulTRAX

      More baseless assertions and no hard numbers.

  • Modavations

    Drill baby drill and you can put 50,000 guys to work tommorrow.I’ve seen better looking terrain on Mars then Anwar.

    • ulTRAX

      Off topic.

  • Modavations

    CNBC said we have jobs waiting for 3.5 million high skilled workers.You guys who take Liberal Arts in college are nuts.Go get your money back.Imagine telling a recruiter at Bell Labs that you have degrees in Social Justice and Women’s studies.

  • Modavations

    To my Leftist friends,how is your High Tech lynching of Cain going..Why did the aggrieved(?)Anita Hill follow Justice Thomas to his next gig.If I were an employers I’d be scared to death to employ and woman,or minority.If I were a male Dr.I’d never examine a woman without a witness

  • Modavations

    The “rape crisis” center at the N.York site,was disbanded.They kept getting raped.Sales of Lice ointments are soaring

  • Modavations

    The best thing is the sequester.Just cut 5% across the board(including the Pentagan)for the next five years.If you leave it to the Pols,it will turn into a food fight.No “ ifs ands or buts”,cut 5% across the board ,for 5 years,then will check the pulse.

    • ulTRAX

      Moda spewed eleswhere: “We don’t need no stinking elections.Us Politiboro types know what’s best for the masses.”

      Thanks for proving that you ARE one of the politburo who thinks he knows what’s best for the masses.

      If you have even a smidgen of insight into your own pathology, you’d have caught your contradiction and not made even a bigger fool of yourself.

      • Modavations

        Silly Boy,that was a literary device.I was reciting the voice in your head.I’m libertarian to the bones and will always defend your right to say what you will.Me and Orwell are simpaticos.

  • Modavations

    What happens if Ohio exempts itself from Obamacare,tomorrow.What happens if issue #2 passes?

  • Modavations

    How dare Tom interview Mr.Groom.He wrote Forrest Gump.Forrest Gump was a self made man.He didn’t get welfare,he didn’t need social workers,he didn’t need a “small business administration” loan.The only break he got was when his mum got him into the public school.She did it using that old, Laissez Faire technique,the”Knee Pad”.

  • ItsSimpleReally

    We should cut, and cut like hell,

    I suggest that we start with those people who are on life support machines in hospitals — what a waste of resources, unplug the free-loaders.

    Next cut off all the funding to the severely disabled, the scrounging welfare queens and princes in their obnoxious wheelchairs and ramps and access curbs, what a waste.

    Then cut all the SS to old people, what good are they, retired and just sucking the money that should be going into the pockets of the producers.

    Next we should start making prisoners pay for the expense of their incarceration and if they run up a bill above 10k kill them.  It’s just stupid to keep paying 50k a year to house and feed millions of people that just don’t understand that it is the government that decides what you can put in your body and it says that alcohol, tobacco, caffeine and refined sugar are good drugs and everything else is forbidden no matter the actual facts.

    Then we could get rid of  most the prison guards and the poloticians will have to look elsewhere for funding in CA.

    Then we should take away the vote from anyone who is personally in debt to any creditor for over a year.  Why should they have any say in how our economy is organized when they can’t even take care of themselves.

    • Modavations

      You guys have made a racket out of poverty.Do you realize that if you were to give poor blacks vouchers ,they’d get a real education,make money and become Republicans.The Dem.Party is in the business of keeping poor people,poor

      • Anonymous

        You have made a racket out of making offensive divisive comments.

    • AusterityDebt

      From 1 to 10 on a ‘sarcasm scale’ that’s an 11.  Well done.

  • Modavations

    The head of a large Chinese Sovereign Fund, just said Europes problems stem from their warn out welfare state.The employment laws induce sloth.I’m paraphrasing.Just in.The Dems have dropped the millionaire surcharge from the jobs bill.Ultran,Jeffe and all ,will have to rewrite their”talking points”.

    • Anonymous

      So. The troll has spoken.

  • TrollPsychology101

    Modavations – modus operandi of a psychotic troll:

    He needs an opposition to make himself feel alive.

    He uses disinformation, diversionary tactics to distract an intelligent discussion about an appropriate topic.

    He makes immature, accusatory comments towards anyone who objects to his anti-social behavior and lack of critical reasoning skills.

    He needs to rant and rave until someone mistakenly pays him some attention.

    He will then change monikers and with a thinly veiled, sly attempt try to engage others with his usual manipulative methods.
                             ————————————-
    The only recourse for the sane and mature is to ignore this vindictive, conniving, sniveling, bullying-brat of a person.

    Watch as Modavations, et al., kicks and screams himself to sleep or to drink. (See below or above.)
     

  • TheOtherGuyThatWasThere47

    . . . And the believers are naive, and the scientists are dessicated!
    Oh lordy what is a sapien to do?

    “To do?”?
    You got to move.

    On.

    To your real life.
    It’s waiting for you.

    Just over there, around a corner strange, from what you think you are now.

    I could show you.
    But you’ll have to ask nice.
    And it may not be possible for you; so think before you ask.

    Is my punctuation correct? . . . “Bob”

    • Semicolon

      Thanks, “Bob”.

    • Bobobay3

      Now I would have written that:

      I could show you.
      But you’ll have to ask nice.
      And it may not be possible for you; so think twice,
      before you ask.

      They say that if you were to rip out one of the corner stones
      of the cathedral at Chartre you would find
      an inscription that reads, “Robert Awd — in the year of our lord . . . (bla bla bla).”  However, his real name was Robert Marson. Don’t ask me how I know this.”

  • Modavations

    Speaking of Mr.Fineman,I saw his pal Mr.Whitaker, on CNN yesterday.He said Newsweek spiked the Monica Lewinsky story, because they weren’t 100% sure.His nose grew 5 inches.Newsweek was bought by Tina Brown for $1.00.She got taken!!!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LTAJN7BFS2JZN3O2425TK4T3OU rogier

    With record poverty especially among those 65 years and older, boy the reaction to the outcome of that commission is going to be awesome.

    • Modavations

      When you add in phone stamps,medicaid,cash assistance,Section 8,subsidized phone bills,subsidized cable,subsidized…..I’d hardly call our poor,poor.

      • ulTRAX

        Someone once wrote about right wingers like you who post here:

        “But there is a greater number who operate on a primitive level of irrationality where they can do nothing more than throw out vaguely plausible, but not verifiable, accusations and defenses. They spout nonsense and yet believe they are making devastating rebuttals… even as they deny hard facts presented to them.”

        Got any FACTS Moda? Didn’t think so.

        • Modavations

          Has anyone ever seen Nancy Pelosi and Ultran in the same room?

          • Anonymous

            You just confirmed ulTRAX’ points. You really are not all there in the gray matter are you.

      • Bobobay3

        How do I get subsidized cable?

        • Man27toD9th

          What we really need is subsidized satellite broadband for everyone with each node connected to a 3D litograph that can print in any number of materials and is responsive to voice commands, like a replicator, maybe it could use nanofacturing techniques.  Then anyone could order it to make anything for them and it would figure out how to make it and ship the thing to the address of the request.  So you could say, “House make me a dozen projectiles with a 10mm diameter that weigh 180grains each and are possessed of a surface topography that allowes them to go hypersonic without initiating a sonic-boom.” And a few days later you would have them.  Everybody could have custom  everything that they designed themselves –and whoever has the best stuff, we put them in charge.  IT’S COMING PEOPLE — BELIEVE IT

          I mean really that is what we need, and I am almost certain I would have the coolest stuff in the world.

          • Bobobay3

            Just out of curiosity, what else would you have it make?

          • Bobobay3

            Right now I am in dire need of a number of small heat pipes with a metal foam inside surface that have a provision in the return resevour to recharge the vacuum and introduce liquids and slurrys. It should arrive charged with pure H2O and at least 8% nanodiamonds. I have the specs but you are not a 3d lithograph so you don’t get them. I also would like a hovercraft with a monodrive wheel and water-jet option, one with provisions for ground effects it should contain a vacuum device in the interior of the air cushion so that it can corner great in traffic. I have been told today that cutting lasers are now available for $600, and that ardino kits are available to set up desktop manufacturing with them, how ever I think a central really great 3d litograph could use plasma, or lasers, or milling, or water jets, or extrusion to make all the parts you want, then you could put them together. The thing is the software.

          • AndThen19

            I think that your hovercraft would work better if it had like five ducted vacuum tunnels shaped like Vs pointed in at the air cushion from outside it.  They would need to be attached to hard points on your craft.
            This way when you put your monowheel down to drive on the streets, you could direct vacuum into these ducts and not have to overcome the vacuum’s effect on the air cushion with increased fan speed. I think with the proper computer controls such a craft would be able to take a pretty sever turn flat out.

            They are always making improvements illegal in formula 1 and other types of racing to slow down the speed that a car can take a turn.  Remember the J-Car Jim Hall made in the sixties?  I heard it could stick to a wall.  Same principle as you would be using. It would really be like an inverted water spider, though I don’t expect you see why.

