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Story from the economist American idiocracy - The civil war in Washington, DC, is damaging American business


American companies are sitting on a gigantic pile of cash; Apple alone has $76 billion in the bank. Why won't corporate America invest in America? It does not help that domestic demand is feeble, and that the global economy is in turmoil. But American politicians deserve some of the blame. Their unpredictability erodes confidence. The gulf between American business and the Obama White House is growing ever wider, as business-friendly insiders (such as Larry Summers, an economic adviser) leave the administration. Even more dangerously, the gulf between business and the rest of the country is widening: opinion polls show that American businesspeople are losing faith in their country even as ordinary Americans are losing faith in business. Calvin Coolidge's statement was once denounced as the height of bourgeois complacency. Today it sounds like a reminder of an America that is in danger of disappearing.

thoughts monkeys?

Comments (296)

  • blastoise's picture

    Democracy requires a sizable body of educated, informed, and responsible voters. My impression is that the average US voter is regressing towards a level of ignorance that makes him unfit to support a functioning democratic government.

    The same is true for the partisan politicians in Washington that are not in a position to make the compromises that are necessary to further the common interest. What to do without the US guarding the safety of the world's trade system? Will it become chaos till the next empire takes over? Poor world...

  • blastoise's picture

    The problem with America today is that internet has made a truer form of democracy possible.
    Internet now allows for the opinions of the vast, uneducated masses to be heard. This is indeed the voice of real America, the America that Washington has tried to avoid for centuries. This America is racist, ultra religious, completely uneducated, very easy to manipulate and it stubbornly feels it is always right by the grace of God.

    So... the problem in Washington is that rural America, or the anti-America if you want to call it like that (the one not known outside our borders) has unfortunately awaken and the Republican Party is catering to its madness for political support.

    ^^ comments XD

  • lone star state's picture

    blastoise, i think that's taking it a bit far.

    however i do agree that the political problem(s) lie in our system of democracy. since 50% of the voting population doesn't pay taxes (social security recipients, welfare recipients, etc.) but receives massive benefits they will never vote for someone who is in favor of reducing these benefits in order to solve our debt problems.

    before 1776 there was taxation without representation. now there's representation without taxation. it's preposterous. voting is a privelege and only those who pay taxes should be allowed to elect the politicians who will spend them.

  • In reply to lone star state
    awm55's picture

    lone star state:
    blastoise, i think that's taking it a bit far.

    however i do agree that the political problem(s) lie in our system of democracy. since 50% of the voting population doesn't pay taxes (social security recipients, welfare recipients, etc.) but receives massive benefits they will never vote for someone who is in favor of reducing these benefits in order to solve our debt problems.

    before 1776 there was taxation without representation. now there's representation without taxation. it's preposterous. voting is a privelege and only those who pay taxes should be allowed to elect the politicians who will spend them.

    The Economist is a right wing publication, yet the vast majority of the comments are blaming the Republicans. I think you guys need to wake up to the fact that the Republicans have shifted so extraordinarily far to the right over the past decade that it has resulted in the political process in the US becoming nearly unworkable. You are alienating the young demographic in this country (myself included).

    The Democrats have conceded enormously to the Republicans on many issues, yet the Republicans remain ideologically intransigent. You do not belong in government if you categorically refuse to compromise, and your party should take a long deep look in the mirror when a Christian Fundamentalist (Bachmann) who has a history of skewering and ignoring the truth is one your frontrunners for the Presidency.

  • Chillguy's picture

    I wouldn't go so far and say that The Economist is a right wing publication. Sure, they favor a smaller government vs. a larger one, but the positions that The Economist take are more in line with "Classical Liberalism" than any in other political philosophy.

    I think the biggest indicator of the madness that currently is the Republican Party, is that they continue to brand Obama as a socialist, when he's more right-wing than Nixon.

  • In reply to Chillguy
    awm55's picture

    Chillguy:
    I wouldn't go so far and say that The Economist is a right wing publication. Sure, they favor a smaller government vs. a larger one, but the positions that The Economist take are more in line with "Classical Liberalism" than any in other political philosophy.

    I think the biggest indicator of the madness that currently is the Republican Party, is that they continue to brand Obama as a socialist, when he's more right-wing than Nixon.

    That is the crux of the issue, by the historical standards of liberalism vs conservatism the Republican party has gone so far to the right that they would not be taken seriously as a mainstream party in any other developed country. Of course they don't care, and they will criticism me for saying such, but they need to get a bit of perspective.

