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View Full Version : Let's just say it: The Republicans are the Problem (Mann & Ornstein)



pghin08
05-11-2012, 11:14 AM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/lets-just-say-it-the-republicans-are-the-problem/2012/04/27/gIQAxCVUlT_story.html

Well worth the read. I'm not sure if it's an excerpt from their book, or if it's a bit of a synopsis. Before you guys pounce on me, if you aren't familiar with Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein, you may want to read up on them. They're widely praised political scientists known for their focus on how Congress works, and how it's developed over time. Mann is one of the chairs of the Brookings Institute (a fairly centrist organization), and is the the Director of the American Political Science Association. Ornstein works for the more conservative American Enterprise Institute.

These guys are not two rogue Democrats aiming to pin all of our troubles to Republicans. They are two centrist congressional scholars who have written extensively on the role of Congress within our governmental system. As a former poli sci student, I can say that their work is often quoted, and they are very highly regarded in their field.

habsheaven
05-11-2012, 11:28 AM
To outside observers this has been so obvious for years. Republican supporters will either deny it, or say it is all because of the current POTUS.

shrewsbury
05-11-2012, 01:33 PM
funny, republicans balanced the budget while clinton was in office and created the one and only time we had a surplus.

senate can strike down anything, but if the repubs do, it is a crime

holding to the constitution and the beliefs that made this country is now not "cool" and we should change everything

what was the dems stand during the civil rights movement?

pghin08
05-11-2012, 01:45 PM
To outside observers this has been so obvious for years. Republican supporters will either deny it, or say it is all because of the current POTUS.

What floored me the most about it was their bluntness. I'm very familiar with these two, and from their prior works, they've been equally critical of both parties.

habsheaven
05-11-2012, 01:52 PM
The most damning evidence is the advent of the "Pledge". Any politician that feels obligated to sign a pledge drawn up by an unelected individual before entering public office should not hold public office.

pghin08
05-11-2012, 01:55 PM
funny, republicans balanced the budget while clinton was in office and created the one and only time we had a surplus.

Much as I'd love to give Clinton credit for that surplus, a LOT of it had to do with increased revenues do to the .com bubble and the social security payroll tax. I don't think either party had a tremendous effect.

senate can strike down anything, but if the repubs do, it is a crime

Not sure what you mean here.

holding to the constitution and the beliefs that made this country is now not "cool" and we should change everything

I don't think that's true at all. Plus, Mann and Ornstein are constitutional at heart. I've read their past works, and a lot of what they say are things like "This isn't how the Constitution intended for this to work", etc.

what was the dems stand during the civil rights movement?

What does this have to do with anything?

responses in bold.

pspstatus
05-11-2012, 06:32 PM
I have to admit I don't know anything about these two guys but what they say in that article is pretty much spot on in my opinion.

The leaders of the GOP and of groups like the Tea Party strike me as being like children who cry and scream if they don't get their way. Like if you don't do it the way I say I'm not gonna play no more. Boohoo boohoo. I'm fairly sure that all of their dictionaries have had the word compromise cut out as well.

That's not to say the Democratic party or the President is perfect, in fact they are far from it. But when looking at both parties it just seems like one is way more out of control than the other.

JustAlex
05-11-2012, 07:05 PM
Well, this is so painfully obvious.

Now, I would like to say that I am NOT a democrat, I am an independent who is FRUSTRATED at both parties and I just wish we didn't have this two party system.

However, you have to be living under a rock, or be incredibly BIASED not to see what's going on.

duane1969
05-11-2012, 08:25 PM
Funny thing is that your could date this article in the early 2000's and change the word Republican to Democrat and it would be the same. Dems were just as seperatist-minded, just as openly critical of everything Republican, just as willing to look the other way when extreme things were said by their party members, and it was OK. Prime example, Hank Williams Jr. was a horrible person for insinuating that Obama was similar to Hitler, but liberals flat-out called Bush Hitler when he was in office and nobody cared.

Why this double-standard exist is beyond me. Obama says "I will veto everything that the Republicans send to me" and it is no big deal. Republicans sign a pledge, and they are the bad guys. Hank Williams Jr. likens Obama to Hitler and people are outraged...the same people who just a few years ago were calling George Bush Hitler and making signs with Bush portrayed as Hitler.

And while I recognize that the authors are trying to be unbiased one component must be understood. The "middle" that they speak of is the liberal middle. Liberals are willing to "give in" on 3rd term abortions, but they still get abortion. Liberals are willing to accept that the assault weapons ban no longer exist, but they still get to limit the sale of ammunition and the production of certain weapons. Liberals are willing to accept stronger enforcement of illegal immigration laws as long as they get a law that allows illegals to stay if they are wanting to get an education or have a parent already here. The liberal version of compromise always conveniently involves them still getting what they want. I don't call that compromise.

Would liberal lawmakers be so willing to compromise if the compromise involved them not getting what they want at all? I imagine not, yet republicans are criticized and labeled as the "problem" if they take a firm stance and demand that they get what they want. Imagine that.