            You could actually use the water jet to power the ground effect flight of the craft, because there is a guy in Japan that developed a jet-pack that is powered by a water-jet and it goes way up in the air, much further than a transition from skimming on an air cushion to flying a meter and a half or so above the surface. I personally would only do that above water or maybe ice on a broad river.  Actually it may be more efficient to use your ducted fans for a ground effect than to drag some kind of hose in the water. Their really noisy, so I can understand why you would want a water-jet option to use when you hover. It wouldn’t need to be strong at all because you wouldn’t be pushing anything through the water. That’s brilliant, it must be an invention already.

        • Modavations

          Ask Commizar Ultran

        • ChrisCDonCdon2

          I am equally curious as to were I can buy phone stamps and what you do with them?  Do you  lick them and put them on your phone?

      • Anonymous

        The troll has spoken.

  • Not an Alex Jones fan

    The ‘Super Committee’ is a just a lame front for the big banks and the fortune 500 companies that actually write federal legislation and control the District of Coilumbia.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qdh39mbC7nA&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PLCF76CB88072A2857

  • Sean, Chicago

    The Super Committee consists of 12 members with well established track records of relatively uncompromising partisan politics. Each member was chosen specifically as someone who wouldn’t back down easily for each party. I believe it was built to fail because the consideration of cooperative success was never tabled.

    • Modavations

      What is so wrong with the sequestrer.We had Graham Hollings 30 years ago and it scared the Solons to death

      • Sean, Chicago

        I believe those also didn’t work as intended, in the end they did not prevent large deficits. The Budget Enforcement Act of 1990 supplanted the fixed deficit targets.

        • ulTRAX

          The lowest on-budget deficit Reagan had after the passage of that act was $192 billion in FY88.

          • Modavations

            Debt doesn’t matter when you increase GDP.It’s the debt to GDP ratio that counts.When Reagan left it was 3% and that was “spot on”.Today it’s over 6% and that’s a disaster.

          • PutUpOrShutUp

            3%? no, it was 51%. see ultrax’s post above.

      • ulTRAX

        More of Moda’s Orwellian contradictions.

        On one hand he claims Reagan doubled revenues. He was lying but that never stopped Moda. In constant dollars revenues only increased a pathetic 13.5%. Yet Moda also brings up the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985

        Gee, if there was so much revenue from the result of the Reagan tax cuts, why was there an emergency deficit control act???   

        • William

          Too much overspending…

          • ulTRAX

            Isn’t it time for your lobotomy Willie? Maybe THEN you’ll realize that if tax cuts are so irreponsible that revenue in constant dollars only rises 13.5% in EIGHT YEARS, then deficits probably are the results of LESS REVENUE.

          • William

            You know when you are winning when the opposing side resorts to insults…

            “allo a strange idea for those people that actually produce, work…the problem has always been greedy people in DC over spending money that does not belong to them…you can raise taxes to 100 percent and it still won’t fix the problem…massive spending cuts would fix the problem…

          • ulTRAX

            Nice try. You know you’re losing when you can’t back up a single claim you make. No, I guess people like you who come here every day making baseless assertions probably DON’T know they’re losing because that requires some initial respect for facts over spin.  

          • Modavations

            I don’t mind you being foul to me,but you bully strangers that don’t tow the Marxist Line.I think if we delved into yout past, we’d find “heavy duty”trauma.Do you beat your wife.Do you bully your kids.

          • ulTRAX

            Blaming spending is your sly way of getting Reagan off the hook. Reagan NEVER submitted a balanced budget.

            As president, why should he not be BLAMED for not paying for that $1.8 TRILLION or so he spent and lacked the courage to pay for?   

          • Modavations

            GDP to debt ratio was 3% and that Rep.Frank ,is “picture perfect”.The debt doesn’t mean jack.It’s the 3% GDP to debt ratio that counts.You won’t find this in your Little Red Book

          • ulTRAX

            Which is it Einstein? First you talked of Reagan’s DEFICIT to GDP ratio… and you got all that wrong. Now it’s DEBT to GDP? Do you even know the difference?

            Moda, you continue to prove to be a complete idiot. I’m going to assume this source is provding accurate numbers. Only an Orwellian Right wing liar such as yourself would claim Reagan’s debt to GDP was 3%. Have you cites ANY correct stats?

            The debt to GDP ratio ROSE with Reagan, Bush1 and Bush2, and the percentage DROPPED under CARTER and CLINTON. More proof that the GOP is fiscally responsible… aye Einstein!!! 

            1977 2030.1 34.80%
            1978 2293.8 33.86 %

            1979 2562.2 32.37 %
            1980 2788.1 32.60 %
            1981 3126.8 31.82 % REAGAN’S FIRST YEAR
            1982 3253.2 34.96 %
            1983 3534.6 38.81 %
            1984 3930.9 39.80 %
            1985 4217.5 43.09 %

            1986 4460.1 47.54 %
            1987 4736.4 49.53 %

            1988 5100.4 51.00% REAGAN’S LAST YEAR

            1989 5482.1 52.31%
            http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/spending_chart_1976_1990USp_13s1li011mcn_H0f_US_Federal_Debt

          • Roy Mac

            You’re really Brandstadt, aren’t you?  Never on topic, always with a stupid point–how do you feel about Paul or Somalia?

        • Modavations

          No matter how much revenue comes over thde transom,the solons will spent it and spend some more.Revenue was never the problem,it’s the spending.

          • ulTRAX

            Thanks for a perfect example of spoiled brat rightist thinking. No matter what the debt, the GOP can pass all the irresponsible tax cuts it wants… and if it results in a deficit, the GOP remains eternally blameless… and all the blame goes to those who refuse to cut spending. Actually only those who resist cuts to Democratic programs. The Right certainly has no desire to cut its own spending.  
            Like I asked William…. Moda, are you in 4th grade?

          • ulTRAX

            And the Reagan tax cuts did NOT reduce revenue? ROTF In constant dollars revenues did not reach 1981 levels again until 1986! So at what point will even a right wing looney like you realize tax cuts can go too far?

            Like all spoiled brat rightists, you believe the GOP can pass all the irresponsible tax cuts it wants, and if there’s a deficit… you can just blame someone else for daring to spend.

            The GOP’s balanced budget amendment sets in cement this tax cut psychosis. The GOP can with a simple majority pass any irresponsible tax cut it wants, then demand spending cuts to comply. To repair the damage a 2/3 vote is needed.

  • Dave in CT

    Sounds like efficient, limited-government supporters, including anti-military-industrial-complex and imperial adventurism, should be rooting for the deadline failure and the across the board cuts.

    Of course they would never let it happen as advertised….

  • Rob (in NY)

    I have a few questions for the liberals who dominate this discussion board.   As I noted earlier today, I acknowledge the reality that any compromise needs be address BOTH tax revenues and federal government spending to get them both to the historic trendline of +-18% to 20% of GDP that prevailed during most of the post WWII period. Responsible Democrats (including liberals such as Dick Durbin, although many of you probably do not consider Durbin a liberal) have made similar statements in the past as have an increasing number of Republicans in recent weeks.

    1) Current federal spending is +-25% of GDP (and projected to continue to growing fast if nothing is done to reform entitlement programs).  Do you honestly believe this 25% is sustainable and is there is any economic limit to the size of government (relative to GDP)?   Or is government like this lousy movie “Limitless” my family took me to see some time ago?   

    2) What  are your parameters for a compromise regarding the reform of the major 3 entitlement programs (SS, Medicare, and Meidcaid), which now along with interest (even at these low rates), which comprise  over 60% of federal government spending and growing fast?    Are there any changes to these programs for future beneficiaries you are willing to consider to make these programs financially solvent?   

    Please do respond with the standard left wing talking points about raising taxes, cutting defense spending, etc…….  I have already acknolwedged the reality for some  kind of tax reform that gets tax revenues back closer to the historical trendline of 18-20% of GDP and we are kidding ourselves  

    • Rob (in NY)

      ….and are kidding ourselves if either side believes it will have the political ability to impose a hard right or hard left solution.  

    • TellUsRob

      Unlike your intention, your attribution is not considered a derogatory label around here. 

      Liberal:
       Noun -
      1) a person who favors a political philosophy of progress and reform and the protection of civil liberties;
      2) a person who favors an economic theory of laissez-faire and self-regulating markets;
       Adjective -
      1) showing or characterized by broad-mindedness;
      2) having political or social views favoring reform and progress; 3) tolerant of change; not bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or tradition; The majority here are a critical thinking lot who don’t take kindly to
      illogical, non-reasoning, buffoons who propose hypothetical questions within limited solutions, for instance:

      What is your solution to get
      to the second floor without using a ladder, stairs or elevator?
      Tell us Rob (in NY):What are your economic recommendations on the edge of the precipice of a Depression?  

      Tell me how you think spending reform is going to create jobs?

      Tell me how you think cutting entitlements – an ethically moral social contract between a government and its people they serve – during the greatest economic contraction America has ever seen a good idea?

       

    • Anonymous

      Typical right wing talking points of using words such as “entitlements” and cutting SS as the cure all.
      I mean you have to be kidding. You come on a forum and cry victim, something I see a lot of right wingers do these days, and then start in with all the republican talking points and then ask people who do not believe nor support this agenda to agree with you.

