How deep is the stupid in Tea Party and among their fellow travelers?


Barack Obama has managed to tack on a bit over a trillion dollars to the national debt, mostly in a successful effort to keep the U.S. and the world from plunging into a Greater Depression.  We haven’t shaken off the harmful effects of the Republican assault on capitalism during the previous years’ assaults on the Constitution, science, education and other American institutions.

But in the alternate universe of conservative thought, Obama’s put $15 trillion in new debts on the books.  Being off by a factor of 10 to 15 is an accomplishment worthy of someone wholly unconnected with reality.  That would be Victor Davis Hanson in this case.  Not sure why, but some search took me to a blog called The Clue Batting Cage — batting away clues to reality is a sport to them, I suppose.  There I found this post:

Here’s some excellent wording from Victor Davis Hanson.

Despite nearly $15 trillion in federal debt, the administration apparently wants to defy the rules of logic and do more of what made things worse in the first place, under the euphemism of “investments.” American popular culture has coined all sorts of proverbial warnings about such mindless devotion to destructive rote: “Don’t flog a dead horse,” “If you are in a hole, stop digging,” and “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

No matter: The administration still adheres to the logical fallacy that the toxic medicine cannot be proven to be useless or harmful, because there was supposedly never enough of it given. And the proof is that the worsening patient is still not quite dead.
:
That there is never enough spending is a seductive fallacy because it never requires any empirical proof: If millions of those supported by the state have lost their self-reliance and self-initiative, perhaps it is because millions supported by the state were not supported well enough, and so in response, some resorted to stealing things they could not afford.

How many others could possibly be with these yahoos, looking through the telescope backwards?

Looking through a telescope the wrong way

Looking through a telescope the wrong way

Here’s what I posted in comments:

It’s difficult to reconcile the idea of someone who recommends Bob Park’s blog, and approves of Victor Hanson’s blather at the same time.

But then I look closer. You missed the boat completely. You didn’t even recommend the right Bob Park, but some imposter named Parks. You missed reality by one letter.

Reality is not an opinion, not that I expect you’ll ever change your opinion on that.

Lay off of Morgan’s blog for a while, maybe read some science or something. You may not feel better in the morning, but soon, and for the rest of your life.

9:38 PM

Delete

The author complains that my comments are too acid, and that the National Science Foundation is a “government site.”

If you call a private foundation the government supports, independent from the government by design to keep its advice unbiased, does that make it a government site?

Or is it still a four-legged calf?

A wise person said that you can’t reason someone out of a position they didn’t get to by reason in the first place.  That’s the problem with the Tea Party in the first place.  It’s also the problem in the second place, and the third place, and on all issues.

To the Tea Party mindset, they are all five-legged dogs.

Tea Party's five-legged dog, by Esther Derby.com

Tea Party's five-legged dog, by Esther Derby.com

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59 Responses to How deep is the stupid in Tea Party and among their fellow travelers?

  1. czytaj.info says:

    czytaj.info…

    [...]How deep is the stupid in Tea Party and among their fellow travelers? « Millard Fillmore's Bathtub[...]…

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  2. mark says:

    What counts is how many people are working. Because more people are graduating school or otherwise coming into the job market every year, new jobs must be created. New jobs were created at the lowest rate in 75 years during the Bush administration.

    If you look here you can see a chart showing pre- and post-stimulus job losses. The conclusion, based on economist Rob Shapiro’s analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data, is

    From December 2007 to July 2009 – the last year of the Bush second term and the first six months of the Obama presidency, before his policies could affect the economy – private sector employment crashed from 115,574,000 jobs to 107,778,000 jobs. Employment continued to fall, however, for the next six months, reaching a low of 107,107,000 jobs in December of 2009. So, out of 8,467,000 private sector jobs lost in this dismal cycle, 7,796,000 of those jobs or 92 percent were lost on the Republicans’ watch or under the sway of their policies. Some 671,000 additional jobs were lost as the stimulus and other moves by the administration kicked in, but 630,000 jobs then came back in the following six months. The tally, to date: Mr. Obama can be held accountable for the net loss of 41,000 jobs (671,000 – 630,000), while the Republicans should be held responsible for the net losses of 7,796,000 jobs.

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  3. Dimwit, I said job creation rate. I said that specifically on purpose. I was not making a mistake in what I said.

    Nor was I making a mistake in choosing to ignore your bullsh!t statistic. I’m ignoring it on purpose, fixating on the unemployment rate, because that’s what reality does. What counts is the unemployment rate, the number that has found a nice comfy home at 9.1% with Obama in charge. That’s all that matters. Ask anyone currently looking for a job.

    Here, Mr. Doren makes it real simple. To make it simpler: Bragging about “job loss rate went down under my watch” is a bragging point for losers. It’s like saying, I still have money in my checking account because I still have some checks. Or I have great willpower, not eating any more of those double stuff Oreos I bought last week, because as of yesterday I ate the last one. Cookie consumption rate is 0, because I don’t have any.

    It’s just a stupid, stupid way to spin this thing. Go peddle that someplace where people fall for it.

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  4. Morgan writes:

    Uh, excuse me but last I checked, 4.5% and 5.5% were both less than 9.1%.

    Dimwit, I said job creation rate. I said that specifically on purpose. I was not making a mistake in what I said. George W Bush had the lowest job creation rate of any president in modern history which is how, in part, we got to 9.1%. How did we get to that rate? Because your party insisted on giving our money to the rich who promptly did nothing with the money other then use it to ship jobs overseas and refuse to create any jobs here. And what does your party want to do now? Give more of our money to the rich so they can continue to fuck over this country by shipping more jobs overseas.

    It might want to occur to you that it was BUsh’s policies that created that 9.1% unemployment rate which means that no Bush’s tax cuts were not the miracle you want to claim. Do bother to remember that we were still using Bush’s budget until nearly 2010.

    Your party’s fault and like a stupid little sheep, Morgan, you will gladly let the Republicans continue to fleece you.

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  5. Ed Darrell says:

    Jim asked about job creation, pointing out that George W. Bush had the lowest job creation of any president since Herbert Hoover (and before that, probably since William Henry Harrison).

    Morgan replied:

    Uh, excuse me but last I checked, 4.5% and 5.5% were both less than 9.1%.

    There’s a difference between unemployment and job creation, Morgan. Typical Tea Party tactic, to either misunderstand the data completely, or pick a different measure for a bait-and-switch.

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  6. mark says:

    @ Morgan K. Freeberg:
    I think you’re comparing unemployment rate, not job creation rate. And what you show is essentially unemployment at the beginning of George Bush’s term and at the end of his term–about 5 percent to about 9 percent.
    According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, Job growth under George Bush (0.2%) was the lowest since Herbert Hoover (-6.2%). For that span of 75 years:
    Roosevelt: 4.9%
    Truman: 2.5%
    Eisenhower: 0.9%
    Kennedy: 2.3%
    Johnson: 3.8%
    Nixon: 2.2%
    Ford: 1.1%
    Carter: 3.1%
    Reagan: 2.1%
    GHW Bush: 0.6%
    Clinton: 2.4%.

    You can also check here for a discussion of job losses before and after Obama’s stimulus.

    Another good chart that has been presented in various forms, is the bar chart showing job growth from the last year of Bush’s presidency through the first year of Obama’s (for example, here.

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  7. So people aren’t entitled to clean drinking water unless its on their land, Morgan?

    Tell me…whose water do you think you and your family have been using? I very much doubt you’re using a well buried on your own property. I would guess that the water you’re using is provided by the city you live in.

    Since you seem to think that you’re only entitled to use the resources that is on your property then I trust you and your family will stop using city water and will either die of thirst or pay the costs to bury a well on your property..and well if your property has no water on it then you and your family are just SOL.

    You, Morgan, want to turn the United States into either Somalia or what the United States was in the Wild West. Sorry, no. If you want to live in such a country then find some other country to live in…but you do not have the right to make the rest of us live in the stupid libertarian hell that you so crave.

    We care about each other. You don’t. You’re nothing more then a depraved greedy son of a bitch.

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  8. The funny thing, Morgan, is that can just as easily be applied to you and your way of thinking. In fact…it’s easier. Because we, unlike you, actually have the numbers to back us up.

    When asked to provide facts you dither you hem and you haw.

    For example: Not more then two weeks ago you claimed that Bush’s tax cuts did such a wonderful job. And yet George W Bush had the lowest job creation rate of any President in modern US history…and that’s including Obama.

    Uh, excuse me but last I checked, 4.5% and 5.5% were both less than 9.1%. If you think there’s more arguing to do beyond that, this might explain why you think I’m due for supplying something I haven’t supplied. And when have I ever hawed?

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  9. Morgan writes:
    You know Mark, one of the frequent criticism I’ve directed toward the thinking in these parts is: The logic is extremely weak when it’s capable of proving anything. And that’s the whole problem. By simply failing to take into account everything that’s good about one way of doing it, and failing to take into account everything that might be undesirable about the other way of doing it…you can make anything look reasonable.

    The funny thing, Morgan, is that can just as easily be applied to you and your way of thinking. In fact…it’s easier. Because we, unlike you, actually have the numbers to back us up.

    When asked to provide facts you dither you hem and you haw.