INTIMADATOR2007
05-11-2012, 09:57 PM
I have to admit I don't know anything about these two guys but what they say in that article is pretty much spot on in my opinion.

The leaders of the GOP and of groups like the Tea Party strike me as being like children who cry and scream if they don't get their way. Like if you don't do it the way I say I'm not gonna play no more. Boohoo boohoo. I'm fairly sure that all of their dictionaries have had the word compromise cut out as well.




That's not to say the Democratic party or the President is perfect, in fact they are far from it. But when looking at both parties it just seems like one is way more out of control than the other.

So when did sticking with the law and consitiution become crying and boo hooing. Why should the republicans be a part of the ridiculous stuff going on in congress and with the preezy of the steeze? You realize they are elected officials and are doing what they are told from thier voters unlike the democrats running amuck and doing what they desire at the drop of a hat . The republicans are doing exactly what they are suppose to be doing and listening to the voters and trying to stop everything they can to save the country. And you describe the republicans are being a party out of control , you are waaayyyy off on that one .

*censored*
05-11-2012, 11:37 PM
"You realize they are elected officials and are doing what they are told from thier voters unlike the democrats running amuck and doing what they desire at the drop of a hat ."

Haha, please.

"preezy of the steeze"

Clarify for me: what the hell are you talking about?

INTIMADATOR2007
05-11-2012, 11:56 PM
at the 1:10 mark

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8zgSVdcPGE&feature=related

pspstatus
05-12-2012, 06:14 PM
So when did sticking with the law and consitiution become crying and boo hooing. Why should the republicans be a part of the ridiculous stuff going on in congress and with the preezy of the steeze? You realize they are elected officials and are doing what they are told from thier voters unlike the democrats running amuck and doing what they desire at the drop of a hat . The republicans are doing exactly what they are suppose to be doing and listening to the voters and trying to stop everything they can to save the country. And you describe the republicans are being a party out of control , you are waaayyyy off on that one .


Maybe they are doing what the voters who elected them want although I think they are going to extremes. But they still have to work with the other side which they refuse to do. The point is that both the officials and the people who elected them are completely unwilling to compromise.

duane1969
05-13-2012, 01:41 PM
Maybe they are doing what the voters who elected them want although I think they are going to extremes. But they still have to work with the other side which they refuse to do. The point is that both the officials and the people who elected them are completely unwilling to compromise.

Scenario:

Group A: Passes laws that the majority of the public opposes in spite of significant vocal opposition. Appears to be treading water and accomplishing very little that was promised would be done if elected.

Group B: Runs on a platform of forcing Group A to do things differently and is elected based on that promise. Group B stands by that promise and refuses to do things the way that Group A demands that it be done.

Question 1: Why is Group B wrong for not compromising and doing it Group A's way when the whole premise of Group B being elected was to not do it Group A's way?

Question 2: Why isn't Group A facing criticism for not compromising and doing it Group B's way when the public clearly was not happy with the way Group A was doing it to begin with?

This is the fallacy of the current political climate. Republicans are being criticized for not "going along" with Democrats, but if the people liked the way the Democrats were doing things then the Republican's would have never even been elected to begin with. And anybody who thinks that Obama has been this easy-going laidback bi-partisan guy is fooling themselves. Just Google the term "Obama veto Republican" and see just how many things the Republican Congress has put forth that Obama either threatened to veto or vetoed.

AUTaxMan
05-13-2012, 07:12 PM
You realize Allen West's comments were accurate, The current members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus may not be communists, but the Democratic Socialists of America claimed in 2009 that the all of the members of the caucus were also DSA members. That would at least make them socialists.

duane1969
05-14-2012, 09:37 AM
You realize Allen West's comments were accurate, The current members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus may not be communists, but the Democratic Socialists of America claimed in 2009 that the all of the members of the caucus were also DSA members. That would at least make them socialists.

In October 2009 The Democratic Socialist of America named 70 Congressional Democrats that are members. West was clearly on target. Also on target was the standard liberal ploy of attacking someone for speaking the truth.

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2010/08/american-socialists-release-names-of-70-congressional-democrats-in-their-caucus/

pghin08
05-14-2012, 09:57 AM
In October 2009 The Democratic Socialist of America named 70 Congressional Democrats that are members. West was clearly on target. Also on target was the standard liberal ploy of attacking someone for speaking the truth.