  • MMBinNC's picture

    Your definition of "right wing" is so wrong it's laughable. Republicans are far LESS religious today than before, but the media contorts it to such a degree that you think differently. Look at the issue of gay marriage. A lot of the candidates are for equal-treatment civil unions. But since it's not "marriage" they are homophobic. Personally I'm still waiting for my common law canonization, but that another story. Look in the 80s...no candidate Democrat or Republican...hell even in the 1990s would say that they support gay marriage or even similar stuff. Saying that "God is on our side" or that "He will deliver us from these problems" aren't spurring pople to inaction, but rather the opposite. Economic policy wise, this BS Keynesianism stuff has been going oon for less than 100 years. 100 years of waning economic power. Tons of people said that once we lost a clear cut enemy (the USSR) Americas power would decine because the economic base was weak and without the military-based fear/propaganda against the Commies we would fall apart. I don't understand how anyone could look at Europe right now and say that's where we need to head. Every policy Obama outlined in his campaign (thank God he has fulfilled like one) has come straight from Europe. The freest countries economically are like Switzerland and Hong Kong (I know it's not a country) and ... I never would have guessed but they have more right skewed policies. The only reason that universal healthcare works in Switzerland is because most of the money (or at least a very sizable portion) they receive comes from out of the country (hence it doesn't benefit those foreign nationals). No country has a thriving economy and universal healthcare. The more welfare a country has, generally the lower the per capita GDP is. If you want to say "I'd rather everyone make 25k a year than someone make 1m and some not work" then you are a socialist and there is no reason arguing with the reasonless.

    The reason that the Democrats are compromising is because the American people are not on their side. Like at all. Every single poll taken is heavily against the Democrats on almost all issues. Universal healthcare. The budget. The debt ceiling. Taxes. Government spending. The list goes on and on. The Republicans refuse to let their constituents down in favor of scoring points with the media and the social elite. The problem with your thinking blastoise is that, like most liberals do (not saying you are one) you think that the mass knows better than the individual. The government better than the citizen. The problem today is that the different populations of the USA are so intrinsically different that it is becoming what occurred to the Austrian Empire years ago. If you don't know- the empire was broken apart by the different ethnic groups clashing because they had massively divergeant needs. Imagine Turkey, Greece and Austria as one state today. that would suck. I'm not saying that the USA should break up, but I did write a paper last year explaining the similarities between the histories of the two states. And believe you me, they are striking.

    Fuck it. I wanna live in Texas.

    Reality hits you hard, bro...

  • In reply to awm55
    MMBinNC's picture

    awm55:
    Chillguy:
    I wouldn't go so far and say that The Economist is a right wing publication. Sure, they favor a smaller government vs. a larger one, but the positions that The Economist take are more in line with "Classical Liberalism" than any in other political philosophy.

    I think the biggest indicator of the madness that currently is the Republican Party, is that they continue to brand Obama as a socialist, when he's more right-wing than Nixon.

    That is the crux of the issue, by the historical standards of liberalism vs conservatism the Republican party has gone so far to the right that they would not be taken seriously as a mainstream party in any other developed country. Of course they don't care, and they will criticism me for saying such, but they need to get a bit of perspective.

    So we should lower our standards to the other countries? If you are #1 you shouldn't care about what #2-350 is doing wrong. Just what they are doing right And they are failing right and left. Even the great China is having problems with their ghost towns and inflation.

    Reality hits you hard, bro...

  • In reply to Chillguy
    MMBinNC's picture

    Chillguy:
    I wouldn't go so far and say that The Economist is a right wing publication. Sure, they favor a smaller government vs. a larger one, but the positions that The Economist take are more in line with "Classical Liberalism" than any in other political philosophy.

    I think the biggest indicator of the madness that currently is the Republican Party, is that they continue to brand Obama as a socialist, when he's more right-wing than Nixon.

    Yes. Richard "We're all Keynesians now" Nixon. The bastion of American politics. You know you've lost when you put a pariah in the forefront.

    Reality hits you hard, bro...

  • In reply to MMBinNC
    awm55's picture

    MMBinNC:
    Your definition of "right wing" is so wrong it's laughable. Republicans are far LESS religious today than before, but the media contorts it to such a degree that you think differently. Look at the issue of gay marriage. A lot of the candidates are for equal-treatment civil unions. But since it's not "marriage" they are homophobic. Personally I'm still waiting for my common law canonization, but that another story. Look in the 80s...no candidate Democrat or Republican...hell even in the 1990s would say that they support gay marriage or even similar stuff. Saying that "God is on our side" or that "He will deliver us from these problems" aren't spurring pople to inaction, but rather the opposite. Economic policy wise, this BS Keynesianism stuff has been going oon for less than 100 years. 100 years of waning economic power. Tons of people said that once we lost a clear cut enemy (the USSR) Americas power would decine because the economic base was weak and without the military-based fear/propaganda against the Commies we would fall apart. I don't understand how anyone could look at Europe right now and say that's where we need to head. Every policy Obama outlined in his campaign (thank God he has fulfilled like one) has come straight from Europe. The freest countries economically are like Switzerland and Hong Kong (I know it's not a country) and ... I never would have guessed but they have more right skewed policies. The only reason that universal healthcare works in Switzerland is because most of the money (or at least a very sizable portion) they receive comes from out of the country (hence it doesn't benefit those foreign nationals). No country has a thriving economy and universal healthcare. The more welfare a country has, generally the lower the per capita GDP is. If you want to say "I'd rather everyone make 25k a year than someone make 1m and some not work" then you are a socialist and there is no reason arguing with the reasonless.