      Social Security is solvent up to about 2030 or 35. Do you understand that fact?

      The real issue moving forward if you want to get into government spending if the reality that almost 50% is going towards the military.

      The other thing is the cost of health care. Something the Republicans are not willing to deal with at all. They only go on about letting the market take care of this. Well we have a market based system now which is failing as the costs rise. Tort reform is not going to do much, which is the only other GOP talking point on health care.

      • Rob (in NY)

        Jeffe.  You used the word victim (not me).  I am simply trying to have a conversation with those who I know disagree with me  by asking a question on whether they believe there should be an economic ceiling on the level of government relative to GDP.  
         
        I also agree that defense needs to be on the table, but the defense budget is 50% of discretionary spending (not of the entire federal budget as you claim).  If the entire, defense budget was $0 the US would have still run a deficit last year.   While social security is on better financial footing than the healthcare programs (Medicare and Medicaid), the program already started paying out more than it took in taxes during 2010.   The 2030 date has already been adjusted downward by some actuaries and assumes the Treasuries held by the SS trust fund can be used to pay benefits.    The economic reality is that these treasuries are obligations of future tax payers  and still need to be funded by taxes (payroll or otherwise).  I would hardly describe the Simpson/Bowles recommendations on Social Security, which I endorse, as draconian.    With regard to healthcare, neither party has proposed anything meaningul  to get  spending under control in my opinion.   Americans want conflicting and noncompatible things with regard to healthcare. 

        Once again, is there a ceiling that you woold support on government spending relative to the size of our economy (GDP) during a normal (non recessionary cycle)?   

    • nj

      By “entitlements,” Rob really means “health and economic security programs. I’m sure he doesn’t mean to imply that Social Security amounts to people getting something for nothing. Right, Rob?

      So here’s a reform outline:

      Eliminate the SS doughnut hole: Exempt first $xx,000 (~20) from SS taxes, eliminate any upper income limit for SS payroll tax. For SS and Medicare, implement a scaled, progressive rate of deduction (lower percentage is taken out of income for lower income levels, higher rate for higher income levels).

      Implement a scaled means test for benefits; full benefits up to a certain net worth, some scaled proportion for those well-off enough not to need full benefits.

      Means test for Medicare premiums. Subject all passive income (capital gains, dividends, etc.) beyond some threshold level to SS and Medicare taxes,

      Reform Medicare and healthcare reimbursement systems. Better yet, Medicare for all (single payer, universal coverage) thus eliminating huge amounts of money wasted on private insurance and administration costs.

      • Rob (in NY)

        Correct.  I am not implying people did not pay into these programs, although many recipients  will receive benefits far greater than the present value of what they paid, especially with regard to Medicare. While I disagree with some of your reforms (and agree with others, particuarly means testing  and reforming reimbursement payouts), I do appreciate the substantive response without the petty name calling that seems to present on this and other forums.     

        • Modavations

          The first s.security recipient paid in 5,000 and recieved 20,000.Not an auspicious start

          • ulTRAX

            Have a credible source?

            If not then shut up.

    • Berard Linda

      Super Committee
       
      Why is it assumed that cuts need to be made to entitlements (ie. Medicare and SS)?  Why isn’t shoring up entitlements the top priority?
       
      By 2007, the OTC derivatives market had grown to $595 TRILLION.
      Even a small 2% tax on these transactions would eliminate the national debt in short order. And going forward we could designate the derivative tax to fund social security and Medicare.

      • William

        Why keep rewarding failure with more money? Medicare gives away 60 billion dollars a year in fraud and the people running the system just consider it “the cost of doing business”…

        • Roy Mac

          60 billion.  You have a citation for that?  Or are you just another teabagger troll with a license to lie?

          • William

            The tv show “60 Minutes” …you should read something besides the moveon.org site.

          • ulTRAX

            It’s closer to 70 billion for FY10, but heaven forbid Willie actually try to prove something. Willie doesn’t know what a credible source is or how to post a URL. Actually the 70 billion is NOT all fraud… it covers all improper payments… waste, fraud and abuse. The new health care law has enacted more ways to cut down on such payments.

            http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d11409t.pdf

          • Modavations

            The head Medicare Honcho was on C-Span.He said they’d actually cut 50billion in checks, to pay fraudulent claims.He said the fraud rate could be 90billion per annum.Newt said it could be 120billion.This is duplicated on every one of the 5 zillion govt. agencies.

          • ulTRAX

            Your claims don’t mean squat because you project your own meaning into everything and lack enough mental clarity to distinguish between fraud and improper payments.

            When you learn how to research credible sources, what a URL is, and how to cut & paste one to this board, I’ll look at what you claim. But I won’t hold my breath that you’ll ever overcome your self-sabotaged intellect.

          • ulTRAX

            Your claims don’t mean squat because you project your own meaning into everything and lack enough mental clarity to distinguish between fraud and improper payments.

            When you learn how to research credible sources, what a URL is, and how to cut & paste one to this board, I’ll look at what you claim. But I won’t hold my breath that you’ll ever overcome your self-sabotaged intellect.

    • Bruce

      Historically speaking, among the most advanced countries comprising the OECD, the U.S. ranks near the bottom (lowest) in terms of total public spending and tax burden as a percent of GDP.  Yet, in the last decade for which there are stats, the U.S. debt-to-GDP ratio is worse than 20 of the 30 countries tracked by the OECD. 

      If we have been taxing and spending significantly less than our competitors, and most of them have a more favorable debt-to-GDP ratio than we do, we might draw a different conclusion from yours:  as a nation we could have been (and should be)supporting a much higher level of social investment than we actually have.  And that investment is absolutely necessary to preserving our social contract and remaining competitive in a global economy.

      We chose not tax and spend at levels comparable to the majority of OECD countries because of a failure of imagination and political will as well as an ideology that promotes wealth concentration, elitism and the “virtue of selfishness” (for all you Randian supporters of Paul Ryan’s Roadmap to America’s Ruin). 

    • ulTRAX

      One can’t assume spending to GDP while the economy is still weak will project into the future any more than assuming revenues which are at about 14-15% GDP will always be that low… even under current tax law.

      • StatsCanLieToo

        Thanks for pointing out the GDP statistical economic conundrum

    • Anonymous

      Call the military an entitlement program and you may have something. Cut that.

  • ulTRAX

    TIME FOR AN ANTI-NORQUIST PLEDGE!!!

    It’s time for the Democrats to use the Norquist antitax pledge against the GOP demanding they sign a counter pledge similar to the below:

    I, (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office of which I seek. While in office my primary obligation is to those I represent and to the People of the United States.I furthermore affirm that I will not let other commitments, oaths, or pledges made to others restrict my ability to arrive at the best policy actions or come before my sworn obligations stated above.  Signed___________________

    • Rob (in NY)

      All of these pledges to any special intrest groups are complete BS.    If I were a Republican House or Senate member, I would glady sign that pledge.  I would also ask that the Democrats sign the same pledge and would simply revise you introduction to say “Time for an anti-Norquist, Ant-AARP pledge,”  or better yet refuse to sign any pledge to any interest group,  other than to faifthfully uphold the obligations of my office.    because none of us are capable of predicting the future with 100% accuracy.     Of course, you and I would probably disagree about the “best policy actions”.  

      • ulTRAX

        It’s to late NOT to pledge to Norquist since the vast majority of the GOP already has.

    • Modavations

      Here’s another pledge.I promise to afford the poor of the United States ,the right to a school voucher.Education is the key to economic well being.40% of the Solons send their kids to Private Schools.Only 10% of the public, avails themselves

  • Modavations

    JFK,the first of the great tax cutters,taught Reganomics to Regan

    • ulTRAX

      Here we go again… more of Moda’s psycho rewrites of history.

      If JFK, (actually LBJ) wanted the top income tax rate to drop to 50% or 28% THEY WOULD NOT HAVE WRITTEN THE BILL STOPPING AT 70%.

      But if you’re so in favor of the JFK tax rate…. then LET’S BRING IT BACK!!!!
       

      • Modavations

        Why do you think JFK dropped the tax rates.Was he trying to generate more revenue?What did he mean when he said, “a rising sea lifts all boats”?

        • ulTRAX

          Who CARES what JFK said. The basic fact remains that if you LOVE the so-called JFK tax rates… then DEMAND THE GOP BRING THEM BACK!!! 

        • ulTRAX

          You just LOVE that phrase… but JFK’s ”rising tide” phrase was use in support of GOVERNMENT INFRASTRUCTURE SPENDING.

          Everything’s been documented above. 

    • Fredlinskip

      Are referring to Donald Regan or you honestly don’t know how to spell or simply are direspectful of GOP God.

  • Modavations

    During the Regan enlightenmen, 20 million jobs were created,tax receipts went from 517 Billion to 1.03 trillion,the deficit fell from 6% to 2.9%of GDP and Hand Wringing decreased by a shocking 55%.