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2010/08/american-socialists-release-names-of-70-congressional-democrats-in-their-caucus/

First off, Communism and Socialism aren't the same thing. Secondly, it appears that the Democratic Socialists of America simply copied the membership from the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and assumed it as their own. The DSA could have easily given them some sort of "honorary" membership simply because they belonged to this caucus (the CPC is not at all socialist, by the way).

http://cpc.grijalva.house.gov/index.cfm?sectionid=71&sectiontree=2,71

duane1969
05-14-2012, 10:58 AM
First off, Communism and Socialism aren't the same thing. Secondly, it appears that the Democratic Socialists of America simply copied the membership from the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and assumed it as their own. The DSA could have easily given them some sort of "honorary" membership simply because they belonged to this caucus (the CPC is not at all socialist, by the way).

http://cpc.grijalva.house.gov/index.cfm?sectionid=71&sectiontree=2,71

I was not equating Communism and Socilaism, but saying they are not similar is faulty at best. And either way, neither is what our country is supposed to be about. Our country was founded on the idea of hard work, striving for success and achieving your dreams. Most of the people on that list see dreams and success as something that the wealthy are supposed to provide for the less fortunate.

pghin08
05-14-2012, 11:01 AM
I was not equating Communism and Socilaism, but saying they are not similar is faulty at best. And either way, neither is what our country is supposed to be about. Our country was founded on the idea of hard work, striving for success and achieving your dreams. Most of the people on that list see dreams and success as something that the wealthy are supposed to provide for the less fortunate.

We at least agree on this.

By the way, back to your initial post in this thread, I just wanted to remind you that Mann and Ornstein are talking about the Republican party as it exists in Congress, not as it exists outside of it. They only report on congressional behavior as how it relates to public policies, though they do indict the mass media a bit.

AUTaxMan
05-14-2012, 11:05 AM
Funny thing is that your could date this article in the early 2000's and change the word Republican to Democrat and it would be the same. Dems were just as seperatist-minded, just as openly critical of everything Republican, just as willing to look the other way when extreme things were said by their party members, and it was OK. Prime example, Hank Williams Jr. was a horrible person for insinuating that Obama was similar to Hitler, but liberals flat-out called Bush Hitler when he was in office and nobody cared.

Why this double-standard exist is beyond me. Obama says "I will veto everything that the Republicans send to me" and it is no big deal. Republicans sign a pledge, and they are the bad guys. Hank Williams Jr. likens Obama to Hitler and people are outraged...the same people who just a few years ago were calling George Bush Hitler and making signs with Bush portrayed as Hitler.

And while I recognize that the authors are trying to be unbiased one component must be understood. The "middle" that they speak of is the liberal middle. Liberals are willing to "give in" on 3rd term abortions, but they still get abortion. Liberals are willing to accept that the assault weapons ban no longer exist, but they still get to limit the sale of ammunition and the production of certain weapons. Liberals are willing to accept stronger enforcement of illegal immigration laws as long as they get a law that allows illegals to stay if they are wanting to get an education or have a parent already here. The liberal version of compromise always conveniently involves them still getting what they want. I don't call that compromise.

Would liberal lawmakers be so willing to compromise if the compromise involved them not getting what they want at all? I imagine not, yet republicans are criticized and labeled as the "problem" if they take a firm stance and demand that they get what they want. Imagine that.

I generally agree with this post, and this is the very thing that the article fails to consider.

pghin08
05-14-2012, 11:23 AM
You guys do know that Obama has never said "I will veto anything the Republicans send to me", right? The only thing I remember him saying that's even close to that is when he said he'd veto any attempt to get rid of the military spending cuts that are set to take place.

duane1969
05-14-2012, 11:35 AM
You guys do know that Obama has never said "I will veto anything the Republicans send to me", right? The only thing I remember him saying that's even close to that is when he said he'd veto any attempt to get rid of the military spending cuts that are set to take place.

I can't find it from work but I saw an interview on TV where Obama was asked about working with Congress Republicans right after they won the House and he said that he would veto any Republican sponsored bill that came across his desk that did not fit with his plan for America. I can't see YouTube right now but I would imagine it is on there.

Either way, he has either vetoed or threatened to veto everyting that Congress has sent out. The only thing that has saved him from actually having to do it is a Democrat controlled Senate that killed everything that has been passed by Congress.

Either way, claiming that the GOP is obstructionist and the Dems are desiring bi-partisanship is a joke.

pghin08
05-14-2012, 11:47 AM
I can't find it from work but I saw an interview on TV where Obama was asked about working with Congress Republicans right after they won the House and he said that he would veto any Republican sponsored bill that came across his desk that did not fit with his plan for America. I can't see YouTube right now but I would imagine it is on there.

Either way, he has either vetoed or threatened to veto everyting that Congress has sent out. The only thing that has saved him from actually having to do it is a Democrat controlled Senate that killed everything that has been passed by Congress.

Either way, claiming that the GOP is obstructionist and the Dems are desiring bi-partisanship is a joke.

Mann and Ornstein aren't saying that at all. That's not the case, and anyone with even an abecedarian knowledge of American politics knows that's not the case. They're simply saying that both parties are sticklers for what they want, but that the current iteration of the Republican party is obstructionist on a previously unseen level.

AUTaxMan
05-14-2012, 01:01 PM
Mann and Ornstein aren't saying that at all. That's not the case, and anyone with even an abecedarian knowledge of American politics knows that's not the case. They're simply saying that both parties are sticklers for what they want, but that the current iteration of the Republican party is obstructionist on a previously unseen level.