    For example: Not more then two weeks ago you claimed that Bush’s tax cuts did such a wonderful job. And yet George W Bush had the lowest job creation rate of any President in modern US history…and that’s including Obama.

    Does that phase you? no. Does that even make you think that just maybe tax cuts to the rich are a stupidly bad idea? Absolutely not….you keep on circling around and around and keep on stepping into the same rake over and over again like Sideshow Bob in the Cape Fear spoof on the Simpsons.

    The economy is not good. Your party’s answer? cut taxes on the rich and seek to cut the pay, pensions, benefits, social security, medicare and medicaid of the not rich. How that helps the economy I have no idea and I have some training as an economist. I’m no Paul Krugman but I know enough to understand you’re not going to help the economy by taking money out of the hands of the middle class and poor so they have less to spend. and if the rich aren’t spending..which they’re not then the rest of us should just wither and die?

    As Ed correctly pointed out..Henry Ford made a lot of money, not by paying his workers less, but by paying his workers more. Why? Because then his workers had enough money to buy his products. The problem today is that the huge multinationals that your party so loves to kiss the asses of…simply don’t need us to make gobs of money. They can go elsewhere. And yet there your party sits pretending that if your party takes money from the middle class and the poor and gives it to the rich in the form of tax cuts after tax cuts that the rich will suddenly become so incredibly beneficient to the rest of us that they’ll just give us their money instead of seeking to become ever richer on the backs of suckers elsewhere in the world who they can use, abuse and exploit to the hilt in ways that no citizen of the United States would stand for.

    Sorry, I just watched my one aunt bury my uncle who she was married to for 57 years after he died due to complications from a stroke that he had four years ago that put him in a nursing home for the last four years. As near as I can tell if my aunt, and assuming her four kids helped, would have had to pay roughly $300,000 for that four years if there hadn’t been the “entitlements” that your party so desperately wants to get rid of.

    And I have no idea, Morgan, where a 77 year old woman who was a housewife to a farmer would have got that money. Then there’s my other aunt who buried my other uncle 2 years ago after he finally died due to complications of parkinson’s after about 5 years in the nursing home costing god knows how much and I have no idea where she and her 5 kids would have got the money either. It’s not like you make a metric ton of money farming, Morgan, in fact you more often then not make none. And my two aunts who stuck by their husbands for decades should be rendered destitute and bankrupt because you and your God damn party are too morally depraved and greedy sons of bitches that the idea that the the government of this country…that the people of this country should collectively act to take care of its own offends you and goes against your bullshit political ideology? Tell me, Morgan, your side loves to claim to be such good moral Christians.

    Where in hell is the morality or the Christianity in that position of your party’s? Where is the morality or the Christianity in your party saying that it is more important that the rich pay the least amount of taxes possible even if it means that the rest of us get completely hosed in our declining years? Where is the morality or the Christianity in saying that the poor should just work 5 jobs? Where is the morality or the Christianity in saying that disaster aid should be offset? Where is the morality or the Christianity in Ron Paul’s staffer telling me today that people who live in flood plains or Hurricane zones simply shouldn’t live there? As if you could honestly move the entire cities of Galveston, New Orleans or the entire state of Florida simply because Ron Paul, like his fellow right wingers in Congress, simply are too greedy and too morally depraved to care if the rest of us live or die?

    How long, Morgan, do you think it will be until you or your family are being destroyed because of your precious political ideology? Because unless you’re rich, which you’re not, what is there to insulate you? Your family should give up social security or medicare or medicaid so the Koch brothers can have another tax break? Your family should give up its clean drinking water so a rich jackass can make another dollar that he really doesn’t need polluting it?

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  10. Ed Darrell says:

    Because if people are not working, they are not paying income tax. The point is to get people working so they can buy the things they need and want, driving up demand so companies produce more.

    That’s right. A big reason the Kennedy tax cuts resulted in increased revenues was because employment was high. You can’t make government work by cutting taxes from the highest incomes AND cutting the number of lower income jobs at the same time.

    Doesn’t anyone on the conservative side ever study economics, or conservation?

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  11. The concepts you’re describing when you condescend, don’t demand advanced study or even elementary study. People can’t bring demand to the market if they can’t bring dollars to the market — got it. Actually, the experience of being out of work will be far more educational on that note, than reading any economic textbook, inside or outside of a class. I think pretty much everyone gets that.

    Well…pretty much everyone who doesn’t work in Obama’s DOJ.

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  12. Ed Darrell says:

    . . . .and failing to take into account everything that might be undesirable about the other way of doing it…you can make anything look reasonable.

    George Mason study. Meh.

    When we had the GAO run the numbers, Davis-Bacon won. Higher wages meant fewer jobs on the projects where higher wages were required, but a small number fewer. Those workers spent a lot more money, and the job creation factor was much greater, once the dollar-turnover was taken into account.

    If you cut the wages of construction workers, all the local cafes suffer. So do house sales, and boat sales, and truck sales.

    As Henry Ford once quipped, the best cost-cutting plan he ever got was doubling wages to $5.00 a day. It meant his workers tried hard to avoid mistakes, it meant he had the pick of the good worker pool to hire from, and it meant his workers could buy his products (which they did, he realized, in mid-grouse about having to build an employee parking lot).

    The second best cost-cutting idea? Ford said it was the $6.00 wage.

    Lincoln was right. You can’t make a small man big by cutting off the legs of a tall man. A rich man didn’t get rich selling goods workers can’t afford.

    Don’t conservatives ever, ever study economics?

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  13. You know Mark, one of the frequent criticism I’ve directed toward the thinking in these parts is: The logic is extremely weak when it’s capable of proving anything. And that’s the whole problem. By simply failing to take into account everything that’s good about one way of doing it, and failing to take into account everything that might be undesirable about the other way of doing it…you can make anything look reasonable.

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  14. mark says:

    @ Morgan K. Freeberg:
    How come it’s summarily ejected as a possible consideration to simply not tax it away in the first place?

    Because if people are not working, they are not paying income tax. The point is to get people working so they can buy the things they need and want, driving up demand so companies produce more. Otherwise, you may as well just send the money to the corporate executives (Oh, right…that is somebody’s plan).

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  15. Morgan writes:
    Are you arguing that so long as it’s the government that’s doing it, the potential for abuse is non-existent?

    Oh there’s always potential for abuse, Morgan. But I have a question for you. Are you arguing that so long as its the rich or the corporations doing it there is no potential for abuse? But the government is we the people…all of us. I would sooner rather have the abuse, if it happens, be the responsiblity of all of us then just the few some of us who happen to have more money then King Midas. Because in the former the power is with us and in the latter the power is not with us.

    Because the corporations and the rich are sitting on mountains of cash, Morgan, and they’re not doing anything with it. What makes you think giving them more money is going to somehow magically make them create jobs here? They already have more then enough money to create all the jobs this country needs using your sides economic “logic” and yet they don’t. They haven’t..in fact they flat out refuse to. And in the meantime they’re merrily shipping jobs that are still here overseas and your party wants to reward them for it.

    So Morgan I have another question for you. What has to happen for you to be willing to put the needs of the country ahead of the god damn greed of the rich? When should patriotism and concern for all of us in this country trump their absolute greed, Morgan?

    If the government taxes the rich higher and spends the money then the money is in the economy flowing to the rest of us. Meaning the money is flowing to you, me, Ed, jim, everyone else here, our respective families and eventually back to the rich. Your problem with this idea is what? That it takes money from the rich? They have more then enough to live on, they’re not actually going to be harmed by it. Especially since some of the money will just flow right back to them anyways.

    Oh and please don’t say that liberals want the government to take everything everyone owns…no we don’t. Despite your sides delusion to the contrary we’re not communists or even socialists…and I mean actual socialists..not the keynsian capitalism that your side wants to pretend is socialism.

    We like capitalism, we have no problem with it, Morgan. Just unlike you we don’t delude ourselves into thinking that capitalism or what your side wants to term “free market” is perfect. You’re so worried about the potential abuse of government you turn a blind eye to the abuses of the “free market” the abuses of the rich and the abuses of the corporations. We want some checks and balances against that abuse. Your party? Wants none. It wants an economic free for all. If the Gilded Age was a stupidly bad idea then the Wild West was even worse.

    Hell I’d be even willing to accept a compromise. That compromise being this: That the rich and the corporations get told to start spending that money to start creating jobs here and if they don’t, Morgan, then your party agrees to raise their taxes through the roof. No ifs ands or buts about it. no objections, no blocking it. The tax loopholes get stripped, the tax cuts get stripped and if they start shipping jobs or their wealth overseas then they get punished to the nth degree. But that also means, Morgan, they get no more tax cuts. Bush’s presidency show beyond a shadow of a doubt that cutting taxes on the rich accomplishes nothing other then shifting money into the pockets of the rich from the pockets of the rest of us.

    Because for 40 years now your party has somehow managed to be the dominant one when it comes to “economics” in this country and the result has been the poor get poorer, the middle class gets further behind and the rich get nearly everything. Sorry you don’t create a functioning society much less a functioning country, especially one of 300 million people with the responsibilities the United States, by setting up a system where the precious few have all the power and all the wealth and the rest of us are just fighting to survive. Nor do you have a functioning society where somehow a company pays its top executive more then it pays the government in taxes. No company should be getting money from the government and not having to pay a damn dime in taxes.