    The reason that the Democrats are compromising is because the American people are not on their side. Like at all. Every single poll taken is heavily against the Democrats on almost all issues. Universal healthcare. The budget. The debt ceiling. Taxes. Government spending. The list goes on and on. The Republicans refuse to let their constituents down in favor of scoring points with the media and the social elite. The problem with your thinking blastoise is that, like most liberals do (not saying you are one) you think that the mass knows better than the individual. The government better than the citizen. The problem today is that the different populations of the USA are so intrinsically different that it is becoming what occurred to the Austrian Empire years ago. If you don't know- the empire was broken apart by the different ethnic groups clashing because they had massively divergeant needs. Imagine Turkey, Greece and Austria as one state today. that would suck. I'm not saying that the USA should break up, but I did write a paper last year explaining the similarities between the histories of the two states. And believe you me, they are striking.

    Fuck it. I wanna live in Texas.

    "No country has a thriving economy and universal healthcare."

    I'm sorry, this is one of the most idiotic things I have ever read on this forum, ever. We are the ONLY developed country that doesn't have universal healthcare. And never ever has a major Republican party Presidential Nominee been this far right, ever. By your parties standards now Reagan would have been a liberal because he raised taxes.

  • awm55's picture

    When all of the Republican parties presidential nominees refuse to concede on a deal that was 10 to 1 cut vs revenue rise that is insane. The fucking national review call them all crazy. You are living in a fantasy.

  • lone star state's picture

    What it comes down to is the role of government. Republicans of all degrees are in agreement that our current government has overstepped its bounds, is taking on more actions and responsibilities than it should or than it is legally allowed, and that funding such activities with an annual deficit is suicidal. Seeing the dire situation that European countries are in with even larger governments, our presidential candidates are understandably unwilling to back down. Democrats are coming around to this way of thinking, however, which is why they've been forced to admit defeat and concede so much in recent negotiations. Sorry for being right (in all senses of the word).

    MMBinNC, come on down, the weather is great. And if things keep going the same way in DC, the type of split you're talking about is inevitable.

  • TNA's picture

    Thank God we are the only country without universal healthcare. Europe is arthritic and pulling apart at the seams. Why should we emulate them in any way, shape or form?

  • In reply to awm55
    txjustin's picture

    awm55:
    When all of the Republican parties presidential nominees refuse to concede on a deal that was 10 to 1 cut vs revenue rise that is insane. The fucking national review call them all crazy. You are living in a fantasy.

    That was a trick question. If you can't see that you are living in a fantasy.

  • In reply to txjustin
    awm55's picture

    txjustin:
    awm55:
    When all of the Republican parties presidential nominees refuse to concede on a deal that was 10 to 1 cut vs revenue rise that is insane. The fucking national review call them all crazy. You are living in a fantasy.

    That was a trick question. If you can't see that you are living in a fantasy.

    Yeah, because Brett Baier on Fox News loves calling out Republicans.

  • ProvincialPeasant's picture

    "You are alienating the young demographic in this country (myself included)."

    Our parents and their parents had too few children for there to be enough youth to form a sizable proportion of voters. Hence, the demands of the middle-aged and old for more social protection will always overcome any of the demands or interest of the youth. The old vote both parties really needed to care about are the middle-aged and old (numerous and more activist) and minorities (rapidly growing and easy to win). Both these groups have a shared interest in more welfare, it just so happens.

    Seriously, whoever thought any party (in this case the Republicans) would win an election based on cutting spending and actually follow through was caught up in the rhetoric and fanfare. My passion is history, and the only thing that is a commonality across all civilisations is that the people demand MORE, not anything in particular or anything from a set or list of demands.

    That's what I'm sticking with at the moment, anyhow.

  • Chillguy's picture

    First off, I'm not a Democrat nor a Liberal in the American sense of the word. I'm a moderate and have always voted that way. American politics lives on bipartisanship. Unlike Europe, where the ruling party can often make change happen very quickly, our founding fathers created a system that made it difficult to enact change quickly. The same system that founders created to slow increases in the scope of government also make it difficult to quickly reduce it.

    Take Reagan, the Republican party's biggest idol. During his presidency, government increased spending on all fronts, not just in the defense department. Sure he's hailed for lowering tax rates, but any monkey can do that. The mark of a true statesman is if he can lower government spending while still providing services that the citizens deem vital.

    I've never been a huge fan of democracy ("democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others"). I. After all, what right does the majority have in dictating how the minority wish go about their lives? Gay marriage shouldn't be an issue simply because it isn't the government's business. Marriage is a contract. Any two individuals should be allowed to sign it. Period.

    The reason that the Democrats are compromising is because the American people are not on their side.

    Every party thinks "the people" are on their side. They aren't. They like the idea of cutting big bad government spending and waste until they realize where their social security checks come from. When that happens they'll quickly change sides and vote the Democrats in to protect those checks. That's why the Republicans are promising not raise taxes, a position that is without a doubt fiscally irresponsible. No matter what happens, taxes are going to increase for a balanced budget (either through getting rid of the all the tax breaks, increases in tax rates, or a wider a tax base). That's the truth. Just take a look at the numbers in this article:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/13/business/economy...

    I will only support the Republicans once they get rid of the tax increase ban.