Since the Dems are apparently intent on doing nothing but spending money at a record-setting pace without thought of the long-term repercussions, I would say that the obstructionism is justified.

pghin08
05-14-2012, 01:14 PM
Since the Dems are apparently intent on doing nothing but spending money at a record-setting pace without thought of the long-term repercussions, I would say that the obstructionism is justified.

I don't think there's any difference between Republicans and Democrats anymore when it comes to spending. Obama has ballooned the national debt (with help from the stimulus packages), Bush did the same thing, and so did Reagan. The thought that Republicans are somehow more financially responsible is off-base, to me. I think that no matter what party is in office, they all love spending taxpayer money.

duane1969
05-14-2012, 02:16 PM
I don't think there's any difference between Republicans and Democrats anymore when it comes to spending. Obama has ballooned the national debt (with help from the stimulus packages), Bush did the same thing, and so did Reagan. The thought that Republicans are somehow more financially responsible is off-base, to me. I think that no matter what party is in office, they all love spending taxpayer money.

I don't disagree with that at all. However, there is some recent evidence that Congress is at least making an effort to curb some spending which Obama has vehemently opposed.

The most recent round involves Republicans wanting to protect defense spending and cut entitlement programs. The Democrats want to keep the spending in place and "fix" the problem by raising taxes (where have I heard that before?).

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/10/us-usa-budget-veto-idUSBRE84901K20120510

The funny part of all of this is Obama says that the GOP plan would "cost jobs and hurt middle-class and vulnerable Americans - especially seniors, veterans and children." and instead wants to use the Dem plan which cuts tax breaks for oil companies. I wonder who he thinks will absorb those tax break losses? Surely he is not so stupid that he thinks the oil companies will just eat those losses and not pass it along to the middle-class in higher prices is he?

pghin08
05-14-2012, 02:38 PM
I don't disagree with that at all. However, there is some recent evidence that Congress is at least making an effort to curb some spending which Obama has vehemently opposed.

The most recent round involves Republicans wanting to protect defense spending and cut entitlement programs. The Democrats want to keep the spending in place and "fix" the problem by raising taxes (where have I heard that before?).

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/10/us-usa-budget-veto-idUSBRE84901K20120510

The funny part of all of this is Obama says that the GOP plan would "cost jobs and hurt middle-class and vulnerable Americans - especially seniors, veterans and children." and instead wants to use the Dem plan which cuts tax breaks for oil companies. I wonder who he thinks will absorb those tax break losses? Surely he is not so stupid that he thinks the oil companies will just eat those losses and not pass it along to the middle-class in higher prices is he?

Dems certainly don't want to keep military spending in place. And truly, they've been somewhat cooperative on everything except entitlement reform (which bothers me).

I'm sure Obama knows that oil companies would pass that loss on at some level. But fundamentally, there are still two ways to attack a massive debt: cut spending and raise taxes (try running for office on THAT platform). On the surface, it's pretty easy to see that Democrats want to raise taxes and Republicans want to cut spending (and taxes). But even so, it remains that Democrats, including Mr. O, have been open to certain spending cuts, and Obama has proposed a lot of that. But Republicans are absolutely, unapologetically 100% against any tax hikes, or even the removal of any deductions. I'm sorry, but someone with as much money as Mark Zuckerberg shouldn't get to deduct the mortgage interest from his second home.

The 2012 election should be interesting. My gut says that Obama will win re-election, but that the Democrats will lose the Senate. We'll see how much gridlock we get with a fully Republican controlled Congress and our Socialist Muslim Kenyan President :thumb:

pghin08
05-14-2012, 04:04 PM
Former Bush speechwriter David Frum wrote a pretty good column in regards to this Mann and Ornstein book. Brings up a couple decent points:

http://www.cnn.com/2012/05/14/opinion/frum-mann-ornstein/index.html?hpt=hp_c2

habsheaven
05-14-2012, 05:43 PM
Frum can be quickly dismissed for two reasons: 1) he agrees with the op-ed, and 2) he is a "CNN contributor". Surely he has denounced his Republican membership. lol

Seriously though, thanks for the link.

pghin08
05-14-2012, 07:10 PM
Frum can be quickly dismissed for two reasons: 1) he agrees with the op-ed, and 2) he is a "CNN contributor". Surely he has denounced his Republican membership. lol

Seriously though, thanks for the link.

Haha, he mentions how he was kicked out of the conservative American Enterprise Institute. Frum is a very smart guy though, and I'm actually pretty sure he's Canadian :hockey:

habsheaven
05-14-2012, 07:15 PM
Haha, he mentions how he was kicked out of the conservative American Enterprise Institute. Frum is a very smart guy though, and I'm actually pretty sure he's Canadian :hockey:

Well then I will say it before Duane does. "That explains a lot."

pghin08
05-15-2012, 08:39 AM
Haha, we all love our Canadian brethren.