    Your party has tipped the balance way too far in the favor of the rich and the corporations. And it will tear this country apart if that’s not fixed. And I promise you that. Because sooner rather then later, Morgan, what happened in London a few weeks ago will pale in comparison to what will happen here. Because the only reason that your precious “tea party” became such a force over the last two years is that it successfully captured the anger of the common person in this country. THe problem is the common person is starting to realize what a load of bullshit your precious tea party and their Republican masters have been selling.

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  16. Are you arguing that so long as it’s the government that’s doing it, the potential for abuse is non-existent?

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  17. Ed Darrell says:

    Because you know what? We absolutely do have a right to prevent things like what’s discussed over here. [story about ambulance chaser who files lots of suits under ADA]

    Preventing that abuse is in no way analogous to clean water, public delivery of water through a municipal water system, or jobs stimulus.

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  18. It’s 2011 and whether I live in a tenament or a mansion, I can usually turn on the tap…or go to a tap somewhere close…and obtain drinking water. Do I have the right to SAFE, CLEAN water?

    By doing turning on that tap you are doing two things: You are attempting to acquire an element that is essential for your continuing survival; and, you are venturing into an unknown territory (the pipes leading up to your residence) entrusting your physical health & welfare to that hidden enclave.

    The first of those is analogous to getting hold of a burger & fries. Or fruit smoothie. Of course, we’re accustomed to the water being free and we’re not accustomed to free burgers & smoothies…but, is there anything in this equation to make those two things different, apart from our preconceived expectations (which, as you point out yourself, don’t apply in other parts of the world)? I can’t think of a single meaningful differentiation and I don’t think you can either. You’re probably not arguing that burgers & smoothies have to be free or else our basic human rights are violated, are you? So if we won’t pursue that point, then for purposes of human sustenance, you don’t have a “right” to it — not in the sense that you get to claim some you’ve been oppressed by some absent person failing to fulfill an obligation to you, and demand a redress for your grievances. Some places don’t have water, it is what it is.

    So let’s take a look at the second thing you are doing, venturing into an unknown territory at risk of life & health…analogous to walking into potentially bear-infested woods late at night by yourself. If you do that and disaster meets up with you, can you (or your surviving family) claim that your basic rights were violated? Again, no.

    However. As I’ve noted, the progressive side of the bathtub is frequently seen to play the game of “I never said A what I really said was B”…often times it looks like an involuntary reflex. It seems, after a few turns on that merry-go-round I should be able to play the game too. I’m not saying it’s a good thing for landlords to hang faucets out that drip e coli without taking any action against it or doing anything to prevent it. I’m not saying poor people deserve dirty water. Nor am I denying the “science” that people require clean water to survive.

    I’m simply rejecting the false premise that, if something can be shown to be critical to continuing human survival, it automatically becomes a right. Complete with armies of clipboard-carrying inspectors, armies of lawyers to argue the fine points of things, armies of community organizers to harass law-abiding landlords about the issue…convincing people that something is a “right” doesn’t give license to bully, threaten, harass, hound out of business.

    Because you know what? We absolutely do have a right to prevent things like what’s discussed over here.

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  19. Ed Darrell says:

    No time for lengthy analysis or deep writing. But:

    See, that’s exactly the part I don’t get. We need to have a stimulus program, by which the government will inject this money into the economy. Otherwise, all hope is lost.

    No, not all hope is lost. We can hope that the rich will do what they’ve never done before, what Ronald Reagan promised they would but they didn’t, what George W. Bush promised they would but they didn’t, and what John Boehner and Eric Cantor promised they would but they didn’t, and inject their money into the economy to create jobs.

    That’s highly unlikely. Private businesses — not citizens, businesses — are sitting on a pile of about $1.5 trillion right now, in cash, that they could spend to create jobs.

    But they won’t. See, they took high school economics, and they know that stimulating supply only works if there is some demand that can be flexed. There is no demand because most consumers are tapped out, and worried about keeping their jobs or unemployed already. So the private businesses are waiting for demand to pick up.

    Keynes said it’s unpatriotic for a government to stand by while the nation goes down the tubes, when the government coulUd spend some money to create jobs, even “make-work” jobs, that put money into the hands of consumers who will spend it right away — thereby creating demand, and perhaps unleashing the $1.5 trillion that the tax-cuts and profits have hidden in businesses.

    Plus, if we don’t get a stimulus package, it’s possible we could do what Japan did — waste a decade or more in no growth or slow growth, and slip quietly from the ranks of economic leadership.

    There’s no inherent reason America must be the world’s leading economic power. You can do your business just as well from Szechuan Province PRC, right, Morgan? You’d have no objection to moving to Mumbai, right? You can get cheap housekeeping in Lagos.

    It’s not like you owe anything to America, right?

    How come it’s summarily ejected as a possible consideration to simply not tax it away in the first place?

    Because the problem you identified is the lack of jobs to provide demand to unleash the money “not taxed away in the first place.”

    If you want to solve the problem of lack of jobs, you can’t do it by putting money under the mattress of Big Companies. You must make work and cut pay checks to real people who need work, and who will spend that money to multiply it in the economy, instead of socking it under their own mattress. We are quite sure they will spend it, because their mattress supply of money is gone, and they need food, clothing, housing and energy, and they need it now.

    Supply and demand. Circular flow. This is high school economics.

    Of course, it’s high school economics informed by the abject and utter failure of Laffer’s “Supply Side” economics. We know that giving money to the rich doesn’t work to stimulate jobs and demand. Trickle down and supply side don’t work.

    So, that’s why we don’t leave that money in the hands of those who won’t spend it. That’s not what we need right now. It won’t solve the problem you identified.

    From where I’m sitting, once you’ve taxed the money, and then put it back in “the economy” via stimulus, all you’ve really accomplished is to move the decision-making into Washington.

    But only if the money is NOT put into stimulus. If there is money in the hands of consumers, THEY have the power.

    And I suspect that’s what bugs you. God forbid that people should be able to decide for themselves how to live, where to live, what to eat, and where the the kids go to school. Those are not rights for the hoi polloi, but privileges for the Vanderbilts, Carnegies, Gates and Buffets. Everyone else — well, they should have invented DOS, eh? Are there no workhouses? Are there no debtors prisons?

    Everything else is exactly what it was before — and that’s granting the benefit of the doubt to the idea that the stimulus money will be spent wisely.

    The economy moves on money spent NOW, wisely or not. So, the wisdom is, put the money where it will reside just long enough for the hotdog to come off the grill, or the beer from the tap, or the baby shoes from the box.

    Who makes you the arbiter of how other people spend their money?

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  20. Jim says:

    Hi Morgan!

    I owe you an apology. And you’re right — I didn’t read that carefully, because I didn’t see your response. My error entirely and thank you very much for answering.

    I asked if every American has a right to clean, safe water. You answered…

    “You’re living out in the middle of nowhere and you come across some clean drinking water; absolutely you have a right to it.”

    and you add…

    “Now say you come across drinking water that belongs to somebody else, for which they paid a premium price. Of course taking it would be stealing it, you don’t have a right to that. We can argue the merits of, if you’re dying of thirst, maybe the Heinz dilemma will turn this around and grant you a sort of license to steal. But what if it’s the guy who owns the water who is dying of thirst? What if his wife needs medicine and she can’t take it without the water?”

    This is good and it’s getting to the heart of the matter and the crux of our disagreement.

    What you have described for us is Somalia. Thanks for being honest, Morgan, and not beating about the bush. If I own the watering hole and I choose to guard it with my own little militia, no government has the right — according to you — to come in and take a portion of my water (not all of it, but some) and give it to neighbors with no militia who happen to be dying of thirst or in need of water to take with medicine.

    If the guy who owns the water is dying of thirst, or his wife needs the water for medicide…you and I completely agree. He has as much right to it as the thirsty stranger.

    Thankfully, water is available to everyone in America. Not so in many other places.

    But let’s not pretend we’re living in some post-apocalyptic world or on some pre-colonial fronter. It’s 2011 and whether I live in a tenament or a mansion, I can usually turn on the tap…or go to a tap somewhere close…and obtain drinking water. Do I have the right to SAFE, CLEAN water?

    Or would you say that only those who can afford to pay for a private company to purify and inspect the water supply have that right?

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  21. Jim,

    I answered last night at 6:18 pm. Also, James K just did what you insisted nobody is doing…I’m getting the impression you don’t read things too carefully.

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  22. Jim says:

    Morgan asks, “Isn’t each and every single one of those questions a false choice?”

    No. Not even a little bit. Gonna answer? Does every American have a right to inspected food, clean air and safe water? Let’s just start there.

    He adds, “Looks like Jim and James need to get together & get their talking points straight.”

    I’m going to let Nic (James) interpret his own comments and qualify them if he wishes. But as with Ed, Nic and I have been friends for many years. And I can tell you we don’t agree on a lot of things. So our “talking points” don’t need to be “straight”.

    You’re the one saying liberals want to take away all the possessions and money of the rich and hand it out to welfare queens, Morgan. Not me. I don’t want that. I would oppose that as forcefully as I oppose the current plutocracy. Being opposed to plutocracy is not necessarily tantamount to Communism, my friend.