  • eokpar02's picture

    The entire line of reasoning that results in this half-baked thinking that business leaders aren't hiring or expanding their businesses because they are uncertain is a crock of shit. The reason why the economy is suffering is simple and doesn't require the mental jui jitsu that the aforementioned requires: PEOPLE DON'T HAVE ANY GOD DAMN MONEY TO PAY FOR THE USELESS GOODS AND SERVICES MOST AMERICAN COMPANIES PRODUCE! Thus, companies won't produce more

    65 percent of Americans can't even produce $1000 dollars in case of an emergency. The last decades extravagance was built on people's homes rising in value. Whats happening now? Homes are dropping in value and are expected to drop another 25%. For every dollar the average American earns in salary he/she owes some financial institution 1.40 cents.

    Every time I hear this phony line of reasoning, I know I am dealing with a mental amateur.

    I am not cocky, I am confident, and when you tell me I am the best it is a compliment.
    -Styles P

  • In reply to awm55
    ragnar danneskjöld's picture

    awm55:
    txjustin:
    awm55:
    When all of the Republican parties presidential nominees refuse to concede on a deal that was 10 to 1 cut vs revenue rise that is insane. The fucking national review call them all crazy. You are living in a fantasy.

    That was a trick question. If you can't see that you are living in a fantasy.

    Yeah, because Brett Baier on Fox News loves calling out Republicans.

    I don't have time to hit on everything but your reading headlines and not dealing with the facts. The objection to the 10:1 cuts were not that they weren't reasonable, it's that by "cut" it references down the road future spending as defined by our base-line budgeting system.

    Additionally, right-wing/left-wing, it doesn't matter. Both sides have deviated FAR from their centrist counterparts of years past. If you don't believe that, I'll refer you to the Dem's excellent example in compromise when they passed Healthcare reform under referendum on a party line vote forcing it through in 2009. Both are guilty of this lacking of compromise, its not all right wingers.

    I would offer for consideration that right wing fringe would not have a platform if the previous eight years of "conservatives" not operated as spendthrifts. "W" did as much to create the current problem and inspire the need for a push back to conservative ideology. Dem's aren't compromising anymore than right wing types. They are just extremely vocal about how willing they are but can't document anything they've actually conceded to that the other side wants. They'll mention what they've given up that they knew they'd never get, but can show nothing they've adopted the other side requested. That isn't compromise.

  • In reply to ragnar danneskjöld
    awm55's picture

    ragnar danneskjold:
    awm55:
    txjustin:
    awm55:
    When all of the Republican parties presidential nominees refuse to concede on a deal that was 10 to 1 cut vs revenue rise that is insane. The fucking national review call them all crazy. You are living in a fantasy.

    That was a trick question. If you can't see that you are living in a fantasy.

    Yeah, because Brett Baier on Fox News loves calling out Republicans.

    I don't have time to hit on everything but your reading headlines and not dealing with the facts. The objection to the 10:1 cuts were not that they weren't reasonable, it's that by "cut" it references down the road future spending as defined by our base-line budgeting system.

    Additionally, right-wing/left-wing, it doesn't matter. Both sides have deviated FAR from their centrist counterparts of years past. If you don't believe that, I'll refer you to the Dem's excellent example in compromise when they passed Healthcare reform under referendum on a party line vote forcing it through in 2009. Both are guilty of this lacking of compromise, its not all right wingers.

    I would offer for consideration that right wing fringe would not have a platform if the previous eight years of "conservatives" not operated as spendthrifts. "W" did as much to create the current problem and inspire the need for a push back to conservative ideology. Dem's aren't compromising anymore than right wing types. They are just extremely vocal about how willing they are but can't document anything they've actually conceded to that the other side wants. They'll mention what they've given up that they knew they'd never get, but can show nothing they've adopted the other side requested. That isn't compromise.

    The National Review called the 8 candidates out, the freaking National Review.

    The dems have conceded on a crap load, every major media source both domestically and internationally agrees on this. S&P explicitly stated that they downgraded the US because some in congress were intransigent on revenue increases and that some in the Republican party (including some potential Presidential Nominees) thought that the best thing we could do is default. S&P also stated they have never heard rhetoric like this used in a develop country ever, if you don't think that is fringe right wing then I can't help you.

  • TNA's picture

    I personally believe that the American consumer is tapped out. They front loaded so much spending during the housing crisis that people have all the goodies. On top of that, they now have woken up to the fact that when you buy on credit, you don't own anything, IT OWNS YOU.

    The economy sucks and will suck. It should suck. People acted like drunken retards and need to sober up. The government cannot fix this right now. They are trying everything and it still isn't working.

    The two largest parts of GPD (housing and consumer spending) are DOA. Government spending cannot fill the void of both of these.

    Personally, if the government wants to do something, they should loosen bankruptcy standard. Let people go bankrupt and clean up their lives. People who should have never owned a home will go back to being renters, banks will smarten up and not lend to people who don't qualify and credit will contract. People will have more FCF, less stress and be able to go on with their life.