    • ElfmanNW

       Nice fairy tale.  Here is the real history of the Republican tax cuts (1980 and beyond) on the debt

      • ElfmanNW

         Or from another source

    • ulTRAX

      More of Moda’s invented Orwellian psycho history.

      $517.112 billion is CARTER’S LAST YEAR (FY80). $1,031.958 billion IS BUSH’S SECOND YEAR (FY90).  Reagan was NOT in office for 11 years. 

      Reagan revenues in current dollars were FY81 $599.272 billion and in FY88 $909.238 billion.

      Source: Table 1.1—SUMMARY OF RECEIPTS, OUTLAYS, AND SURPLUSES OR DEFICITS, THE BUDGET FOR FISCAL YEAR 2012, HISTORICAL TABLESTHE BUDGET FOR FISCAL YEAR 2012, HISTORICAL TABLES
      Table 1.1—SUMMARY OF RECEIPTS, OUTLAYS, AND SURPLUSES OR DEFICITS, THE BUDGET FOR FISCAL YEAR 2012, HISTORICAL TABLES
      THE BUDGET FOR FISCAL YEAR 2012, HISTORICAL TABLES

      As I’ve repeatedly said the Orwellian Right REFUSES to be honest about the Reagan years because it will drive a stake into their lies about the effects of the irresponsble Reagan tax cuts.  

      • ulTRAX

        Moda was ALREADY CORRECTED USING BLS NUMBERS that there were about 16.1 million new jobs between Jan 81 and Dec 88… NOT 20 MILLION.

        MODA IS AGAIN LYING.

        • Anonymous

          I call it incitement, just wants to piss people off, and keep us off subject to ruin at good conversation that could educate some others.

      • ulTRAX

        Moda is again being dishonest. The deficit was only 6% of GDP in FY83 UNDER REAGAN. Carter left office with it at 2.7%. When Reagan left it was about 3.1%.

      • Modavations

        JFK,the first of the great tax cutters taught “Trickle Down” to Regan.He said,Dutch,a rising sea lifts all boats.Jimmy Carter,Jimmy Carter,are you serious.Two hr.gas lines,inflation and interest rates crossing 18%.

        • ulTRAX

          JKK’s ”rising tide” phrase was use in support of GOVERNMENT INFRASTRUCTURE SPENDING.

        • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

          The gas lines had nothing to do with Carter. There was a huge disruption in world oil supply after the Iranian revolution in 1979. The gas lines would have happened regardless who was president.  JFK was no Supply Sider. That “rising tide” JFK spoke of was in defense of FEDERAL SPENDING… investments in the physical infrastructure of the nation. It’s the Orwellian Right that has bastardized it to mean tax cuts for the rich will trickle down.

    • Berard Linda

      Because Reagan was smart enough to raise taxes as needed!

      • Modavations

        Regan lived in the real world.He and Clinton were pragmatists.For every dollar in tax increase,Regan was promised two dollars in cuts.

        • Anonymous

          “Regan lived in the real world” And you live in Uranus.

        • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

          Moda seems to be conflating the 1981 ERTA, a tax cut, and the 1982 TEFRA, a tax hike. If there had been a formal quid quo pro, spending cuts would have been included in TEFRA. There may have been talk of spending cuts for the tax hike but Congerss refused to go along. Weeks after TEFRA a spending bill was passed. Reagan vetoed it, and his veto was overridden.

      • ulTRAX

        Reagan didn’t raise taxes as needed. He passed a terribly irresponsible tax cut in 1981 and had to pass large tax hikes in 82 and 83 to offset some of the red ink and to help fund SS.  

        Reagan shifted the tax burden away from the rich… lowering the top rate of 70% to 28%. In the end he ran up close to $2 TRILLION in debt.

        • Modavations

          Mr Frank.When you increase GDP,you adjust debt ratios.Reagan left with with debt to GDP at 3% which is “friggin picture perfect”>Please tell me why you think JFK dropped the tax rates?.What was his angle?.

          • ulTRAX

            Moda, you’re absolutely clueless. You first talked about DEFICIT to GDP ratios now you saying you meant DEBT to GDP.

            Clearly you don’t know the difference and are too abysmally stupid to even realize you don’t know what you don’t know.

    • Fredlinskip

      Couple of factual misnomers there Moda
       Believe Regan was secretary of Treasury-
      Believe 22 million jobs were created under Clinton.
      Reagan- 16 mil.
      National debt tripled under Reagan.

      Unfortunately “all taxes are bad”, is such an easy mindless message that wins over hearts of uniformed Americans, that every GOP administration ran up humungous debt- which with interest eventually needs to be paid.

      • Modavations

        Debt to GDP under Reagan(sorry ’bout that kids.I’ve self flaggelated 5 lashes)was 3%ish which is picture perfect.I stick with 20 million jobs created,but if it was 16million,that’s still stupendous).Me thinks you guys live to “nit pik”

        • ulTRAX

          Moda has a pathological aversion to reality. No, 16 million jobs is NOT a good record. Reagan predicted 13 million by 1986 and only got about 8.5 million…. 1.5 MILLION LESS THAN HE SAID WOULD BE CREATED UNDER CARTER’S POLICIES.

          REAGAN FAILED BY HIS OWN MEASURE!!! These irresponsible GOP tax cuts do NOT perform economic miracles. They have to be concocted by spinning statistics or with outright lies as Moda does… claiming revenue from Carter and Bush2 years… and pretending it’s from the Reagan years… or claiming 20 million jobs when there were only 16 million.   

          • Modavations

            What was the rational behind JFK’s tax cut.What did he mean by” a rising sea lifts all boats”.When Reagan died,you’d think the king of the cosmos ,had passed.How pathetic to claim J.Carter as your hero.Inflation and interest rates crossing 18%.Two hour gas lines.

          • ulTRAX

            More ModaEvasions. THE TOPIC WAS YOUR CLAIMS ABOUT REAGAN’S JOBS NUMBERS. Your claims about deficit to GDP were also FALSE.

            But I don’t expect you to do anything but keep citing lies.

          • ulTRAX

            Since you love to spam this board making the same point over and over, here’s what I’ve found:

            It has NOTHING to do with cutting taxes. It’s all about federal investements in infrastructure spending to IMPROVE THE LIVES OF AMERICANS. JFK is railing AGAINST those who oppose such projects.
            Remarks in Heber Springs, Arkansas, at the Dedication of Greers Ferry Dam. October 3, 1963
            “These projects produce wealth, they bring industry, they bring jobs, and the wealth they bring brings wealth to other sections of the United States. This State had about 200,000 cars in 1929. It has a million cars now. They weren’t built in this State. They were built in Detroit. As this State’s income rises, so does the income of Michigan. As the income of Michigan rises, so does the income of the United States. A rising tide lifts all the boats and as Arkansas becomes more prosperous so does the United States and as this section declines so does the United States. So I regard this as an investment by the people of the United States in the United States. ”

            The Orwellian Right has bastardized JFK’s comments to push for tax cuts on the rich.

            http://hnn.us/articles/73227.html

        • Fredlinskip

             Ronnie Reagan (notice I am capable of spelling his last name) was able to push through congress economic policy that involved lowering taxes and greatest peacetime military spending in American history- all the while cllaiming national debt would decrease and economy would improve.
              His budget diretor David Stockman informed him he was dreaming.
          National debt rose 300% under Reagan. GNP rose at a mediocre rate of 2.6% (grew at 3% under Carter for example).
             In Nov 1985, in a closed meetng with Board onf NY stock exchange, Stockman stated, “We are wantonly violating cardinal rule of sound public finance: gov must extract from people in taxes what they dispense in benefits, services and protections…
          If Securities and Exchange Commision had jurisdiction over executive and legislative branches, many of us would be in jaill.”
          Reagan plan originally proposed that 1983 deficit would be zero, but it was actually on it’s way to 6.3% of GDP- a peacetime record that still stands.

          Greenspan finally admitted in Senate hearing after financial meltdown that allowing corporations to regulate themselves was wrong (little late there Al- don’t you think?)

          The economy can’t improve with policies that consoidate wealth at the top.
          How stupid is stupid.

        • ulTRAX

          Again Moda thinks numbers out of context prove something….  YA 16 million jobs is stupendous… but once in context. Reagan first predicted 13 million jobs in five years… or 2.6 million a year. So that would be 20.8 milion over 8 years. He fell close to 5 million short.

          THAT you consider a roaring success, right!

        • Anonymous

          Not if you were one of the 4mill that didn’t get one.

      • ulTRAX

        The population was larger under Clinton so it’s not a fair comparison. If one looks at the growth rate in jobs, it was a tiny bit higher… about 4/10 of 1 percent under Reagan than Clinton. But then Reagan bought a lot of economic activity with his nearly $2 trillion credit card. Curiously the unemployment rate under Reagan never fell below 5.2% yet it was down to 3.8% under Clinton.