    I can do nuance. Can you?

    But I won’t explain myself to you for the 15-thousandth time because, well, because if you choose not to hear me…that’s your choice. And if you choose to misrepresent what I say, that’s also your choice. I can’t control you, nor do I want to. I do think, however, if you could argue in good faith, we might make some progress.

    Each time you fail to, you only prove your harshest critics (and I ain’t one of ‘em by a long shot) right in their assessment.

    And there you have it! :-)

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  23. Looks like Jim and James need to get together & get their talking points straight. I just saw this yesterday from the fellow with the shorter name:

    I’m not hearing many (any?) liberals suggesting…

    *we are to surrender all our possessions
    *we are not free to enjoy individual rights
    *everyone is to have exactly as much as the next person

    I’ve never once suggested any of this. Nor has Ed.

    And here’s James K. insisting that “the rich” are taking things away from the rest of us merely by keeping what they have, lawfully, in accordance with the tax code and the rulings of the IRS. Taking what both of them say at face value, one of them is insisting government has a place to even out the score after the free market has determined who gets what — and the other one is insisting that nobody has said any such thing.

    Gentlemen, please get together and get it straight. The knee-jerk left-wing reaction of “I never said A what I said was B” is having a bit of a problem with mouth-ahead-of-brain.

    Meanwhile, I’m not seeing a reason to change my mind here. I make my money honestly, government can tax me at a fair rate to support the vital services…pay its debts…but if there’s a budget item for stimulus, perhaps it’s spent best by lowering the tax rates and keeping the money from coming into Washington in the first place. Let the car company executives figure out the best way to sell cars. Oh, and if you’re going to demand that I support an end to subsidies for those cars, as well as to farms, etc….ethanol…I’ll say, ahead of time, yes I’m squarely in your corner on that one. But thin the machinery down. And get out of this business of figuring out who’s supposed to be a winner and who’s supposed to be a loser. Not an enumerated power, and government hasn’t done a good job there anyway.

    If I end up with a hundred times more loot than the next guy, I get to keep it, get as mad about it as you want. Tax me fairly, but not retroactively. And don’t tax to target people. That’s a violation of the equal-protection clause, in spirit if not in letter.

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  24. Morgan writes:
    What specifically have the rich taken from you lately?

    You mean besides our jobs and an ever increasing share of the nations wealth? You mean besides a party that caters exclusively to them and is willing to screw over the rest of us to do so? In the case of Wisconsin workers you mean besides their rights? Or in Michigan people’s control of their towns?

    Turn a blind eye all you want, morgan, but sooner or later it is going to be you or yours losing stuff at the behest of the rich.

    Anyways, on another note since the Republicans love to claim they’re oh so moral there’s this:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/01/adult-industry-2012-gop-convention_n_943906.html

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    TAMPA, Fla. — Following an extensive remodel, the Penthouse Club in Tampa, Fla., is finally ready for next summer’s Republican National Convention. Club operator DeWayne Levesque has installed two secluded VIP sections, which he hopes will help his club attract a bigger share of the 50,000 visitors expected to descend upon the city on Aug. 27 for four days of conservative politics and liberal partying. In addition to the club’s new carpets and furniture, the private rooms are designed to provide cover so that camera-shy donors, politicians and aides can enjoy the strippers without fear of getting caught, he said.

    A few blocks from the Penthouse Club, another strip club owner, Joe Redner, said has high hopes for what the convention means for business at his all-nude club, Mons Venus. “I’m guessing we’ll make five times as much in a night as we usually do,” Redner told HuffPost. “Republicans got plenty of money. They take it all from poor people,” he said.

    Redner said he thinks many convention visitors will be in the market for a lap dance, but newly-released academic research suggests that some will be interested in the darker elements of Tampa’s adult scene, too — sex for sale. HuffPost teamed up with Tampa-based reporter Shawn Alff, of the Creating Loafing media group, to examine the potential impact of the RNC on two major pillars of the city’s X-rated economy: prostitution and strip clubs.

    “I can make between $50,000-$60,000 a night at Mons Venus during the days leading up to the Superbowl,” Redner explained, “up from $10,000-$12,000 on an average night.” When asked how a buttoned-up, political clientele might differ from a Superbowl crowd, Redner laughed. “All customers look [at the dancers] the same, no matter what they’re wearing or what they’re here for.”

    Mons Venus typically closes at 5 a.m., but Redner said he would be willing to keep the club open 24-7 during the GOP convention if demand merits it. That said, he may charge clients a premium at the door. “During the Superbowl I charge $50 a head. I may decide to do that during the convention, too.”

    In the meantime, Redner’s got a few bones to pick with GOP policymakers. “[Republicans] keep saying this stuff about how if we tax the rich, then small businesses won’t be able to grow. But I’m a small business owner, and I put all my money right back into my businesses in the form of capital improvements, which I don’t pay taxes on anyway. So their argument isn’t how reality works.”

    Another adults-only perk for conventioneers are scheduled appearances at clubs by well-known female adult film stars. Agent Brian Gross, who represents actresses Joanna Angel, Ryan Keely and Alexis Ford told HuffPost that “large events … give big name adult stars who dance on the circuit a great opportunity to get in front of a large crowd for their on-stage performances.”

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  25. See, that’s exactly the part I don’t get. We need to have a stimulus program, by which the government will inject this money into the economy. Otherwise, all hope is lost.

    How come it’s summarily ejected as a possible consideration to simply not tax it away in the first place? From where I’m sitting, once you’ve taxed the money, and then put it back in “the economy” via stimulus, all you’ve really accomplished is to move the decision-making into Washington. Everything else is exactly what it was before — and that’s granting the benefit of the doubt to the idea that the stimulus money will be spent wisely.

    Maybe that’s what we’re really arguing about? Washington decides everything because they’re more knowledgeable? President Obama knows more about how to run a car company than Rick Wagoner?

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  26. mark says:

    I think it was also Lincoln who was asked how long a certain part of a man’s anatomy should be. “Long enough to reach the ground,” was Lincoln’s reply.
    Government spending, as stimulus, ought to be sufficient to put significant numbers of people to work (while accomplishing real results, such as refurbishing of decaying infrastructure). If too little, then not enough money will wind up back in the economy as consumer spending.

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  27. Sorry, didn’t see your last…

    What specifically have the rich taken from you lately?

    Like

  28. But to answer your question(s) seriously: I’m pretty sure everyone with a working functional thought pattern, including you and me, will agree it depends entirely on how such things are acquired. It would have to, wouldn’t it? You’re living out in the middle of nowhere and you come across some clean drinking water; absolutely you have a right to it. It would take a real d!ck to say you don’t.

    Now say you come across drinking water that belongs to somebody else, for which they paid a premium price. Of course taking it would be stealing it, you don’t have a right to that. We can argue the merits of, if you’re dying of thirst, maybe the Heinz dilemma will turn this around and grant you a sort of license to steal. But what if it’s the guy who owns the water who is dying of thirst? What if his wife needs medicine and she can’t take it without the water?

    So — I propose we *all* agree. Depends on how you’re getting hold of these things. Now if you’re going to object that this isn’t good enough and you won’t settle for less than a “yes” or a “no,” it goes back to my original point: You’re the one issuing false choices.

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  29. Morgan writes:
    You ask, “Can you find a documented consensus among the founders of the nation that we’re supposed to enjoy our liberties and pursue our happiness by surrendering all of our possessions to the community, living collectively, and worry to excess about some among us being left with a little bit more than others. ”

    Can you find a documented consensus among the founders of the nation that we’re supposed to let the rich pay no taxes, businesses pay no taxes and that the both of them together are supposed to have the vast majority of the wealth and power of this country? To the point that some US Companies are more powerful then the United States government?

    Hell..can you find a documented consensus among the founders of the nation for a “free market” where the government, on any level, has absolutely no power to regulate or act to protect the people from the ravages of the rich, powerful and the corporations?

    Can you find a consensus among the founders of the nation that corporations are people too and get to buy elections?

    Can you find a consensus among the founders of the nation that the poor and middle class are to be left to die in the streets because they simply don’t have the money to pay the medical bills?

    Can you find a consensus among the founders of the nation where they say that 400 families having more of the wealth of this country then the bottom 51% of the country is a good idea?

    And tell me, Morgan, since you worry so much about the government taking everyone’s money and posessions then why aren’t you bitching about your party be willing to raise your taxes but not the taxes of the rich? In fact they want to raise your taxes so they can give another tax cut to the rich.

    Because that’s what I really don’t get. You and your side spend so much time getting your panties in a twist over the “federal government is too big and too powerful” but you’re perfectly willing to turn a blind eye to the fact that the rich and the companies are too big, too rich, too powerful and take too much from the rest of us.

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  30. False choices stink, Morgan. But why don’t you answer a few specific questions, just for squirts and giggles.

    Isn’t each and every single one of those questions a false choice?

    Like

  31. Jim says:

    Morgan, are we actually getting somewhere here?

    You ask, “Can you find a documented consensus among the founders of the nation that we’re supposed to enjoy our liberties and pursue our happiness by surrendering all of our possessions to the community, living collectively, and worry to excess about some among us being left with a little bit more than others. ”

    To which I respond, “No. Of course not.”