JustAlex
05-15-2012, 09:13 AM
Haha, we all love our Canadian brethren.

Yes we do :):

Seriously, Canada nowadays looks much more desirable in almost every aspect compared to the U.S.

And I used to be one of those "Flag-waving, we're #1, come at me bro" type of persons when it comes to the U.S.


This last DECADE has been a NIGHTMARE and as much as we want to wake up from it, it seems like we can't.

duane1969
05-15-2012, 09:16 AM
The 2012 election should be interesting. My gut says that Obama will win re-election, but that the Democrats will lose the Senate. We'll see how much gridlock we get with a fully Republican controlled Congress and our Socialist Muslim Kenyan President :thumb:

Should be sucessful. Let's look back at history.

2008-2010 - Dems controlled the House, Senate and Oval office. Got very little done except passing some very expensive, unwanted health care "reform" and spending a few trillion to create a few thousand jobs.

2000-2008 - GOP prez, House and Senate controlled by Dems for the first 2 and last 2 years, GOP controlled for middle 4 years. Economic downturn, war, general unrest.

1992-2000 - Dem prez, House and Senate controlled by GOP for first 6 years, by Dems for last 2. Largely considered a successful period due in large part to the first 4-5 years where bi-partisanship reigned and much was accomplished in economic and entitlement reform.

So in the last 20 years the best economic times we have had have been with a GOP House and Senate and a Dem president. I can live with that if it works that way again.


Well then I will say it before Duane does. "That explains a lot."

Dude I love Canadians. They are like our little brother that we protect from the bullies and in exchange he provides us with beer money (OK, actually beer) and food.

Seriously, I have nothing against Canadians...other than you're a bunch of pot-smoking liberals...well, really it's just the liberal thing, pot-smoking is not so bad in my book LOL

MadMan1978
05-15-2012, 10:58 AM
I honestly think the woes that Congress has right now...are those who are so called Tea Party...

AUTaxMan
05-15-2012, 11:27 AM
I honestly think the woes that Congress has right now...are those who are so called Tea Party...

What is your reasoning?

MadMan1978
05-15-2012, 12:27 PM
They are, in my opinion holding up business in congress as we speak. I have attempted to understand their platform...but honestly they are self seeking and nothing more. They are fine with helping people until it is time to pay for it. as well they have the Not in my back yard ego. They wont be happy until all has returned to 1950's! They are out of touch with reality and society of today. 90% would not know of what a REAL hard days work is. I am sure you will try and rip me on all this and actually I could care less. I thought the conservatives of the 80's were bad...those republicans were soft compared to this group.


and before you rip me as a liberal-I follow a more moderate politics, but I will never understand these people...

AUTaxMan
05-15-2012, 12:43 PM
They are, in my opinion holding up business in congress as we speak. I have attempted to understand their platform...but honestly they are self seeking and nothing more. They are fine with helping people until it is time to pay for it. as well they have the Not in my back yard ego. They wont be happy until all has returned to 1950's! They are out of touch with reality and society of today. 90% would not know of what a REAL hard days work is. I am sure you will try and rip me on all this and actually I could care less. I thought the conservatives of the 80's were bad...those republicans were soft compared to this group.


and before you rip me as a liberal-I follow a more moderate politics, but I will never understand these people...

What legislation are they holding up?

pghin08
05-15-2012, 05:31 PM
Should be sucessful. Let's look back at history.

2008-2010 - Dems controlled the House, Senate and Oval office. Got very little done except passing some very expensive, unwanted health care "reform" and spending a few trillion to create a few thousand jobs.

2000-2008 - GOP prez, House and Senate controlled by Dems for the first 2 and last 2 years, GOP controlled for middle 4 years. Economic downturn, war, general unrest.

1992-2000 - Dem prez, House and Senate controlled by GOP for first 6 years, by Dems for last 2. Largely considered a successful period due in large part to the first 4-5 years where bi-partisanship reigned and much was accomplished in economic and entitlement reform.

So in the last 20 years the best economic times we have had have been with a GOP House and Senate and a Dem president. I can live with that if it works that way again.



Dude I love Canadians. They are like our little brother that we protect from the bullies and in exchange he provides us with beer money (OK, actually beer) and food.

Seriously, I have nothing against Canadians...other than you're a bunch of pot-smoking liberals...well, really it's just the liberal thing, pot-smoking is not so bad in my book LOL

We'll see. If by the off-chance, Romney wins, it'll be interesting to see if he tacks more towards the middle, or if he'd take advantage of the supermajority.

AUTaxMan
05-15-2012, 06:21 PM
We'll see. If by the off-chance, Romney wins, it'll be interesting to see if he tacks more towards the middle, or if he'd take advantage of the supermajority.

I'm afraid we are headed down the path to Greece if drastic measures are not taken.

pghin08
05-15-2012, 06:34 PM
I'm afraid we are headed down the path to Greece if drastic measures are not taken.