  • notme2017

    Rob,
      This is the problem. You cannot call Social Security and MediCare just entitlements. Americans and employers paid into these programs all their working lives. The GOP refuses to raise taxes. But most Americans would pay more Social Security and MediCare taxes to save these programs. The elected Reps and Senators are very out of touch, in regards of how Americans feel about Social Security amd MediCare. People like you do not realize that most Americans know and fully understand where all the tax monies have gone in the last 10 years. If there are drastic cuts to Social Security ands MediCare, you will see the American people get very angry and throw the cutters out of office. AND if that doesn’t work, CIVIL WAR IS NEXT!

    • Zing

      Sorry, bunkie.  If you’re born tomorrow you won’t live long enough to see civil war.  You might see the bloody suppression of a civil uprising, but war?…nope.

      • Dudette23

        You have as much zing as a hippo in a body cast.

    • Fredlinskip

         Unfortunately, I don’t believe ” most Americans know and fully understand where all tax monies have gone”. 50% of Americans seem to believe opposite things. IMO corporate influenced media has much to do with this

      “American Spring” is still a ways off.

      • notme2017

        Like 2 wars run on supplemental spending resolutions, 2 tax cuts with no linked spending cuts, MediCare Part D with no increase in MediCare deductions…..You think everyone doesn’t realize the billions that we sent to Iraq and Afghanistan…..Thousands of college students with no jobs and huge college loans…..You think we are that far off….The next Prseident, whoever that may be,,,,will get 1 term, just like President Obama. The middle class is very angry and they all have guns!!!!!!

        • Fredlinskip

          GOP does not believe you have to pay for anything- Just cut taxes and $ will magically appear.
          Except for perhaps Ron Paul, in GOP debates I certainly haven’t heard much complaints about tax cuts, or Medicare part D, or  about Iraq and Afghanistan.
          Obama may  be 1 term- for all the wrong reasons. No Prez could have lifted this country out of the hole W dug for us in a few years, much less when having one arm tied behind his back by GOP the whole time.
          GOP wins election, times for America will spiral downward- that I don’t doubt.

          • ulTRAX

            The GOP… well not the old time conservatives, but the new Tax Cut Cult, has been engaged in Orwellian Math now for over 30 years. No matter how much revenue irresponsible tax cuts lose, they pretend there’s a revenue boom… and all the problems are caused by too much spending. Did they care about Bush’s spending? Of course not. They only want to go after Democratic programs which is more proof it’s all part of a larger political strategy to undermine the New Deal and Great Society safety nets under the pretense of a fiscal crisis THEY spent 30 years trying to create.  But then that’s the Right’s MO. They create problems like undermine the working class with free trade and going after unions, then use it as a wedge issue to go after public employee. They try to undermine public schools by diverting money to private schools,  then use that as a pretense to further go after public schools.    

          • Modavations

            Cut the budget across the board.Sequester the budget

          • Gregg

            It’s not rocket science.

          • Modavations

            Gen G,leader of the Liberated middle states.I’m off to the gym,handle these guys,please

          • ulTRAX

            Yes a BALANCED approach of spending cuts and revenue hikes is NOT rocket science. It worked for Clinton… but you need to discredit his approach so you can falsely give credit for the Clinton Surplus to Newt. Still waiting for your hard numbers that prove Newt was crucial as opposed to being a minor player. Not that it matters my hard CBO numbers already proved your claims about Newt to be laughable.

          • Gregg

             “Still waiting for your hard numbers that prove Newt was crucial as opposed to being a minor player.”

            You sure make a lot of demands here on you blog. There is no such thing as a Speaker of the House who is a minor player in budgets. Get real. 

          • PutUpOrShutUp

            So you have no numbers Greg yet you want us to believe your claim is true? Put up or shut up!

          • ulTRAX

            TRANSLATION, you know you can’t prove your claim that Newt overcame an 800 billion deficit in 4 years, and you lack the integrity to retract the claim… so you just reassert it.  Are there ANY right wingers with intellectual integrity out there? Didn’t think so.

        • Gregg

          The wars cost less than the failed “stimulus”, Medicare part D is the only bill in history to come in under budget (40%) and it’s a stupid decision to go deep in debt for a degree in “Classical Studies”. It’s all a whole lotta’ hooey in terms of productive belly-aching.

          Obama’s the President now. Look forward.

          • Fredlinskip

            Obama’s the prez now so there’s no reason to understand how the economy got broken….
             we might learn something. Can’t be having none of that.

          • ulTRAX

            More assertions without citing credible sources?

          • Gregg

            Do you want a link proving the sky is blue? Get informed. 

          • PutUpOr ShutUp

            you made the claim Greg

            as the old saying goes, put up or shut up.

          • ulTRAX

            Central to Gregg’s pathology is his inability to admit he’s wrong. His initial arguments will usually include some stats or source he thinks backs him up. But once he starts to get bruised, he never backs down, he get’s evasive thinking smart ass remarks get him off the hook. In this way he preserves his own deluded sense of infallibility even if others are rolling their eyes laughing at what an arse he’s made of himself.   

          • Greggless

            Gregg -

            Shame on your twisted logic and reasoning.

            That’s your biggest lie and greatest mistake, yet. 

            How many lives did the stimulus package cost?

            What price are you putting on life of one our brave soldiers or any of the innocent civilians killed in those wars?

            Their families want to know, now.

            Shame on you.

          • TruthSquad

            how did the stimulus fail?

  • HowWeGotHere

    How did the credit crisis of 2008 turn into the debt crisis of 2011?

    Everyone repeat after me… Banksters, GSEs and Government Henchmen.

  • Linda Berard

    Super Committee
     
    Why is it assumed that cuts need to be made to entitlements (ie. Medicare and SS)?  Why isn’t shoring up entitlements the top priority?
     
    By 2007, the OTC derivatives market had grown to $595 TRILLION.
    Even a small 2% tax on these transactions would eliminate the national debt in short order. And going forward we could designate the derivative tax to fund social security and Medicare.

    • Modavations

      The 2.5 trillion social security surplus has been appropriated.They’ve been replaced with unmarketable IOU’s.One govt.agency,writing script to another.When you open the lock box,moths fly out.The genius’ running the show ,claimed S.S. would turn negative in 5 years.It happened last year.
           If you tax derivitives ,they’ll just move the market to London.We need the sequester.Cut 5% across the board ,for 5 years.No picking and choosing,no if’s and butts.

      • ulTRAX

        If you don’t trust intragovernmental debt, THEN WHY DO YOU SUPPORT IRRESPONSIBLE RIGHT WING POLICIES THAT SABOTAGE DEBT PAYDOWN??

      • ulTRAX

        Fine, let this market move… in fact GET THE DAMN DERIVATIVES MARKET OUT OF THE US. We can ban US banks from buying into these shady financial instruments and if other nations want to place their financial system at risk… then that’s their problem. As for a financial transaction tax… YES!!! There was already too much speculation on equities and not enough investing. And now with high speed trading, we’re replacing human judgment in the market with computer algorithms. It’s becoming an electronic skimming operation… making money from the electronic churn of money. A transaction tax would take the profit out of such practices.

    • Anonymous

      For the last time SS is not an entitlement! I have paid all my dam life into it. How the hell is that entitlement? unless it’s considered as such that I paid and I’m entitled to receive the benefits I paid into it? It’s not a Fn hand out!

      • AllForIt

        Social Security is an entitlement.  You are entitled to it. 

        An entitlement is a contract between you and the government that serves you.

        And you should get ‘health care’ too.

        Don’t believe the bellicose hype. 

  • Modavations

    This guy keeps coming on T.V.warning that they’re going to shut down the T.V.’s,radios(internet?)for an extended time.I’ll bet when the stations reappear,we’ll see the face of Orwell’s, Big Brother.Has anyone else seen the PSA’s?

    • ulTRAX

      Please stop spamming the board with off topic posts!

      • Modavations

        Who is he Barney?.Are they going to shut down the internet?

  • Modavations

    Sequester the budget and cut across the board.No ifs ,ands, or buts.Since 2007, American Households have reduced their debt by 550bill,while govt.increased theirs by 4 trillion.Who the hell is this guy I keep  seeing, that’s warning us not to panic, when they shut down the T.V.s.Does this apply to the Internet?.I smell the Leftist Putsch.

    • ulTRAX

      Your paranoia will decrease once you’re back on your meds. Unfortunately I don’t believe there’s a pill yet to cure a self-sabotaged intellect.

  • Patrick

    Am I the only one that sees this as the republican party refusing to reach an agreement to prevent Obama from having an agreement that would benefit the country on his watch… party over country???

    • Gregg

      Yea, you’re the only one.

    • TFRX

      No, you’re not. All the false equivalency and economic innumeracy crammed down our throats by the mainstream press can’t prevent people from catching on.

      —Which of the following statements comes closest to your point of
      view? Statement A: (President Obama is making a good faith effort to
      deal with the country’s economic problems, but the Republicans in
      Congress are playing politics by blocking his proposals and programs.)
      Or Statement B: (President Obama has not provided leadership on the
      economy, and he is just blaming the Republicans in Congress as an
      excuse for not doing his job.)”
      Obama making a good effort: 50%

      Obama has not provided leadership: 44%

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/polls/postabcpoll_110311.html

  • Linda Maloney

    Finally! I’ve been shaking every tree trying to find someone who will recognize that raising the Medicare eligibility age will cost employers and employees big bucks as insurance companies raise their rates. The analysis of the double-bind of taking the youngest people out of one group and making them the oldest people in another was brilliant! I did get a good response from Peter Welch on this, but it needs to be headlined: somebody tell the Republicans (if they haven’t figured it out) that their treasured “job creators” will be hit hard by this. And not privately, either. Make them own up to it in public!