    It’s a good thing I never said any of that.

    I’m not hearing many (any?) liberals suggesting…

    *we are to surrender all our possessions
    *we are not free to enjoy individual rights
    *everyone is to have exactly as much as the next person

    I’ve never once suggested any of this. Nor has Ed.

    But now I have finally managed to identify what the difficulty is in hashing matters out with you. You take the most extreme example or position and presume it represents your opponent’s view entire.

    You remind me of the person suggesting that one must save baby seals OR baby humans. It makes for a cute, brief bumper sticker. But it represents a false dichotomoy. Because most people in a particular movement might wish to ban assault weapons does not mean they also wish to ban shotguns, target pistols and muzzleloaders. But to hear the NRA drones tell it, Brady is coming after my M. 1851 Colt Navy.

    Nope, sorry. No one is suggesting that we take all of Morgan’s money and give it to rummies on skid row. No one is even suggesting that it’s wrong for Jim to live in his five bedroom, 3-thousand square foot house in an upscale suburb. No, Morgan. Even commie-socialists like Dick Nixon, Dwight Eisenhower and Gerry Ford proposed such Leninist dreck. That’s just you projecting again.

    False choices stink, Morgan.

    But why don’t you answer a few specific questions, just for squirts and giggles.

    Does every American have the right to a living wage for a decent day’s work?

    Does every American have the right to breathe safe, clean air and drink safe, clean water?

    Does every American have the right to a modicum of safety in the workplace?

    Does every American have the right to see a doctor and receive medical treatment when injured or ill…even if he or she cannot pay for it?

    If you answer, “no”, how do you square that with the promotion of the GENERAL welfare and securing the blessings of liberty for ourselveS?

    The wealthiest Americans paid 91 % while Ike was President. That’s so high, I would oppose it, Morgan. But even so, how badly were they hurt by it? How many of them left America for other shores because of the crushing burden? Did the rich prosper in the 50’s?

    And which of the things we accomplished with tax money do you wish we had never done? You know, my parents felt the space race was a giant waste of money. But I never heard them complain about the G-I Bill, FHA loans for 1st time homebuyers, Pell Grants or paved, interstate highways. I never heard them grouse about the inspected, safe meat they purchased at the market.

    So go on, pal…enthrall us with your wisdom. Which of those things would you prefer America had never done or would now do away with?

    As soon as society is reshaped just as you’d like it, your first steak is on me.

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  32. This is a longstanding trend, I notice. Every time I ask for what logically supports some article of liberal faith, someone rushes forward out of the woodwork to tell me what I really believe.

    Anything to derail where the discussion was going, eh? Whatever it takes to make left-wing ideas look like good ones?

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  33. Jim, you have to remember that Morgan worships the rich and thinks they’re sacred cows that never ever should pay anything for making all that money on our backs.

    And that Morgan is perfectly fine with his taxes being raised just as long as the taxes on the rich aren’t raised at all and indeed are cut to 0. and if the company that Morgan works for has a CEO who wants to give himself a massive bonus and cut Morgan and 10,000 other jobs to pay for it…that’s perfectly alright in Morgan’s world. That the businesses control and seek to destroy the government? That’s okay too because Morgan believes that we the people simply can’t govern ourselves and must be directed and controlled by those with all the money because obviously they know whats best.

    And Morgan also thinks its a jolly good idea for poor and middle class families to bankrupt themselves having to pay $50,000 a year so the elderly members of their families can live in a nursing home. Which would have cost my one aunt about $300,000 for her now dead husband and one of my other aunts about $400,000 for her now dead husband. Whereas my dad lucked out because his wife died right after retiring and didn’t need a nursing home. At least that’s how Morgan sees it.

    Because in Morgan’s world we the people simply aren’t worth enough for him to give a damn about.

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  34. Yes, I’ve seen Ed circulate this mythology before. Since there can’t be any such thing as individual rights, Jefferson must have been writing that we’re endowed by our Creator with group liberties like life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. The forefathers must have taken up arms against their own family, risked life and limb, trudged with Washington at Valley Forge until their feet bled and faced the wrath of the mightiest army the world had ever known…because they couldn’t abide living under the yoke of this government over there that was just passing laws and taxes on them on a whim…and they wanted to live under the yoke of this other government over here passing laws and taxes on them on a whim. We severed the ties that bound, so that the bill mill could be moved closer. All that water between us & it. We just couldn’t stand it anymore.

    There’s a line in that Mel Gibson movie that addresses this beautifully: “Can you tell me please — why should I trade one tyrant three thousand miles away, for three thousand tyrants one mile away?”

    Since the point of our disagreement has been found, and you’re looking for something to source, maybe you could start by sourcing that. Can you find a documented consensus among the founders of the nation that we’re supposed to enjoy our liberties and pursue our happiness by surrendering all of our possessions to the community, living collectively, and worry to excess about some among us being left with a little bit more than others. When & where did they come to agreement on the notion that after the market has decided on its winners and losers, our government needs to step in afterward, take from some, give to others, spread the butter on the bread, even everything out. Was it just so intuitively obvious to them that they never bothered to discuss it or write it down?

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  35. Jim says:

    Hi there, Morgan!

    You ask, “What parts of that preamble are being p*ssed all over by these rich people, and in what way exactly are they p*ssing all over it?”

    First, the tea partiers reject the very concept of “We the People”. Their mantra is “I the person”. They call government intrinsically bad. Not bad government, mind. ALL government. Government is by and for and of the people. But to the tea party, it would seem the people themselves are bad.

    Second, they piss all over the notion that we are to form a more perfect union. Union implies cohesion, interdependency and community. But such words are anathema to the tea party. To them, we are NOT a union. We are rugged individuals who need no one and provide for no one but self. Our only commonality is geography. Further, any idea that we can make this concept of union more perfect is rejected on its face. That would require the efforts of a group of people…a society.

    Third, the tea party ridicules and scoffs at the notion of establishing justice. Past and future attempts to do so are lambasted as social engineering, political correctness and communism. Leaders of the tea party (as well as followers) have declared the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Desegregation of Schools and the Voting Rights Act to be unconstitutional or immoral. All these acts and programs were made law for one purpose: to establish justice. And while they might not have gone far enough, they certainly did establish at least a modicum of justice. No thanks, say the tea partiers. “Those people” don’t deserve the same rights we in the majority enjoy.

    Fourth, domestic tranquility…the tea partiers argue…is not the responsibility of government or this collective group of people we call “society”. To them, it is up to each individual. And each individual can decide whether or not to participate and to what degree. When natural disasters occur, tea partiers like Ron Paul suggest government has no business helping victims. The victims themselves, he opines, should pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. Law enforcement? The tea party is okay with it but only to the extent that laws are enforced on minorities and the poor. You won’t find the tea party complaining when African Americans are pulled over in possible instances of racial profiling. But when law enforcement seeks to require a corporation to obey the laws of the land…or seeks to investigate allegations of child molestation and the stockpiling of dangerous munitions by religious cults…then the tea party starts to whine and moan about jackbooted thuggery. No, for the tea party…domestic tranquility is ONLY for people just like them.

    Fifth, I have personally asked a number of tea party members if there is anything they would remove from the Preamble. All of them have said, “promote the general welfare” was a bad idea and should never have been included. Anecdotal, yes. But isn’t this the whole thrust of modern anarcho-conservatism? Again, “I’ve got mine, Jack. Now root, hog or die.” That’s what you believe, isn’t it, Morgan? Tell me if I am wrong and I’ll own it. Tea partiers want government helping no one…except possibly themselves. Because they are not like “those people”. Now that’s a perfectly common view and a perspective we see everyday in nature. But it’s not what our founders ever intended. Nor is it in keeping with Christianity or any other major world religion. It is Social Darwinism. You can see it on display in Somalia, Morgan. Or in George Romero’s “Land of the Dead”. Either way, it’s the tea party’s wet dream…because they all believe that THEY will be the ones in power and “those people” will be SOL.

    Ensuring the blessings of liberty? Well, that’s surely something tea partiers talk a lot about. Efrain Rios-Montt, Benito Mussolini and Mao Zedong all talked a lot about freedom and liberty, too. Talk is cheap. The tea party doesn’t want to ensure the blessings of liberty for anyone but themselves and maybe their posterity. But that’s the point of the Preamble. It’s plural, not singular. By definition, we are covenanting with EACH OTHER not declaring our intention to fatten our own wallets, enlarge our own herds and protecting our own rights. That’s not the vision of the founders.

    I know you don’t agree, Morgan. And that’s your right. In America, you can believe whatever you wish. But what you cannot do — at least not without some sanction — is refuse to participate by paying taxes. That’s not allowed, despite what many tea partiers say.

    You asked for my sources. About what? About what the Preamble says? I quoted it, man. Almost verbatim. We can disagree about what the words mean. But you can’t say I don’t have a source. About history? I listed the accomplishments of the long line of “socialist” Presidents America has had (using the tea party’s own definition of socialist). Pick one. Or three. Dispute me on the facts. You like to play these churlish “end-around” games where you refuse to deal with facts and claims (right ones or wrong ones!) and instead, simply declare your opponent wrong. That’s effective. I’ll grant you that.