  • In reply to blastoise
    Virginia Tech 4ever's picture

    blastoise:
    The problem with America today is that internet has made a truer form of democracy possible.
    Internet now allows for the opinions of the vast, uneducated masses to be heard. This is indeed the voice of real America, the America that Washington has tried to avoid for centuries. This America is racist, ultra religious, completely uneducated, very easy to manipulate and it stubbornly feels it is always right by the grace of God.

    So... the problem in Washington is that rural America, or the anti-America if you want to call it like that (the one not known outside our borders) has unfortunately awaken and the Republican Party is catering to its madness for political support.

    ^^ comments XD

    Congratulations on making the dumbest comment I've ever read in my 26 years of life.

  • Ambition's picture

    ^^^lol

    I want a lady on the street, but a freak in the bed,

    Go Bucks!!

  • UFOinsider's picture

    A massive amount of this money is also sitting in overseas accounts and they haven't lost faith in anything: they simply don't want to repatriate it and pay taxes. They have no loyalty towards helping maintain the platform which allowed them to make the money in the first place, and must be dealt with forcefully. The modern conservative is trying to justify one of the oldest motives for going into politics: GREED.

    *** This, by the way, does not in any way excuse the other half of the political spectrum: who see every dollar earned as something to be taken away and given to something / someone else, in the name of some greater good or some other such nonsense.

    I also agree with ANT: too many people are in too much debt to spend right now. The government could in theory print money, but that's just going to push off the necessary structural overhaul. The simple fact is that Americans have been spending a whole lot more than they make - individually and collectively - for a very long time now, and then blaming someone else. GOP and Dems have contributed equally to the debt, I don't want to hear the bullshit rationalizing, and the partisan politics have got to go.

    My own opinion is that the economy is rightfully sluggish and SHOULD remain so for a while. It's taken so many short term jolts for so long that there's really not much left to do but just let it recover....but you're not going to hear this out of a politicians mouth. The best thing America can do is to start PRODUCING things that the rest of the world will buy; this will create jobs AND help offset the massive imbalance. But that would make sense......

    Get busy living

  • In reply to UFOinsider
    Virginia Tech 4ever's picture

    UFOinsider:
    A massive amount of this money is also sitting in overseas accounts and they haven't lost faith in anything: they simply don't want to repatriate it and pay taxes. They have no loyalty towards helping maintain the platform which allowed them to make the money in the first place, and must be dealt with forcefully. The modern conservative is trying to justify one of the oldest motives for going into politics: GREED.

    As a "modern conservative" I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. We believe in the rule of law and believe the tax base should be extended to as many people and companies as possible. No conservative believes companies should illegally bypass taxation. In fact, we support US companies paying U.S. taxes, which is why we want to reduce corporate tax rates down to 10% or less and simplify the tax code by ending loopholes, which forces companies to pay some taxes versus no taxes. I don't know a single Republican/conservative who supports tax evasion. Legal tax avoidance we do support, but offshore accounts are NOT legal for individuals to avoid taxation. Before I went into business for myself I did extensive research on this before deciding against offshore accounts--because they're illegal. And you won't find any Republican or conservative who supports lawlessness.

  • In reply to UFOinsider
    awm55's picture

    UFOinsider:
    A massive amount of this money is also sitting in overseas accounts and they haven't lost faith in anything: they simply don't want to repatriate it and pay taxes. They have no loyalty towards helping maintain the platform which allowed them to make the money in the first place, and must be dealt with forcefully. The modern conservative is trying to justify one of the oldest motives for going into politics: GREED.

    *** This, by the way, does not in any way excuse the other half of the political spectrum: who see every dollar earned as something to be taken away and given to something / someone else, in the name of some greater good or some other such nonsense.

    I also agree with ANT: too many people are in too much debt to spend right now. The government could in theory print money, but that's just going to push off the necessary structural overhaul. The simple fact is that Americans have been spending a whole lot more than they make - individually and collectively - for a very long time now, and then blaming someone else. GOP and Dems have contributed equally to the debt, I don't want to hear the bullshit rationalizing, and the partisan politics have got to go.

    My own opinion is that the economy is rightfully sluggish and SHOULD remain so for a while. It's taken so many short term jolts for so long that there's really not much left to do but just let it recover....but you're not going to hear this out of a politicians mouth. The best thing America can do is to start PRODUCING things that the rest of the world will buy; this will create jobs AND help offset the massive imbalance. But that would make sense......

    Here is the thing, no matter how far left you are I have never heard a person in the USA seriously advocate Socialism or any variant thereof. Ever.

    Asking the rich to pay rates that are set at pre-Bush tax cut levels is not a far left idea, it just isn't. The Republicans have created a political atmosphere and stirred up their base to the point where any tax increases is just an example of how Obama wants us to be a semi-Socialist European democracy like Sweden. Its sheer lunacy, economically dangerous, and political suicide to state that any legislation that raises taxes is a way to advocate Socialism. There are no mainstream far left movements in the USA at all, there is however a major political party that is dangerously treading the line of crazy which will only further isolate the independents.

  • Virginia Tech 4ever's picture

    Yes, "crazy". We're "crazy" because we believe in balancing the budget within the next 30 years, expanding the tax base from 53% of wage earners onto as many people as possible (including the 47% of people who currently pay no federal income tax), reducing regulation and bureaucracy, and reevaluating the efficacy of return on our federal expenditures by asking the question, "does the program work? Is this program doing what it was intended to do?"