    • TFRX

      Yes, yes, a hundred times yes.

      The youngest people in Medicare are the healthiest. What person running an insurance pool wants to get rid of their healthiest members?

      And to boot, that means a crapshoot for those folks for the (say) two years before they reach that starting line. Who knows how much worse any chronic, undertreated conditions they have will get.

      This is just the wrong way of doing things. Where are all those “run it like a bidness” right-wingers in Washington and on my teevee about this?

      • Anonymous

        The closer I get the father they move the goal post. I posted back a few months ago I’ll be 70 before I retire.
        Just 30 years ago it was 55 then 60 and it kept moving, now I’ll probably die before I get any thing back. And that just fine with them.

  • CharadeAGoGo

    Bogus Super Committee.

    The biggest financial collapse in America’s history and no one is prosecuted or goes to jail.

    Guess it’s a great time to be a GSE criminal, white-color regulator crook, government henchman, or bankster in the top 0.5% income bracket when you are part of the largest fraud and corruption scheme ever perpetuated on our Republic – everyone wins and nobody pays – except the 99.5% rest of the population.

    This headline might be two months old but we shouldn’t forget how we are all getting screwed:

    ‘Settlement Said to be Near for Fannie and Freddie’ (9/8/11 NYT)

    Regulators are nearing a settlement with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac over whether the mortgage finance giants adequately disclosed their exposure to risky subprime loans, bringing to a close a three-year investigation.

    The proposed agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, under the terms being discussed, would include no monetary penalty or admission of fraud, according to several people briefed on the case…

    But three years on, the civil settlement would be the only government action against the companies.

    The criminal inquiry has sputtered to a halt. The Justice Department has concluded its inquiry, at least at Freddie Mac, according to a securities filing in August by the company. No charges have been filed against either company.

    http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2011/09/08/settlement-said-to-be-near-for-fannie-and-freddie

    • AndThen19

       I know right, it’s like the downtrodden surfs of Europe find a temporary reprieve from predation by the scumbag class of user royals and their sycophant bureaucrat leeches, and like most of the 100 million people who already live here just conveniently  disappear before they ever see any Europeans except for a few trappers and soldiers. From the pox — yeh know. So there it is, a depopulated, landscape that had been shaped by the peoples that had exploited it, but still verdant compared to the mess in Europe. And the people prosper and expand, even though they were not perfect, they did a pretty good job of bringing a new order based in liberty to the world.

      But all was not well in the homeland, because the best and brightest of a generation of it’s children, that should have been busy leading it into the future with invention and production, instead sought employment working next to a river of currency, a torrent — a torrent of currency, a virtual amazon of wealth in motion every second, and instead of a life of creativity and loyalty to the accretion of human knowledge and understanding, they made it their only goal and passion to splash some of that river on themselves.  And because of the nature of the concentration of power that was represented by the concentration of wealth that they worked with, they were able to do it. And  because of the nature of the influence of such power on human nature, they corrupted everything they touched.  Both you and I would have done the same under these influences.  That is not the point, the point is to make it impossible for them to do it again — and of course to give back what is left of the wealth they ruined by seeking their own self-interest on a level that is still not comprehensible to even the most rabid OWSer.

      • Anonymous

        You don’t think we understand the Midas touch. I agree with a lot of  what you say but, greed is still greed. And I hope they all choke.

    • Anonymous

      What do you expect when every one of them gets a little Christmas present. under raps of course.

  • Rob (in NY)

    Continuing the debate from last evening regarding Bowles/Simpson (at least the plan endorsed by the co-chairs), I guess Dick Durbin is now part of the “right wing extremist “because he effectively endorses this plan and acknowledges the fiscal reality that entitlement reform is needed.   Funny, I have always viewed Durbin as a left of center but still mainstream Democrat based on the broad American political spectrum but I guess he is not nearly far enough to the left for the NPR liberals here (e.g. no I am not using the term liberal in a derogatory manner).   

     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKoI9KdCg4U

    • WhirlingDurbin

      Durbin is just like the rest of them – only concerned with his own self interests and those interests of his corporate paymasters:

      On September 18, 2008, Durbin attended a closed meeting with congressional leaders, then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, and was urged to craft legislation to help financially troubled banks. That same day (trade effective the next day), Durbin sold mutual-fund shares worth $42,696, and reinvested it all with Warren Buffett.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_Durbin

      Top donors – Lawyer and Lobbyists; Finance, Insurance and Real Estate:

       http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/industries.php?cycle=2012&cid=n00004981&type=I

    • TFRX

      What verdict did that hung jury return?

      Oh, yes: None. None at all. That commission was stacked with Beltway Inbreds and they couldn’t even agree on a Catfood Commission-style report.

  • Gregg

    Harding did at least one thing right. From Wikipedia:

    Harding appointed Charlie Dawes,
    known for being an effective financier, as the first director of the
    Bureau of the Budget. Dawes reduced government spending by $1.5 billion
    his first year as director, a 25% reduction, along with another 25%
    reduction the following year. In effect, the Government budget was cut
    in ½ in just two years. Harding believed the federal government should be fiscally managed
    similar to the private sector having campaigned “Less government in
    business and more business in government.”
    “Harding was true to his word, carrying on budget cuts that had begun
    under a debilitated Woodrow Wilson. Federal spending declined from $6.3
    billion in 1920 to $5 billion in 1921 and $3.3 billion in 1922. Tax
    rates, meanwhile, were slashed—for every income group. And over the
    course of the 1920s, the national debt was reduced by one third.”

    That’s the scale needed to have any hope of ever paying off the debt.

    • Anonymous

      Then we had the Great Depression.

      • Gregg

        non-sequitur.

    • Modavations

      Thanks for the lesson,General

    • Fredlinskip

         Don’t mean to take credit for Jeffe68 response below, but why would anyone advocate repeating same mistakes that brought on the Great Depression? Doesn’t that seem a little dangerous?

        W did a pretty good job at repeating all those same mistakes, and  I know your a big fan of his and all, but still….
         How many times do you and other GOP’ers insist on running our country into the same brick wall?

         One of these times We might not get back up.

      • Gregg

        These were actions taken during the depression of 1920 that ended it. It did not cause the Great Depression a decade later. I’m not advocating this I’m simply offering some perspective. Making sure the greedy rich pay their fair share is not a solution. 

        • Fredlinskip

          Great Depression (nor W’s “great Recession”) didn’t happen by accident. Policies, including those that consolidated wealth to the top, had much to do with it.

          To deny this is practicing revisionist history—
          which anyone who has visited this page more than once knows is your “modus operandi”

          • Gregg

            I have no interest in rehashing the causes of the Great Depression. I see no reason to revisit Bush either.

            We are in deep doo doo. Obamacare must be repealed. Departments need to be abolished. The tax code needs scrapping. Trade policy needs a reset. The legal system is in shambles with political correctness ruling the day. We all loose. These are perilous times and the irony is it’s all self-inflicted. Big changes are necessary, real hope and change. That’s the job at hand.

          • Fredlinskip

            We can learn from history or choose to deny it. Those living in the belief that Fox “News” and Rush offer “fair and balanced” views are bound to try to repeat all the same mistakes again and again.

          • Gregg

            And there you have it, the ol’ Fox/Rush canard. Typical. Listen gang, live in denial if you want to but Obama is wrecking America.

          • ulTRAX

            In my book Obama’s been a failure because he refused to reverse the direction of what caused the crash of 2008. He should have broken the back of Wall Street power, broken up these giant banks, put the scum in jail, reregulated these banks so they INVESTED in American instead of leaching off the economy… reversed free trade and raised taxes especially on the rich.

            And YOUR “solution” is what? Let the Right, which shows NO second thoughts or remorse for their fiscal insanity or for imploding the economy… DO IT AGAIN?   

            How much more evidence do you need that our enimies could not have done more damage to the US than your looney right wing ideas?

          • Greggless

            By continuing most of the policies of those who came before him?

          • Fredlinskip

               You can choose to have an open mind and seek opinions informed by fact or you can choose to allow your views to be manipulated by sources such as Fox “News” and Rush.
              Because you’ve already pointed out your belief that Fox “News” and Rush were “fair and Balanced”, it’s obvious tthe choice you’ve made.

            GOP policy drove America into a deep ditch and have chosen to endorse policies that ensure America’s wheels will keep spinning. 

          • Anonymous

            “We all loose.” Except the wealthy.”That’s the job at hand.”

          • ulTRAX

            GREGGGG vs GREGGGG:

            “These were actions taken during the depression of 1920 that ended it. It did not cause the Great Depression a decade later.”

            And later:

            “I have no interest in rehashing the causes of the Great Depression.”

            And you wonder why any rational, thinking person here thinks you’re an intellectually dishonest right wing buffoon.