    One other thing, pal. You think we liberals have an odd definition of “everyone”. I am referring to our desire to establish and preserve all these rights and blessings for “everyone”. Not perfectly, mind you — no one has said that and anarchists like yourself are wrong to claim so. Not perfectly, but ever striving toward that goal. Yes, we want enough food for every American. Yes, we want safe workplaces and clean water for every American. Yes, we want every American to enjoy the right to worship or not worship as he or she sees fit. Yes, we want a living wage for every American.

    Do you?

    How do you define “every American”?

    This should be interesting…

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  36. I’m seeing 2,875 characters of post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy, followed by an additional 1,155 characters of sheer nonsense (“there was never a question as to whether government was bad or good”?). And then 1,468 characters of slander. Let’s go after the slander, that’s probably most productive.

    Incredibily rich people who want to get richer and who wholeheartedly REJECT and p*ss all over the Preamble to the Constitution. Tea Party sheeple do so because they truly believe the old canard. If they just behave themselves, obey their masters and fight to preserve the wealth of the privileged few eventually a small amount of the wealth will trickle into the tin cups they are shakily holding out. Eventually, they too, will be welcomed into Fiddler’s Green where the beautiful people get to live. Sorry Joe the plumber. You will always be Joe the plumber.

    Specifics, please. What parts of that preamble are being p*ssed all over by these rich people, and in what way exactly are they p*ssing all over it? You’re referring to “We The People”? Are they not part of the people?

    I’ve been saying for awhile that liberals labor tirelessly to build a new world that works for the benefit of “everyone,” the trouble is they’ve got their own definition in mind for the word “everyone.” This is the part where you prove me right, yes? You obviously have some targets picked out for your rage, and you’re going through that everlasting left-wing thing where you think you’ve written up an elaborate and wonderful treatise that proves every point you’ve made, but when a sane person looks over your words — uh oh, it’s quite different. It’s like the Unabomber manifesto, just a recitation of your unshakable preconceived notions. Yay, Jim. You got them listed, very impressive. Good thing Ed will never hold you to the same standard he imposes on the ideas he doesn’t like.

    When teachers demand students supply their sources, they’re trying to keep the students from growing up to write down stuff just like what you posted. Jim thinks X. Oh, good, glad to know Jim thinks X. Very useful.

    It may surprise you to learn this, but supply siders talk about JFK’s tax cuts quite often; this anecdote, along with Kennedy’s remarks, supports their point. They talk about Eisenhower’s tax policies as well, since the Eisenhower era was marked by weak economic recovery, three recessions during his two terms. See, an economy is bigger than the cash sloshing around in it; it is bigger than the sloshing. You can’t just churn a feeble economy into becoming a robust one, it isn’t like a gasoline engine, in good working order with the ignition turned on, sitting still just because it’s sitting still. There’s no crankshaft for you to turn over & get things humming. An economy doesn’t work that way. If it’s sitting still, that’s your reading on the parts & the fuel & the condition of it. Read up on the New Deal sometime. Look at the chronology. FDR was inaugurated — did he sit around Obama style, saying “When I get back from vacation I’ll have some plans for jobs”? No, he jumped right in. Bank Holiday. Alphabet soup agencies. All that jazz. By the time World War II comes along, we’re still mired in a depression; unemployment goes down, unemployment goes back up.

    No, an economy is trade. Since it is trade, it consists of people doing things for other people that, without some compensation, they otherwise wouldn’t do. Starting with getting up out of bed. And this is the part where the left consistently has trouble: Incentive. Your side continues to deny there is such a thing, or that there should be such a thing, or that if there is such a thing you insist it can’t possibly have any beneficial effect. But the truth is that is the voltage that pushes the current through the circuit. There has to be some meaningful difference in the standard of living that might possibly be enjoyed by a person, should he take the time and trouble to do something, and the lower standard of living to which he knows he will be limited if he doesn’t bother. That is the plain truth of it. And I have the unsettling feeling that some among your compatriots are perfectly aware of this, that without an incentive the economy will surely grind to a halt, and they’re working to make it happen. Others don’t seem to know or care, and are just cashing checks, driving busloads of homeless people to the voting booths to vote democrat and handing out cigarettes to compensate the homeless people for doing what they’re told. Others are like Ed here, toiling away in a purely symbiotic relationship, feeding the beast.

    I guess you’re neither a knowingly-destroy-the-economy type, nor a doing-it-for-money type. Purely useful idiot? Certainly delusional, prone to believing fairy tales. Tin cups? Fiddler’s green? Masters? Looks like you’ve been reading old propaganda…like, really old, from the abolitionist era in the States or the Luddite era in the UK. I don’t need to toil for a “master” to understand, if I’m going to make a better life for myself, I’ll be relying on a right to own property that is more sacrosanct and sacred than anybody’s demagoguery. And that’s really what it comes down to: The right to own property is supreme to demagoguery. I get to keep what’s mine, no matter what. Your side gets to nominate presidents that give wonderful speeches, you get to buy fake Greek columns and plant whores in the audience to faint on cue, the so-called “journalists” just love the guy, and if I’ve paid taxes on my loot already I get to keep every nickel that’s left. You get as mad about it as you want, and I still get to control every single nickel.

    “Secure the blessings of liberty.” That’s in the preamble too. Who’s p*ssing on it again?

    Like

  37. Flakey says:

    “We checked the advance of Communism in Europe and into South Korea”

    Did America do this? Since Republicans keep insisting that Obama is trying to turn America socialist, and the American Democratic party would be in the position of a far right party in any European county, it sounds like they say the communists won, and control all the world except for America and Somalia.

    Like

  38. Jim writes:
    I have a great post to offer but it’s still awaiting moderation. I think because I used the “S-word” in it. Ed, feel free to edit that out. I think it’s apropos in this case, but I respect your right to keep a “family-friendly” blog.

    Since I regularly point out Morgan’s, Lower’s and Conservamind’s bullshit for being bullshit, Jim, I don’t think Ed can get mad with you.

    Like

  39. Jim says:

    I have a great post to offer but it’s still awaiting moderation. I think because I used the “S-word” in it. Ed, feel free to edit that out. I think it’s apropos in this case, but I respect your right to keep a “family-friendly” blog.

    Thanks bud!

    Jim

    Like

  40. Pangolin says:

    “Oh it’s not just Ike who is a socialist now in the “conservative” viewpoint….it’s also Nixon and Reagan.”_ James Kessler

    Since you stole the words from my keyboard I’ll just repost them.

    Like

  41. Jim says:

    As usual, Morgan, you take a grain of truth and mix in a generous helping of steaming monkey-dookey.

    Yes, the liberal “experiment” began in 1932. As Ed and others have demonstrated, it worked. The Great Depression was only extended because President Roosevelt cut taxes in 1936 and, to an extent, gave in to the remaining Gilded Agers in the Congress. The old saw that “only the war pulled us out of Depression” is pretty lame. Indeed, two wars and multiple tax cuts under The Decider did nothing to help the current economy.

    But FDR more or less righted the ship and it prospered. The economic and general domestic policies I advocate are those espoused and undertaken by him and by his successors — Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, Jack Kennedy, LBJ, Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.

    What’s the matter, Morgan? Is that too leftist a lot for you? Are the economic policies of President Eisenhower too — as Caribou Barbie might put it — “Socialisticky” for you?

    Under these Presidents, America taxed the fabulously wealthy at a rate that even I am uncomfortable with. Over this string of Democratic and Republican administrations, we not only taxed…we grew the size of “gub’mint”. And look what happened:

    We climbed out of the Great Depression.

    We kept the British Commonwealth, China and the USSR afloat during the rapid, brutal march of Fascism.

    We finally entered the war, defeated Mussolini’s Italy, ended Adolph Hitlers reign of terror and brought the mighty Japanese empire to her knees.

    We rebuilt Germany and Japan from the ground up.

    We rebuilt the other nations of Europe, as well as the Philippines, as they recovered from the horrors of occupation and bombing.

    We helped put millions of returning heroes back to work, honoring the sacrifice of service they rendered to the country the loved. Those who were scarred or wounded too badly to work, we cared for.

    We integrated the Armed Forces.

    We advanced medical science and cured dreaded diseases.

    We invested tens of billions in infrastructure here at home; including dams, bridges, national parks and battlefields and an interstate highway system that was the envy of the world.

    We checked the advance of Communism in Europe and into South Korea.

    We outdid the USSR in the weapons race, eventually bringing the Soviet system to a place where it was on life support.

    We established NASA and embarked on a program of space exploration that remains unmatched. No other nation has landed men on the moon and returned them safely to Earth.

    We made substantial progress in the area of civil rights, health care for more of our citizens and education.

    We electrified much of rural and backwoods America, tremendously improving the quality of life of citizens.

    We made water safer to drink, air safer to breathe and food safer to eat.

    The Peace Corps was established.

    And there is so much more that I could list…all of it positive. Sure, there are some negatives, too. Government has made mistakes in the past and will always make mistakes. But all that progress was made under Presidents who taxed and spent. Rates differed, of course. Republican Eisenhower kept taxes pretty high. Democrat Kennedy lowered them. But all these Presidents, from FDR through Carter, realized that taxation was necessary and, at times, taxes had to be raised. All of them, FDR through Carter, realized that government programs that were demonstrably effective should be supported enthusiastically. And all of them, with the possible exception of Carter ironically, were mostly against deregulation. Some may have taken matters too far. Remember Nixon and price controls? But all in all, no matter who occupied the White House or which party controlled Congress…there was never a question as to whether government was bad or good. Good government was good. Bad government was eventually uprooted and done away with. Sometimes not quickly enough, I concede. But with much greater alacrity and efficacy that what has taken place since.