    Yep, we must be batsh*t crazy to look at Europe and see what a failure the welfare state is. We're nuts! Well, if that makes me crazy then call me Jack Nicholson.

  • In reply to awm55
    ragnar danneskjöld's picture

    awm55:
    ragnar danneskjold:
    awm55:
    txjustin:
    awm55:
    When all of the Republican parties presidential nominees refuse to concede on a deal that was 10 to 1 cut vs revenue rise that is insane. The fucking national review call them all crazy. You are living in a fantasy.

    That was a trick question. If you can't see that you are living in a fantasy.

    Yeah, because Brett Baier on Fox News loves calling out Republicans.

    I don't have time to hit on everything but your reading headlines and not dealing with the facts. The objection to the 10:1 cuts were not that they weren't reasonable, it's that by "cut" it references down the road future spending as defined by our base-line budgeting system.

    Additionally, right-wing/left-wing, it doesn't matter. Both sides have deviated FAR from their centrist counterparts of years past. If you don't believe that, I'll refer you to the Dem's excellent example in compromise when they passed Healthcare reform under referendum on a party line vote forcing it through in 2009. Both are guilty of this lacking of compromise, its not all right wingers.

    I would offer for consideration that right wing fringe would not have a platform if the previous eight years of "conservatives" not operated as spendthrifts. "W" did as much to create the current problem and inspire the need for a push back to conservative ideology. Dem's aren't compromising anymore than right wing types. They are just extremely vocal about how willing they are but can't document anything they've actually conceded to that the other side wants. They'll mention what they've given up that they knew they'd never get, but can show nothing they've adopted the other side requested. That isn't compromise.

    The National Review called the 8 candidates out, the freaking National Review.

    The dems have conceded on a crap load, every major media source both domestically and internationally agrees on this. S&P explicitly stated that they downgraded the US because some in congress were intransigent on revenue increases and that some in the Republican party (including some potential Presidential Nominees) thought that the best thing we could do is default. S&P also stated they have never heard rhetoric like this used in a develop country ever, if you don't think that is fringe right wing then I can't help you.

    Maybe that means something to you, but I watched the debate and heard Ron Paul and Cain specifically say no tax raises unless its regarding actual cuts not cuts to future spending increases. Since I actually saw it I'm more inclined to believe what I heard with my own ears than your recitation of hearsay.

    You can use ambiguous references all you want but you have yet to show one single instance of these ever so prevalent democratic compromises. If you cannot see that you are caught up in political rhetoric I cannot help you.

  • In reply to ragnar danneskjöld
    awm55's picture

    ragnar danneskjold:
    awm55:
    ragnar danneskjold:
    awm55:
    txjustin:
    awm55:
    When all of the Republican parties presidential nominees refuse to concede on a deal that was 10 to 1 cut vs revenue rise that is insane. The fucking national review call them all crazy. You are living in a fantasy.

    That was a trick question. If you can't see that you are living in a fantasy.

    Yeah, because Brett Baier on Fox News loves calling out Republicans.

    I don't have time to hit on everything but your reading headlines and not dealing with the facts. The objection to the 10:1 cuts were not that they weren't reasonable, it's that by "cut" it references down the road future spending as defined by our base-line budgeting system.

    Additionally, right-wing/left-wing, it doesn't matter. Both sides have deviated FAR from their centrist counterparts of years past. If you don't believe that, I'll refer you to the Dem's excellent example in compromise when they passed Healthcare reform under referendum on a party line vote forcing it through in 2009. Both are guilty of this lacking of compromise, its not all right wingers.

    I would offer for consideration that right wing fringe would not have a platform if the previous eight years of "conservatives" not operated as spendthrifts. "W" did as much to create the current problem and inspire the need for a push back to conservative ideology. Dem's aren't compromising anymore than right wing types. They are just extremely vocal about how willing they are but can't document anything they've actually conceded to that the other side wants. They'll mention what they've given up that they knew they'd never get, but can show nothing they've adopted the other side requested. That isn't compromise.

    The National Review called the 8 candidates out, the freaking National Review.

    The dems have conceded on a crap load, every major media source both domestically and internationally agrees on this. S&P explicitly stated that they downgraded the US because some in congress were intransigent on revenue increases and that some in the Republican party (including some potential Presidential Nominees) thought that the best thing we could do is default. S&P also stated they have never heard rhetoric like this used in a develop country ever, if you don't think that is fringe right wing then I can't help you.

    Maybe that means something to you, but I watched the debate and heard Ron Paul and Cain specifically say no tax raises unless its regarding actual cuts not cuts to future spending increases. Since I actually saw it I'm more inclined to believe what I heard with my own ears than your recitation of hearsay.

    You can use ambiguous references all you want but you have yet to show one single instance of these ever so prevalent democratic compromises. If you cannot see that you are caught up in political rhetoric I cannot help you.

    Dude, what planet are you on?
    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0811/61147.html
    http://www.economist.com/node/18928600
    http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/...
    http://www.thomhartmann.com/blog/2011/08/mainstrea...