I really don't think so. The US is WAY better at collecting taxes than Greece is. It's become trendy to say this, but there's really very little basis for it. Greece is a country who have historically had monumental financial problems, and have completely ignored them for the most part. Greece has defaulted FIVE times in the last two centuries. The reason that it's a big deal now of course is their membership in the EU and the interconnectivity of the modern markets.

Yes, the US is in a bad fiscal spot, one that we've been on a path to for quite some time, but are we about to hit the wall? No.

AUTaxMan
05-15-2012, 07:01 PM
I really don't think so. The US is WAY better at collecting taxes than Greece is. It's become trendy to say this, but there's really very little basis for it. Greece is a country who have historically had monumental financial problems, and have completely ignored them for the most part. Greece has defaulted FIVE times in the last two centuries. The reason that it's a big deal now of course is their membership in the EU and the interconnectivity of the modern markets.

Yes, the US is in a bad fiscal spot, one that we've been on a path to for quite some time, but are we about to hit the wall? No.

If we do not, inflation will get out of hand.

pghin08
05-15-2012, 07:10 PM
If we do not, inflation will get out of hand.

The thing is that there isn't one wonderful solution out there. If we continue spending at a massive clip, we're only exacerbating the problem. However, you can't cut your way to prosperity. Austerity hurts growth, period. Most economists believe that the best way out is a mix of both, where neither are so drastic. Obama is really only now at the point in his presidency where he should be starting to curtail spending. We needed the stimuli of 2008 and 2009, otherwise our crash could have been MUCH worse.

AUTaxMan
05-15-2012, 09:19 PM
We needed the stimuli of 2008 and 2009, otherwise our crash could have been MUCH worse.

That's speculation. There is no evidence to back that up, unless you count Krugman's ramblings as evidence.

pghin08
05-15-2012, 10:01 PM
That's speculation. There is no evidence to back that up, unless you count Krugman's ramblings as evidence.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2010/07/fiscal_policy

I could post like a billion articles like this. Far beyond Paul Krugman. It seems like the consensus among economists is that stimulus is a necessary evil. Much of Europe went the way of austerity, and it's pushed them back into recession. We've been able to fend off the double dip.

tpeichel
05-16-2012, 06:08 PM
http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2010/07/fiscal_policy

I could post like a billion articles like this. Far beyond Paul Krugman. It seems like the consensus among economists is that stimulus is a necessary evil. Much of Europe went the way of austerity, and it's pushed them back into recession. We've been able to fend off the double dip.

Stimulus would be fine if it was from a saved surplus as Keynes actually suggests, but we're using money that we don't have and therefore must be paid back by taxing the future productivity from our citizens. Money that could have been used to start a business, hire more workers or to buy consumer goods.

We've already seen that pulling forward demand with programs like cash for clunkers and the home buying credit helped in the short run but simply decreased demand later when the program ended. The same thing will happen when the government reaches the point where it can't deficit spend to take up the slack to keep the economy afloat and the correction will only be worse because we've dug the hole so much deeper.

You don't fix a problem of too much leverage and too much debt by taking on even larger sums of debt. Anyone whose ever had credit card problems knows that strategy is doomed to fail.

habsheaven
05-16-2012, 06:17 PM
Stimulus would be fine if it was from a saved surplus as Keynes actually suggests, but we're using money that we don't have and therefore must be paid back by taxing the future productivity from our citizens. Money that could have been used to start a business, hire more workers or to buy consumer goods.

We've already seen that pulling forward demand with programs like cash for clunkers and the home buying credit helped in the short run but simply decreased demand later when the program ended. The same thing will happen when the government reaches the point where it can't deficit spend to take up the slack to keep the economy afloat and the correction will only be worse because we've dug the hole so much deeper.

You don't fix a problem of too much leverage and too much debt by taking on even larger sums of debt. Anyone whose ever had credit card problems knows that strategy is doomed to fail.

You cannot compare a country with an individual. A country has a greater ability to raise revenues than an individual does.

AUTaxMan
05-16-2012, 06:22 PM
You cannot compare a country with an individual. A country has a greater ability to raise revenues than an individual does.

It can also print money, which is what we have done with the QEs.

tpeichel
05-16-2012, 07:05 PM
You cannot compare a country with an individual. A country has a greater ability to raise revenues than an individual does.

A government can only spend money that it taxes and collects from it's citizens. Every dollar that it spends must come from current taxation or future taxation.

Do you think taking on more debt is a good solution for a massive debt problem?

pghin08
05-16-2012, 07:25 PM
A government can only spend money that it taxes and collects from it's citizens. Every dollar that it spends must come from current taxation or future taxation.

Do you think taking on more debt is a good solution for a massive debt problem?

Yes. To spur growth. That's the idea. Something that a family doesn't have to worry about. Easier for a family to cut than a government.

tpeichel
05-16-2012, 08:33 PM
Yes. To spur growth. That's the idea. Something that a family doesn't have to worry about. Easier for a family to cut than a government.