    Our argument is not so much for Democrats. It is for sanity. You give us a Republican like Dwight Eisenhower or, sans corruption and Vietnam, like Richard Nixon…and we’ll gladly pull the “R” lever. But the America-haters of the Tea Party who have read and memorized Ayn Rand’s The Virture of Selfishness won’t give us a Republican like that. Hell, I’m not sure our Democrats in the last 30 years have been as “liberal” as Ike or Gerry Ford. The only people the Tea Party advocates for are the Koch Brothers and their ilk. Tea Party leaders do so because they are Koch lite. Incredibily rich people who want to get richer and who wholeheartedly REJECT and piss all over the Preamble to the Constitution. Tea Party sheeple do so because they truly believe the old canard. If they just behave themselves, obey their masters and fight to preserve the wealth of the privileged few…eventually…a small amount of the wealth will trickle into the tin cups they are shakily holding out. Eventually, they too, will be welcomed into “Fiddler’s Green” where the beautiful people get to live.

    Sorry Joe the plumber. You will always be Joe the plumber. The only question for you is, do you want to be Joe the plumber with health care and a pension? Or Joe the plumber with jack shit, except faint memories of “fighting the good fight” for the sake of Donald Trump and his indolent tribe of suckling pigs?

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  42. Oh it’s not just Ike who is a socialist now in the “conservative” viewpoint….it’s also Nixon and Reagan.

    Like

  43. Don’t accuse me of bias when you can’t show me figures to support your cause, especially when your links point to a Washington Post piece that…

    But on the way, it goes through a piece that show what the WP post got wrong. Apparently you chose not to read that and just clicked straight on through. I can only bring the horse to water.

    It’s also true [Bush] did far more than any President in U.S. history to derail an economy…

    I’ve been reading that over and over again at these parts. How do you figure? If you go back and read the Bush administration’s side of things you’ll see there are claims they CREATED so-many-jobs…and I’m sure you disagree with that, but give due credit nobody needs to resort to this Obama admin. “or saved” malarkey. Is this personal experience or something? I look at my own, what kind of salary was I commanding when Bush became president, what was I pulling in when he stepped down — I did better than okay.

    There is the S&L bailout thing, true. Bush did his greatest damage when he went along with the liberals.

    The current mess is because Americans lack the intellect and vision to put liberals in charge…We need a left to far left Congress and a left or truly center-left President if we are to undo the damage that has been wrought…

    I’ve been wondering about this for awhile. These liberal ideas that work so well and we’ve been putting them to the test since 1932 — how is it that we haven’t quite managed to see “Gee, this works out pretty well!” and just leave them in place? Is it because, as you say, Americans lack the intellect and vision? If that’s the issue, aren’t we just reaping our just desserts? What’s the problem?

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  44. Jim says:

    Hello there, Conservamind! Thank you for setting the record straight. You said, “So Clinton signs in to law the The Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act of 1999 a full year before Bush is in office yet its GWB’s fault? ”

    You are correct. The effective repeal of Glass-Steagel via Gramm-Leach began under a Democrat, not a Republican. This is why I keep hollering as much about Obama and Clinton as I ever did about Bush.

    It’s true, Bush and his cronies were only too tickled to have this malignant status quo in place. It’s also true he did far more than any President in U.S. history to derail an economy…though if you combine the mangled economic abortion that was the Taft-Wilson-Harding-Coolidge-Hoover “Gilded Age Quintet”, then we’re in the same ballpark.

    Bill Clinton screwed America royally by signing this legislation, by enacting NAFTA (which I stupidly supported at the time), by deregulating broadcasting to the point of absurdity and with his well-intentioned, but awfully flawed attempt at welfare “reform”.

    He, like Obama, was a center-right corporatist. Better than The Decider, certainly. (Clinton and Obama, for instance, don’t fight illegal wars off the books and when they DO take military action, we usually win. But I digress.)

    The current mess is because Americans lack the intellect and vision to put liberals in charge. We don’t need another Bill Clinton or Barack Obama and their bandaid solutions that end up being twisted and repackaged by corporate America into golden parachutes. We certainly don’t need economic rapists like the Bush-Cheney-Koch cabal.

    We need a left to far left Congress and a left or truly center-left President if we are to undo the damage that has been wrought since 1981. I’m thinking maybe someone like Eisenhower.

    Yes, that’s exactly how far your tribe has pushed back the goalpost. Ike is now a Socialist.

    And there you have it!

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  45. Ed Darrell says:

    d just follows through to the links he happens to like, reads what he likes, ignores everything else

    I followed your link to the substance it gave. If I missed something, please show me where it is. I found nothing to support your claims. The first site snarked about the Post piece, but offered nothing of substance I found. Did I miss it?

    Show me.

    Don’t accuse me of bias when you can’t show me figures to support your cause, especially when your links point to a Washington Post piece that, with one small exception, denies your case precisely.

    I’m short on time, and while I’d love to chase down every wild goose anyone brings in here, I don’t really have the time.

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  46. conservamind says:

    So Clinton signs in to law the The Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act of 1999 a full year before Bush is in office yet its GWB’s fault? And here you have to choose between having your cake and eating it too, so you imply Republicans should get credit for repealing Glass Stegall because they intoduced it in congress. By this logic, Republicans should get credit for the Clinton “surplus” since they controlled congress the last 6 years of his admin and introduced all legislation that led to that “surplus” Dems love to boast about. It’s your choice. Can any of you Dems check what the debt was at when Clinton took office in 92′ and what it was when he left on 2000 on the treasury dept web site, unless that’s a right wing run website. I doubt anyone will post their findings.

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  47. …in shifting more of the wealth of this country into the hands of the already wealthy few.

    If by “wealthy few” you mean the people who started businesses and were directly responsible for creating “the wealth of this country,” then you are correct. Makes sense, doesn’t it? Wealth has to be created, and it’s only natural that it will accumulate in the greatest amounts around those who created it. It’s going to be brightest where the light bulb is, inkiest around where the fountain pen is, the gravity will be most intense where the black hole is…

    How many jobs ya got from a poor person James? What’s the BIGGEST payroll you’ve ever seen — in a tattoo parlor?

    Pardon the shallow cliches. I’ve tried demonstrating my point with links and facts and figures. Ed just follows through to the links he happens to like, reads what he likes, ignores everything else…then Mr. “can’t tell Thomas Sowell apart from Walter Williams” says I got my links mixed up. Which is another thing conservatives say about liberals: If the libs do happen to have some natural intelligence, it really doesn’t matter, they can’t be told anything.

    The title of the post is “How deep is the stupid in the Tea Party.” Funny. It would appear that is not the problem.

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  48. To quote:
    The Bush tax cuts worked very well, by the way.

    Yeah they worked very well…in shifting more of the wealth of this country into the hands of the already wealthy few.

    But since your side claimed that the Bush tax cuts would not create a deficit, would create jobs for everyone and would create economic prosperity for everyone and the Bush tax cuts did nothing of the sort…in reality the Bush tax cuts were pathetic failures.

    Tell me, children, why should you pay more taxes but the rich shouldn’t?

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  49. Ed Darrell says:

    The Bush tax cuts worked very well, by the way.

    Do you guys bother to read the links you send? Ultimately Morgan’s link went to the “5 myths” page at the Washington Post, where it debunked the myths about Bush’s tax cuts working well.

    Rated as untrue:

    1. Extending the tax cuts would be a good way to stimulate the economy.
    2. Allowing the high-income tax cuts to expire would hurt small businesses.
    3. Making the tax cuts permanent will lead to long-term growth.
    4. The Bush tax cuts are the main cause of the budget deficit. [It says the recession is the chief culprit -- but of course, it's Bush's recession.]
    5. Continuing the tax cuts won’t doom the long-term fiscal picture; entitlements are the real problem.

    We’ve been trying to tell you, Morgan.

    Seriously, Morgan — can you explain your point, and offer real numbers to back it?

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  50. Pangolin says:

    Coservamind_The Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act of 1999 was the legislative act that caused the repeal of Glass-Steagal. Gramm, Leach and Biley were ALL Republican senators seeking banking deregulation. Why Clinton signed that act is beyond me but the legislation originated in Republican offices. Clinton was a Democrat but by no means especially “liberal” and certainly not “progressive.”

    There was still enough regulation in place to rein in the banks but Republican President George W. Bush hated regulation and refused to enforce any on corporations.

    Freddie mac and Fanny Mae did not EVER originate loans. All loans were originated in the offices of a financial institution that had the (failed and flouted) responsibility of providing accurate information. Freddie-Mac and Fanny Mae are loan underwriters.

    The war snark is off topic but you might ask yourself how many US troops are in Libya. I think zero is the official answer.

    Morgan_ Conservative denial of Anthropogenic Climate Change and Evolution is all we need to know about Tea Party-style stupidity. Both are well documented in the premiere, peer-reviewed science journals and yet denied based upon faith and garbage arguments. I note that Republicans aren’t avoiding science backed medicine where they demand care based upon the science published in the exact same journals.