  • In reply to TNA
    eokpar02's picture

    ANT:
    I personally believe that the American consumer is tapped out. They front loaded so much spending during the housing crisis that people have all the goodies. On top of that, they now have woken up to the fact that when you buy on credit, you don't own anything, IT OWNS YOU.

    The economy sucks and will suck. It should suck. People acted like drunken retards and need to sober up. The government cannot fix this right now. They are trying everything and it still isn't working.

    The two largest parts of GPD (housing and consumer spending) are DOA. Government spending cannot fill the void of both of these.

    Personally, if the government wants to do something, they should loosen bankruptcy standard. Let people go bankrupt and clean up their lives. People who should have never owned a home will go back to being renters, banks will smarten up and not lend to people who don't qualify and credit will contract. People will have more FCF, less stress and be able to go on with their life.

    I agree Ant. No one has any money. Any and all money people had during our supposed boom during the 2000s came from tapping lines of equity, not from actually earning more money.

    Get with it. The economy is going to be bad for a very, very long time. Yes, of course there are things that could easily boost economic growth. Getting rid of a lot of the regulations that prevent manufacturing more in the USA. Getting rid of the minimum wage so more kids can help out their struggling families. Ending the war on drugs that imprisons nearly 1 out of 100 Americans. Imagine if those people were free, earning wages (even if the wage was pitiful) and actually buying things. Ending the FDA would do wonders for small farms, so they can sell their wares without being harassed.

    I am not cocky, I am confident, and when you tell me I am the best it is a compliment.
    -Styles P

  • In reply to awm55
    ragnar danneskjöld's picture

    awm55:

    Dude, what planet are you on?
    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0811/61147.html
    http://www.economist.com/node/18928600
    http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/...
    http://www.thomhartmann.com/blog/2011/08/mainstrea...

    ?

    I guess I missed something somewhere. Anything you've written in the past I've found to be well thought out. What you posted is simply four articles of finger pointing. Maybe you didn't read my initial response where I disclosed there are fringe right in congress, but included the contagion of leftist equally as rigid. I'll sight Harry Ried's stance on a BBA being a deal breaker and his refusal to let a vote take place if it exists in any proposed legislation. Irony is not the debated issue here but it bares mentioning he proposed and voted for one in 2007.

    The take away here for me is though I understand your frustration with the group on the right, you fail to consider how similar behavior is practiced regularly by those on the left, yet when conservatives do it they're "wrong"... Its a double standard and I honestly truly despise hypocrisy.

    I appreciate your posting these links, but they define what you previously wrote. All I want to see is an example of compromise to republican ideals that the democrats insist they have been open to. I just don't see one and until I do, they are just as guilty of the rigidity they accuse the right of being and as such bare as much responsibility for the calamitous negotiations around the debt ceiling.

    Have you considered that this fringe radical group was the only portion of any Congressional body to propose legislature that met the $4T figure disclosed by S&P and others that would have avoided a downgrade to our sovereign debt. I mean that is what the left was worried about before the deadline approached. A deadline that moved 3 times. If it was so important to them then, why, when agencies told them what they needed to see, weren't they willing to compromise to measures being proposed that would have saved our currency rating?

  • In reply to ragnar danneskjöld
    awm55's picture

    ragnar danneskjold:
    awm55:

    Dude, what planet are you on?
    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0811/61147.html
    http://www.economist.com/node/18928600
    http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/...
    http://www.thomhartmann.com/blog/2011/08/mainstrea...

    ?

    I guess I missed something somewhere. Anything you've written in the past I've found to be well thought out. What you posted is simply four articles of finger pointing. Maybe you didn't read my initial response where I disclosed there are fringe right in congress, but included the contagion of leftist equally as rigid. I'll sight Harry Ried's stance on a BBA being a deal breaker and his refusal to let a vote take place if it exists in any proposed legislation. Irony is not the debated issue here but it bares mentioning he proposed and voted for one in 2007.

    The take away here for me is though I understand your frustration with the group on the right, you fail to consider how similar behavior is practiced regularly by those on the left, yet when conservatives do it they're "wrong"... Its a double standard and I honestly truly despise hypocrisy.

    I appreciate your posting these links, but they define what you previously wrote. All I want to see is an example of compromise to republican ideals that the democrats insist they have been open to. I just don't see one and until I do, they are just as guilty of the rigidity they accuse the right of being and as such bare as much responsibility for the calamitous negotiations around the debt ceiling.

    Have you considered that this fringe radical group was the only portion of any Congressional body to propose legislature that met the $4T figure disclosed by S&P and others that would have avoided a downgrade to our sovereign debt. I mean that is what the left was worried about before the deadline approached. A deadline that moved 3 times. If it was so important to them then, why, when agencies told them what they needed to see, weren't they willing to compromise to measures being proposed that would have saved our currency rating?

    Did you read the S&P reports? They sited both the fact that the cuts were not deep enough and the fact that revenue increases were taken off the table. They even went as far to say that they have never seen triple AAA rated sovereigns have politicians downplay the consequences of default.