          • ulTRAX

            Sorry, my comment might not have been fair.

          • GregsNotHonest

            what are you even talking about!

        • Anonymous

          ?????????!!!!!!

          • ulTRAX

            What’s amusing is Gregggg has claimed here that he’s only interested in honest debate… and that he truly believes what he posts.

            If true, why does he continue to post and claim as true discredited partisan spin and Orwellian Right talking points?

          • Gregg

            You made that up. What have I spun? Where’s the talking point?

          • ulTRAX

            You’re presenting the strawman the Orwellian Right’s been floating all this year  ”Making sure the greedy rich pay their fair share is not a solution.”

            NO ONE I know said increasing taxes on the rich is the ENTIRE solution to eliminating the deficit.

            But it’s a KEY PART of any solution to eliminating the deficit.

        • ulTRAX

          Once again Greggggggg makes this idiotic claim: “Making sure the greedy rich pay their fair share is not a solution.”

          No…. BUT IT’S A KEY PART OF SOLVING THE DEFICIT PROBLEM.

          It’s so amusing to see the Orwellian Right pretend that cutting NPR funding at about $140 million a year is important to solving our deficit problem, yet collecting some 70 BILLION in new revenues is pointless.

          Are there any, ANY intelligent right wingers out there?

          Going once…. twice….

          • Gregg

            “No…. BUT IT’S A KEY PART OF SOLVING THE DEFICIT PROBLEM.”

            If you would just accept the fact that I disagree on this fundamental issue then we’d get along better. I think it’s inconsequential in the context of what it will take to pay off a $14T debt. It’s not because of Rush or Fox. It’s not because I’m conservative or Orwellian. It’s my considered opinion. I also believe it’s silly to even imagine such a thing until we can at least balance the budget. We can’t even find the will to freeze spending. Slowing the rate of growth is sacrilege. It’s nuts.

          • ulTRAX

            You’re like the racist telling others to just accept him as he is and we’ll all just get along.

            Take some rational and responsible positions… instead of blatantly partisan ones that excuse GOP duplicity in using fiscal irresponsibility to dismantle safety net, then we’ll talk about it. Just because the Orwellian Right’s strategy is to convince the faithful that there’s just one variable in a budget DOES NOT MAKE IT TRUE. Of COURSE such bullsh*t needs to be exposed. Irrationality must be CONDEMNED not embraced. 

            Your right wing ideas have virtually destroyed the nation and NONE of you show ANY remorse or second thoughts about the insanity you post here 24/7… and that means you’ll support these right wing psychos when they try to do it all over again.

          • ulTRAX

            Your opinions on paying down debt might have a smidgen of credibility IF YOU DIDN’T CONSTANTLY EXCUSE BUSH2′s SABOTAGING DEBT PAY DOWN IN 2001 WITH IRRESPONSIBLE TAX CUTS. We had a successful strategy to get to an annual budget surplus. Because we had a surplus Bush ran on a tax cut BUT ALSO paying down debt. Yet even as that surplus disappeared, the FIRST thing Bush did was pass those tax cuts and from then on DID NOTHING TO PAY DOWN DEBT.

            But you’ve spent SIX MONTHS desperately trying to portray Bush’s insanity as responsible fiscal policy… even pretending there was a revenue boom.

            Of course these tax cuts were insane from a fiscal perspective. But they were brilliant politics if the TRUE GOAL of the GOP was to sabotage the fiscal health of the nation by creating more debt… all to starve Democratic safety net programs. At that part it crosses the line into duplicity… deliberately misleading the public without being honest about their true agenda.

            I have no use for the Dems except as the lesser of the evils. But I believe the far Right has crossed the moral line and should be considered traitors to the People of the US.

            Since you support what I consider traitorous  positions, please explain how I can NOT oppose what you post here in defense of those positions?

          • ulTRAX

            So I take it you’re now running from your claim that Harding had the solution to paying down debt?

            Gee… Harding RAN A BUDGET SURPLUS!!!!  While GOPs canidate’s run on paying down debt, they never do.

            So why do you constantly support irresponsible tax cuts by Reagan and Bush2 THAT REQUIRED BORROWING and ultimately SABOTAGED debt paydown????  

          • GregsNotHonest

            what if you disagree that 1+1=2?

            are you suggesting we should still respect you?

          • ulTRAX

            Try as you may to make your positions on budgets/deficits/debt sound respectable, we KNOW you’re not being honest. You HAD your chance to condemn Bush2 who ran on preserving the surplus, paying down debt as first priorities with some tax cuts thrown in. Yet when Bush put tax cuts first and sabotaged all chance of paying down debt… YOU APPROVED and made no end of excuses to defend Bush, claiming they were necessary after 911… even though they were passed months before, and claiming there was a revenue boom, when in constant dollars Bush didn’t exceed Clinton’s last year until 2006. SIX YEARS OF LOST REVENUE IS A REVENUE BOOM? Even though revenues have been virtually FLAT for a decade, you still defend those irresponsible tax cuts.
             

            So, NO, Greg, I don’t believe ANYTHING you say that you’ll be reasonable once your side get its way. You and the GOP have already proven your fiscal duplicity.
             

        • TruthSquad

          who says these actions ended the recession? are you saying a recession would never end on its own?

          • ulTRAX

            The Orwellian Right’s job is to defend tax cuts for the rich and to do so they must “prove” these irresponsible policies benefit us all. There seems to be a huge difference between Harding and Reagan/Bush. Harding never ran a deficit and was able to pay down debt. Reagan and Bush both were willing to create a sea of red ink for their tax cuts. But then perhaps creating more debt was their true goal. The tax cuts would bring home the bacon to the rich, and the debt would put pressure on the New Deal and Great Society programs the Right always loathed.  

    • ulTRAX

      Given up trying to justify the Reagan and Bush2 failures, so you going back to Harding? ROTF.

      As for debt, it doesn’t matter how we get to a balanced annual budget if the Tax Cut Psychos on the Right again sabotage debt paydown as they did in 2001. As usual, you’re sweeping under the rug the deep fiscal pathology that has overcome the GOP the past 30 years.   

    • ulTRAX

      What you’re conveniently sweeping under the rug is the period you’re talking about was right after WWI when the nation was readjusting to a peacetime economy and having the troops come home. Federal spending was already on the decline from 18.9 billion in 1919 to 6.8 billion in 1920.

      Unlike Reagan and Bush2, even if Harding cut the tax rate HE NEVER RAN A DEFICIT so slowly paying down debt run up for WWI was possible.  Reagan and Bush2 HAD TO BORROW when they passed their irresponsible tax cuts and both RAISED debt.

      There’s no real evidence that revenues dramatically increased because of these tax cuts.
      http://www.usgovernmentrevenue.com/year_revenue_1921USbn_13bs1n_E0F0#usgs302  

      Tax revenus in 1921 were 6.2 billion and 4.3 billion for 1922, 1923, and 1924.
       
      And of course you’re also conveniently sweeping under the rug the fact that Clinton got us to a surplus by a balanced approach of cutting spending AND raising taxes.

      So what the hell was you point of even posting on Harding?

    • TruthSquad

      explain again how bush taking a surplus, throwing it away, and running massive deficits can pay down debt.

      greg, your position is nuts.

  • HowWeGotHere

    Our government – by and for the corrupt corporations – is now going to be ‘fiscally responsible’?  These hypocritical sycophants are how we got to this point in the first place. 

    Last time I checked, the banksters are still raping the consumer by collecting exorbitant interest rates on credit cards and mortgages while they get their money loaned to them for practically nothing.

    And they can still use our hard earned deposits on any high risk, ponzi- scheme investment they care to.

    We’ve been carrying the risk for these profiteering pirates for too long.

    Where are the regulations?

    Vote them all out.

  • Modavations

    Ultrax,we await your reply ,with baited breath.What was the rational for JFK’s dropping of the tax rates.What did he mean by “a rising sea lifts all boats”.All I hear are crickets

    • Anonymous

      This is the second time you got the quote wrong. 

      • Modavations

        Join “nit picker”anonymous.Do you not get the drift and how ’bout an answer.

        • Steve__T

          Why do you think he was assassinated numb nuts. He wanted to end the FED!!!

    • ulTRAX

      Think I’m going to give up hiking Monodnock to stay home and respond to your idiocy? It’s not like you’re ever going to learn from being corrected on all the lies and distortions you spew here.

      Who said JFK even said that? Laffer? He’s CLAIMED JFK said something similar but Laffer can’t even prove it.

      http://hnn.us/articles/73227.html 

      So unless YOU can get the quote right and YOU can prove JFK said it… you’re not worth responding to.

    • ulTRAX

      I found the original quote. It has NOTHING to do with cutting taxes. It’s all about federal investements in infrastructure spending to IMPROVE THE LIVES OF AMERICANS. JFK is railing AGAINST those who oppose such projects.