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  51. Got a competing claim, Morgan? Where’s the set of data to back it up?

    Refute away, Ed. It really doesn’t matter which source I pick, the numbers are all pretty much the same and this chestnut’s been roasted for awhile. The source is the U.S. Treasury.

    NYT is a favorite whipping boy of conservatives with a foolish consistency. Are my figures in error?

    What conservatives say about liberals is, they read the New York Times and not too much else; the libs repeat what they find in those pages, endlessly, thinking in error that this is the whole story. Meanwhile, the NYT itself is just more of the same, libs educating themselves about what’s going on in “the world” just by talking to each other.

    Even those who are NOT conservative will say: If the outcome of your readings & thinkings is significantly changed by including a single source, from what it would be if you made use of all other sources and excluded that one, that is the very definition of an “outlier”; if that outlier is driven by a particular agenda, like for example working Abu Ghraib into the front page every day for six weeks straight, this causes more suspicion. If the outlier is cruising on old glories and making errors in passing along the bad information, that adds to the suspicion. Eventually, the mature mind will go through the exercise of forming an opinion without that source, if only for sake of the exercise alone. The mature mind, not the liberal mind.

    Don’t liberals pose that challenge to conservatives on a routine basis? “Oh great, you saw that on Fox News, have you got another source? I REFUSE to watch blah blah blah blah…”

    Your sources in the Times insist that the Bush tax cuts cost the treasury money. What’s their source for this? Are they just applying straight arithmetic? In fact, why should anybody be taken seriously anywhere after they say a tax cut cost money?

    The Bush tax cuts worked very well, by the way.

    I’ve been wondering this about the Michael Moore mythos, which seems to find support here although you won’t come out and admit it word-for-word: That there’s no shortage of money in the US, the country has trillions of dollars in the form of private property held by the “rich” and this is in fact a public resource.

    Now if you do buy into that, how can any tax cut cost any money? It’s all just American money, right, moved from one pocket to the other. Right? Where’s the damage? After the electorate wises up and figures out liberalism is the right way to go, the more of it the better, just vote in some tax increases and move it back again. If the credit rating goes down, just have Obama give a few more wonderful speeches about “This will always be a triple-A country” and reality will be revised properly…

    I’ve always found it peculiar that this left-wing superpower of re-defining the laws of the universe, is always used to make the democrat party stronger, never to make the country stronger. There must be a rule about that somewhere.

    Like

  52. conservamind says:

    Pangolin, So now the housing crash was caused by GWB? Which policy of GWB’s caused the housing crash, oh that’s right none of his policies. In 1999 the Glass Steagall Act, which made it illegal for investment banks and commercial banks to merge, was repealed by none other then one Bill Clinton. Dems were also in charge of the federally insured Freddie Mac and Fanny Mae which were handing out loans to anyone with a pulse. Obama is only responsible for the $4 trillion of debt he added. I love the double standard, Obama goes in to Lybia, with out congressional approval, to liberate their people from a dictator and he is a hero. GWB goes in to Iraq with congressional approval to liberate their people and the left calls him a war criminal.

    Like

  53. Pangolin says:

    So the debt taps, public and private, were opened to full stop during the Bush administration and borrowed money was allowed to flow into government and private hands with little or no oversight or accountability.

    Banks were writing “NINJA” loans to borrowers with “No Income No Job or Asset” Then they would skim a profit off the top and sell bundles of them as CDO bonds rated AAA by Standard and Poor.

    Meanwhile in Iraq the U.S. military was flying in cargo aircraft with pallets of cash packed into million dollar backpacks. That cash was spent with ZERO accountability.

    The conservatives called that “economic growth.”

    When the loans started coming due and were proved to be fraudulent the US economy crashed. It was ONLY due to the cooperation of the Democrats that the Republican party was able to cobble together an economic crutch that allowed Bush to leave office rather than get dragged from it.

    The minute Obama was inaugurated Republican cooperation turned into fifth column sabotage. Every possibile piece of legislation that could be delayed, denied, destroyed or poisoned got the treatment.

    The pretense that the national debt is somehow Obama’s alone without any responsibility attached to the Repuke roadblock in the Senate is absurd. Almost as absurd as the concept that Joe Lieberman is a true Democrat.

    Like

  54. Ed Darrell says:

    Got a competing claim, Morgan? Where’s the set of data to back it up?

    NYT is a favorite whipping boy of conservatives with a foolish consistency. Are my figures in error?

    Conservatism has a well-known bias against reality.

    It’s not liberal bias that makes the implicit, false claim that Obama is responsible for $15 trillion in spending, nor that claims that tax cuts create jobs to the contrary of economic theory of free markets as described by the Chicago Boys. Conservative stupid is not caused by liberal bias.

    Like

  55. Well conservamind they did give you the low-down, you’re supposed to believe it uncritically without a shred of skepticism. Haven’t you noticed? ALL of the four pieces cited here came out of the pages of the New York Times. So when you didn’t just forget every little thing in your head in favor of the wisdom from the (opinion) pages of NYT, you became sub-human and therefore ripe for name-calling. That’s what modern liberalism is about, you know; proclaiming a goal of building a new world fit for everybody, and then re-defining the seemingly simple and un-re-definable concept of “everybody.”

    Liberals also have a very strange perception to time, I’ve noticed, especially the liberals around here. Example: Terrorists attacked us some eight months after George Bush’s inauguration, that’s three thousand dead Americans on George Bush’s watch. There was no history before Bush became president; that’s all on him. But when I say something like “Hey remember when Bush was president and unemployment was 9.1%? Me neither.” — suddenly, history becomes important. Everything was headed in the wrong direction, Obama didn’t make it that way, in fact Obama deserves credit for stopping the slide (!). Presto change-o, a new administration and all of a sudden objects have states; in fact, as the states move, they acquire momentum. A whole different set of rules under which the universe can operate. Simply amazing!

    Like I’ve said a few times: Whatever it takes to make liberal ideas look like good ones.

    You’re best off looking at “The Bathtub” as a propaganda site. Then it makes sense.

    Like

  56. conservamind says:

    So by this logic you are saying GWB is responsible for adding $7 trillion to the debt, since Obama only added $1 trillion? GWB has been out of office coming up on 3 years yet he is still spending money during the Obama admin. I really hope that President Obama uses this sentiment of yours during the 2012 election because people are tired of the Dems “blame Bush” tactic. GWB did run the debt up but spending did not sky rocket out of control until Dems took control of congress Jan 1, 2007, budgets are created in congress, and had control over budgets for FY’s 2008 to 2011. Obama states how irresponsible the spending was during the Bush admin yet he was in congress and voted to pass the budget that had the largest deficit of all the Bush years. How is it GWB’s fault that during a Democratic controlled congress and White House they voted to extend the Bush tax cuts during the Obama admin, how is that logical? Oh and by the way the myth the “surplus” Clinton left was spent on GWB’s tax cut isn’t true, tax revenues went up 44% yrs 2003-2007. During the first 2 yrs of Obama’s Presidency he could have ended both wars because they had control of congress, but he didn’t and that’s GWB’s fault? I like that you made it a point to call me “little” and “child”, another example of the civility on the left.

    Like

  57. Ed Darrell says:

    You’re right — Hanson doesn’t say Obama did it all — which makes his claims all the more bizarre. If he recognizes that the bulk of the debt came from Reagan and Bush II, his arguments become hypocritical, that we should continue the policies that led to that massive debt, don’t they?

    Here are a couple of sources you can check to see who added how much to the debt:

  58. o “Whose legacy?”
  59. o “How did we get into this deficit mess?”
  60. Obama’s rate of addition to the debt — mainly in continuing Bush policies — isn’t as fast as Bush’s, nor nearly so great.

    That’s one of my chief complaints about Tea Partyism. Facts don’t tether their arguments to anything. You say “It is a known fact Obama has added over $4 trillion to the debt” — but that’s false. Kin Hubbard is still right (I’m paraphrasing): It’s not what we don’t know that gets us into trouble. It’s what we know, that ain’t so.

    Like

  • Little conservative, you might want to bother to remember that quite a large portion of that “$4 trillion” you’re espousing there is what was added to the debt during Obama’s presidency by Bush’s policies.

    Meaning the tax cuts to the rich, Medicare part D and the two wars.

    That means, child, that Bush and his fellow Republicans are responsible for “adding debt faster then any president in the history of the United States.” And that’s a fact.

    But please…don’t let facts get in the way of your opinion.

    Sources for what I said above would be: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/24/opinion/sunday/24sun4.html?_r=2

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/10/business/economy/10leonhardt.html?hp

    Like

  • conservamind says:

    I don’t see at which point where the author VDH states that President Obama added $15 trillion to the national debt. It seems very obvious to any literate person with a slight grasp of the English language that VDH is only stating that our current national debt is roughly $15 trillion. I also want to know the obvious, how did you arrive at the fact that Obama has only added $1 trillion to the debt. It is a known fact that Obama has added over $4 trillion in debt the fastest of any president in the history of the United States. President Obama himself said adding $4 trillion to the national debt is “un- American”. I like you Liberals, you never let facts get in the way of your opinion!

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