Is there any measure of economic growth that shows this strategy has been successful?

pghin08
05-16-2012, 08:55 PM
Is there any measure of economic growth that shows this strategy has been successful?

This strategy quite literally pulled us out of recession. We had two straight quarters (4Q08/1Q09) of negative GDP, the stimulus was enacted, and things got (marginally) better. If people can actually get away from how bad the media tells us the economy is, they'd realize there's actually a decent amount of good news out there.

AUTaxMan
05-16-2012, 09:25 PM
This strategy quite literally pulled us out of recession. We had two straight quarters (4Q08/1Q09) of negative GDP, the stimulus was enacted, and things got (marginally) better. If people can actually get away from how bad the media tells us the economy is, they'd realize there's actually a decent amount of good news out there.

The job numbers are terrible. There is no getting around that. There is no recovery. Our population has increased and our workforce has shrunk. If we measured unemployment the way we did 25 years ago, unemployment would be well over 10%.

pghin08
05-16-2012, 09:46 PM
The job numbers are terrible. There is no getting around that. There is no recovery. Our population has increased and our workforce has shrunk. If we measured unemployment the way we did 25 years ago, unemployment would be well over 10%.

-Corporate balance sheets are strong
-Exports are up almost 50% over the past 3 years
-Retail sales are up about 6.5% over the past year
-Household debt has dropped 14% since 2008
-Private sector jobs are up almost 4 million since 2009
-Vehicle sales are back to about the 20-year average
-Household Debt payments as a percentage of total income is the lowest it's been since the 70s
-The personal savings rate is back to where it was in the late 1990s
-It's a great time to be buying a house. The average mortgage payment as a percentage of income is the lowest since the 1950s.
-The unemployment rate of those with a college degree is about 4%

Like I said, there are good things going on out there if people look. For the most part, jobs aren't coming back as we'd like, but that's not EVERYTHING.

duane1969
05-16-2012, 09:52 PM
Without naming names, just yesterday I had someone who is very knowledgable about this tell me that the problem is not simply a lack of jobs or a lack of workforce, it is a lack of workforce to fill mid-level jobs.

There are plenty of jobs in the minimum wage to slightly above minimum wage arena and our public schools are churning out plenty of unskilled labor to fill them. The shortfall occurs when you start looking at jobs that require a trade school education or associate degree. Then when you hit 4 year degree jobs everything levels off again.

In my area I can see this exact thing. There are a few places hiring for jobs like McDonald's, WalMart, gas station cashier, etc. but those jobs are usually filled quickly. On the other hand, jobs like cabinet maker, electrician, LPN, sewer plant operator, and computer repair sit unfilled for weeks and months. Then when you hit jobs like RN, teacher, upper management and college grant writer, suddenly there is competition again.

So in essence, the problem isn't a lack of jobs, it is a lack of workers capable of filling the available jobs.

pghin08
05-16-2012, 09:57 PM
Without naming names, just yesterday I had someone who is very knowledgable about this tell me that the problem is not simply a lack of jobs or a lack of workforce, it is a lack of workforce to fill mid-level jobs.

There are plenty of jobs in the minimum wage to slightly above minimum wage arena and our public schools are churning out plenty of unskilled labor to fill them. The shortfall occurs when you start looking at jobs that require a trade school education or associate degree. Then when you hit 4 year degree jobs everything levels off again.

In my area I can see this exact thing. There are a few places hiring for jobs like McDonald's, WalMart, gas station cashier, etc. but those jobs are usually filled quickly. On the other hand, jobs like cabinet maker, electrician, LPN, sewer plant operator, and computer repair sit unfilled for weeks and months. Then when you hit jobs like RN, teacher, upper management and college grant writer, suddenly there is competition again.

So in essence, the problem isn't a lack of jobs, it is a lack of workers capable of filling the available jobs.

I'd agree with that.

tpeichel
05-17-2012, 12:05 AM
This strategy quite literally pulled us out of recession. We had two straight quarters (4Q08/1Q09) of negative GDP, the stimulus was enacted, and things got (marginally) better. If people can actually get away from how bad the media tells us the economy is, they'd realize there's actually a decent amount of good news out there.

True, it may have pulled us out of the recession, than again, it just may have put off the day of reckoning. The administration and the fed went to extraordinary efforts to save the banks by providing cheap liquidity and propping up home prices through various programs to try and salvage bank balance sheets. A few things that are concerning after three years of these policies:

1) Greece failed. There simply wasn't enough capital to paper over the enormous amounts of debt. We were told time after time over the past two years that they must not fail because of the cascading effect. More European countries will surely follow.