      Remarks in Heber Springs, Arkansas, at the Dedication of Greers Ferry Dam. October 3, 1963
      “These projects produce wealth, they bring industry, they bring jobs, and the wealth they bring brings wealth to other sections of the United States. This State had about 200,000 cars in 1929. It has a million cars now. They weren’t built in this State. They were built in Detroit. As this State’s income rises, so does the income of Michigan. As the income of Michigan rises, so does the income of the United States. A rising tide lifts all the boats and as Arkansas becomes more prosperous so does the United States and as this section declines so does the United States. So I regard this as an investment by the people of the United States in the United States. Therefore, I take pride in coming here today.”

      http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=9455

      Gee, bet you didn’t see that coming, did you Einstein!!!  I await YOUR retraction that JFK was talking about tax cuts for the rich.

      • ulTRAX

        From http://hnn.us/articles/73227.html

        It is richly ironic that all of these (JFK) speeches celebrated the kind of governmental pump-priming and reclamation and conservation projects that are anathema to free marketeers like Laffer, and Kennedy’s implication was that the increasing or decreasing prosperity of separate regions affects national wealth—not that individuals’ wealth does. It is conceivable that Kennedy’s “If one section of the country is strangled, if one section of the country is standing still, then sooner or later a dropping tide drops all the boats” got morphed by Laffer and/or Reagan into “No American is ever made better off by pulling a fellow American down, and every American is made better off whenever any one of us is made better off.” If so, in a neatly Orwellian move, Laffer et al. have twisted Kennedy’s quasi-socialistic point, that helping poorer regions and people to prosper benefits those above them, into the opposite, that making the rich richer trickles down to all below in direct proportion. So if these are in fact the primary occasions on which Kennedy used the phrase, Laffer, along with countless other conservatives, would seem to be egregiously irresponsible in twisting it into a rationalization for the skyrocketing disparity between the wealthiest individuals and everyone else in America over the past three decades.

        Yes, my deal Moda…. THAT is what ORWELLIAN mean.

    • ulTRAX

      Seems ModEvasion is the only cricket.

      Anyone want to bet Moda will still continue to abuse JFK’s legacy by misusing this quote to mean its opposite?

  • SuperCommittee

    Please sequester Modavations from the On Point comment sections.

  • ulTRAX

    I thought I finally found out where this 20 million Reagan job number MIGHT come from. Perhaps if the count didn’t start from when Reagan came into office the count dishonestly started counting from the depths of the Reagan Recession where there was 10.8% unemployment by Dec 82. 

    Using the following BLS dataset 
    Series Id:           LNS12000000
    Seasonally Adjusted
    Series title:        (Seas) Employment LevelLabor force status:  Employed
    Type of data:        Number in thousands
    Age:                 16 years and over
    There were 99.955 million employed in Jan 81, 99.032 million employed in the depths of the recession in Dec 82, and 116.104 million employed in Dec 88. So nope, while the Orwellian Right has played such baseline games with Reagan’s revenues, I can’t get to 20 million jobs that way either. So where did this 20 million jobs number come from?  

  • ulTRAX

    Some on the Right here love to parrot an Orwellian Right argument that if the CBO was in 94 or 95 predicting “200 billion deficits as far as the eye can see” then if there was a budget surplus later, Newt had to be responsible. I’ve already demonstrated some weeks ago that these CBO projections were wildly pessimistic and the deficit gap was closing way before Newt had any effect with his Balanced Budget Act which was passed in Nov 95. Here is a comparison of 1993 CBO projections (baseline) for the 1993 Clinton tax bill… and actual revenues. I hope this displays well…  
     
    1994   1995  1996  1997  1998
     
    1,244 1,332 1,403 1,472 1,547  CBO September 1993 Baseline
     
    1,259 1,352 1,453 1,579 1,721  Actual Receipts

    The CBO was predicting revenue increases but they UNDERESTIMATED revenues in those 5 years by $366 BILLION.
    Source: PROJECTING FEDERAL TAX
    REVENUES AND THE EFFECT
    OF CHANGES IN TAX LAW
    December 1998
    TABLE 17.TABLE 17.
    PROJECTING FEDERAL TAX
    REVENUES AND THE EFFECT
    OF CHANGES IN TAX LAW
    December 1998
    TABLE 17.TABLE 17.
    http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/10xx/doc1049/taxrev.pdf

    • Gregg

      Let it go dude. Clinton did fine once he found religion in ’94.

      • ulTRAX

        Thanks for being true to form Greg. There are just more and more nails in the coffin of your Orwellian rewrite of the Clinton years, and rather than show some integrity and admit Newt didn’t do much to create the Clinton Surplus, you just pretend it doesn’t matter. No doubt you’ll be back repeating your lies and distortions in some other forums. BTW, Clinton found religion when he passed his tax hikes/spending cuts in 1993. Revenue piled up faster than the CBO thought possible.

        • Gregg

          You’re the only one in the world who thinks The Speaker of the House has little to do with budgets and the economy. Keep on believin’.

          • ulTRAX

            If you can’t make a point without gross distortions, you haven’t made a point… have you Fluffy! 

            In reality I’ve been the only one looking for Newt’s contributions to the Surplus and I have presented some numbers from CBO estimates. I took YOURS and Modevasion’s “200 billion deficits” argument and simply held it up to the light to see if it made any sense. It didn’t. But since commonsense tells us… though you reject this idea, that there are TWO variables in a budget… spending and revenue, then Newt’s Balanced Budget Act had to have SOME effect. But the effect is at best negligible. It may have speeded up the Surplus by a year. But it was also partially off set by the 1997 tax cut… and the Surplus might NEVER have happened if Newt got his way with a massive tax cut in 98 and 99 which Clinton vetoed. But Bush took care of the Surplus and made sure no debt would be paid down.  
            YOU are the one making empty assertions, with the only “evidence” to date laughable Orwellian Right nonsense from either Cato or Heritage… and their job is to produce reports which paint all tax increases as harmful to the economy and inflate the value of even small tax cuts claiming they “unleashed” the economy… in this case a small capital gains cut in 1997. Most of that 1997 tax cut had NOTHING to do with capital gains. The biggest provisions were for a child tax credit and educational incentives. The projected effect from this bill was negligible… -14 billion in FY98. What we DO see is the Clinton revenue steam roller overtaking 1998 revenues even over projections made in 1997… by close to 85 billion.    We know the Orwellian Right will never be honest and you AGAIN are proving you have no intellectual integrity. But then we already knew that too.  

          • Gregg

            There are estimates and there is reality. It was the CBO that estimated $200 billion deficits. If you live by the CBO then die by it. 

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            Seems you can’t help but being a weasel. Those early CBO projections are YOUR problem not mine. You’re stuck needing those faulty projections to be true. It’s central to the Orwellian Right rewrite of history that Newt was responsible for the Clinton Surplus. But those projections, as I’ve demonstrated over and over again were overly pessimistic and revenue projections even from 1993 were $366 BILLION off by 1998… and that’s on TOP of the CBO already projecting growing revenues from the 1993 tax bill. The deficit had already fallen from a high of $-290 in FY92 to -203 Billion in FY94… that’s BEFORE Newt. Arguably Newt doesn’t have much effect until FY96 when the Balanced Budget Act was passed. I’m STILL waiting for you to present ANY numbers to prove Newt was crucial. But I won’t hold my breath. I know you lack the intellectual integrity to even have such a discussion as this because you have your right wing partisan agenda that needs to deny Clinton all credit, and give it all to Newt.  

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            Just want to flesh out the numbers even more.

            Even in Jan 95, CBO revenue projections were off 400 BILLION for the years FY96-98. But the projections are faulty based on an excepted economic slowdown in late 1995. From the CBO’s “The Economic and Budget Outlook: Fiscal Years 1996-2000″:

            ” The robust growth that the U.S. economy experienced in 1994 is likely to continue through the first part of 1995 but will fade by the end of the year. The 3.7 percent increase in real output (on a fourth quarter- to-fourth-quarter basis) and the creation of over 3 million new jobs in 1994 were achieved without an increase in inflation, but that performance is not likely to be repeated in 1995″

            1995 CBO revenue projections

                projections vs actual.

            FY96 1.483 — 1.453   +70 billion

            FY97 1.475 — 1.579  +104

            FY98 1.546 — 1.722  +226

            The Balanced Budget Act passed in Nov 95 (FY96) did NOT raise revenues, so Newt gets no credit there for the rise in revenues.

            The backup Orwellian position is the 1997 tax cut they claim “unleashed the economy” as if there’d be no massive investment in the internet stocks without that tax cut. But the bulk of those tax cuts was for child credits and education incentives… and only a cut in small cut in capital gains which the Right has latched on to.

            In the end, the only contribution Newt and the GOP did to speed up the Clinton Surplus were some spending cuts passed in FY96. Their claims to want a balanced budget by 2002 were made moot by the Clinton revenue steamroller.

          • TruthSquad

            better check your 1996 numbers. are they backwards?

          • TruthSquad

            the speaker is just one vote in one house in a checks and balances system. he or she doesn’t call all the shots.

            trax makes a good point that your timeline is too unrealistic. if the balanced budget act doesn’t pass until 11-1995, there’s no way for it to have much effect by 1998. the revenue argument is more sound given numbers presented.

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