2) In the U.S., every time a bank fails, the day after they are taken over, the bank balance sheet decreases by anywhere from 20-40%. Allowing banks to "mark to fantasy" makes me wonder how many banks really have more assets than liabilities? Would they all be insolvent if they had to mark their assets to market?

shrewsbury
05-19-2012, 06:18 PM
the economy sucks and no ones fuzzy math is going to make that different. look at the housing market and it is clear, things are very bad.

part of the issue is people not willing to role up their sleeves and dig in. a low paying job is better than no job and two low paying jobs are better than one. but people expect to get out of school and land some high paying job, when that doesn't happen most not only refuse to work but even say they shouldn't have to pay back the money THEY borrowed to get an education because the education did not get them the job they
want.

this is not the whole issue but it just makes things even worse

MadMan1978
05-19-2012, 07:35 PM
I think what your missing is that most of the low paying jobs arent there as well. Besides most of those jobs are filled already! Honestly I think you may not be fully in touch with the whole aspect of this issue. All those who graduated this past month are not going to get a job in their field. They are just are not there. And why should anyone expect a nice high paying job? I was just happy to recieve an offer when i left collage. Not to insult you, but at times you make it sound like everyone who is out of work sits at home and watches Dr Phil and eats Bon-Bon's...

Fact if those employers are not going to hire people with degrees or with a great deal of experience in a low paying job. That is what i have run into time and time again ovr the last 2 years. I am willing to work for less. Much less at times even rolling back to an entry level position. However, i was never granted interviews after they reviewed my resume. They know, as well as I did, once a better position came along I was gone. I dont think you see the whole picture.

shrewsbury
05-19-2012, 10:08 PM
not everyone, but quite a few.

MadMan1978
05-20-2012, 06:37 AM
thats a very narrow view of the job market.

MadMan1978
05-21-2012, 12:30 PM
Without naming names, just yesterday I had someone who is very knowledgeable about this tell me that the problem is not simply a lack of jobs or a lack of workforce, it is a lack of workforce to fill mid-level jobs.

There are plenty of jobs in the minimum wage to slightly above minimum wage arena and our public schools are churning out plenty of unskilled labor to fill them. The shortfall occurs when you start looking at jobs that require a trade school education or associate degree. Then when you hit 4 year degree jobs everything levels off again.

In my area I can see this exact thing. There are a few places hiring for jobs like McDonald's, WalMart, gas station cashier, etc. but those jobs are usually filled quickly. On the other hand, jobs like cabinet maker, electrician, LPN, sewer plant operator, and computer repair sit unfilled for weeks and months. Then when you hit jobs like RN, teacher, upper management and college grant writer, suddenly there is competition again.

So in essence, the problem isn't a lack of jobs, it is a lack of workers capable of filling the available jobs.

Maybe this is in your region. here in my region I ind it much different. Here there are not looking for people with trade skills. What jobs we are fining unfilled are ones that NO ONE can fill. example, I had had interviews which were listed as one thing and then arrive for the interview and the position is something entirely different or the wants are too high to be met. That has has been an issue on most positions. Employers has some open positions, problem is there are no people with all the required skills to fill them.


As afar as those middle level jobs, the reason they go unfilled is because there is no training. No qualified people can fill those jobs because either one the the employers offer no training or no training exists.

I really hate it when it is said people wont take those jobs. there are no people qualified to fill those jobs. Employers with some positions set the requirements so high they positions just cant be filled. I have been seeing more and more of this within the IT market for 5 years now.

duane1969
05-21-2012, 07:35 PM
Maybe this is in your region. here in my region I ind it much different. Here there are not looking for people with trade skills. What jobs we are fining unfilled are ones that NO ONE can fill. example, I had had interviews which were listed as one thing and then arrive for the interview and the position is something entirely different or the wants are too high to be met. That has has been an issue on most positions. Employers has some open positions, problem is there are no people with all the required skills to fill them.

That is essentially what I was saying. There are jobs but nobody is qualified to fill them.


As afar as those middle level jobs, the reason they go unfilled is because there is no training. No qualified people can fill those jobs because either one the the employers offer no training or no training exists.

I don't think it is the employer's responsibility to train people to do the jobs. I wanted to be a teacher, I didn't expect the public school system to train me to be a teacher, I went to college and go the ediucation that I needed. The jobs are there, people just need to do what they need to do to get them.

MadMan1978
05-21-2012, 07:53 PM
That is essentially what I was saying. There are jobs but nobody is qualified to fill them.



I don't think it is the employer's responsibility to train people to do the jobs. I wanted to be a teacher, I didn't expect the public school system to train me to be a teacher, I went to college and go the education that I needed. The jobs are there, people just need to do what they need to do to get them.

actually in some fields that is what is required. Plumbing and electric work is a couple trades here that you are required to work with Licensed people and receive credit hours towards your license. and a cabinet maker? How else can they learn the trade.

Community Colleges can fill the gap as well. BUT affordable training needs to be there. In mass we have so many certificate programs and 2 year degrees it isnt funny. But 90% are geared directly at a growing field. However, what i find more and more, is people dont know they really exist or know about how to receive the training.