    And the Dems of conceded enormously, the Repubs got a deal with no new revenue (not even closed loopholes), how is that not the Dems compromising? Am I missing something?

  • In reply to awm55
    UFOinsider's picture

    awm55:
    Am I missing something?

    ...yeah, you're on a finance site and it doesn't matter what the truth is. No one here CARES what the truth is. This is all about getting what one can out of the system.

    It's very rare you're going to find an honest exchange of ideas: more likely, people are just relentlessly pushing thier agenda and they don't give a shit what's right or wrong.....that's life, get used to it.

    Get busy living

  • In The Flesh's picture

    We should have two-term limits for Congressmen and Senators. We have them for the President; why not for everyone in Congress? This complacency and the obsession with being reelected is preventing our leaders from focusing on their jobs, which is to work for us. And it leads to complacency and sluggishness on the part of the government, which is uncalled for.

    Agree?

    Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

  • In reply to blastoise
    El_Mono's picture

    blastoise:
    The problem with America today is that internet has made a truer form of democracy possible.
    Internet now allows for the opinions of the vast, uneducated masses to be heard. This is indeed the voice of real America, the America that Washington has tried to avoid for centuries. This America is racist, ultra religious, completely uneducated, very easy to manipulate and it stubbornly feels it is always right by the grace of God.

    So... the problem in Washington is that rural America, or the anti-America if you want to call it like that (the one not known outside our borders) has unfortunately awaken and the Republican Party is catering to its madness for political support.

    ^^ comments XD

    Wow, just wow, I cant agree more with you. I was going to say its nothing new, just the acknowledgement of things as they have been for a while, but your tone is far more direct. Kudos.

    Valor is of no service, chance rules all, and the bravest often fall by the hands of cowards. - Tacitus

    Dr. Nick Riviera: Hey, don't worry. You don't have to make up stories here. Save that for court!

  • In reply to blastoise
    awm55's picture

    blastoise:
    The problem with America today is that internet has made a truer form of democracy possible.
    Internet now allows for the opinions of the vast, uneducated masses to be heard. This is indeed the voice of real America, the America that Washington has tried to avoid for centuries. This America is racist, ultra religious, completely uneducated, very easy to manipulate and it stubbornly feels it is always right by the grace of God.

    So... the problem in Washington is that rural America, or the anti-America if you want to call it like that (the one not known outside our borders) has unfortunately awaken and the Republican Party is catering to its madness for political support.

    ^^ comments XD

    +1

  • In reply to awm55
    UFOinsider's picture

    awm55:
    blastoise:
    The problem with America today is that internet has made a truer form of democracy possible.
    Internet now allows for the opinions of the vast, uneducated masses to be heard. This is indeed the voice of real America, the America that Washington has tried to avoid for centuries. This America is racist, ultra religious, completely uneducated, very easy to manipulate and it stubbornly feels it is always right by the grace of God.

    So... the problem in Washington is that rural America, or the anti-America if you want to call it like that (the one not known outside our borders) has unfortunately awaken and the Republican Party is catering to its madness for political support.

    ^^ comments XD

    +1


    So, let me get this straight: the problem with America lately is too much Democracy? Or is it that the quality of the people participating in it, on average, is lower. Because if the problem is democratic voting, I think there's worse issues than the debt.....which, by the way, who the fuck is going to "collect" on us? Realistically.

    Get busy living

  • TNA's picture

    UFO - the problem is the snobby elite don't like people who disagree with them. The majority of Americans are religious (moderately), believe in freedom and responsibility and want the government to take less and stay out of there way.

    The majority of hardworking Americans cannot identify with the North Eastern welfare state, the anti religious tilt on the left, the forcing of left wing beliefs on the average American.

    The left wants increased taxes because they want to control people. They want to ban guns because they want only the police to control the power. They want to kill religion because only their beliefs should be worshiped. They want to destroy the family so that the state can dictate how someone can be raise.

  • In reply to UFOinsider
    awm55's picture

    UFOinsider:
    awm55:
    blastoise:
    The problem with America today is that internet has made a truer form of democracy possible.
    Internet now allows for the opinions of the vast, uneducated masses to be heard. This is indeed the voice of real America, the America that Washington has tried to avoid for centuries. This America is racist, ultra religious, completely uneducated, very easy to manipulate and it stubbornly feels it is always right by the grace of God.

    So... the problem in Washington is that rural America, or the anti-America if you want to call it like that (the one not known outside our borders) has unfortunately awaken and the Republican Party is catering to its madness for political support.

    ^^ comments XD

    +1


    So, let me get this straight: the problem with America lately is too much Democracy? Or is it that the quality of the people participating in it, on average, is lower. Because if the problem is democratic voting, I think there's worse issues than the debt.....which, by the way, who the fuck is going to "collect" on us? Realistically.

    I think its the quality of the voter base in all honesty. There is an enormous amount of misinformed voters on both sides, but lets be realistic about this, one side is considerably worse than the other. The Republican party is a joke internationally, of course they don't care, and fair enough, but its all about perspective and I sometimes think the party and their voter base lack it.

    Did you see Carl Rove on Fox News today? He is worried all the Republican candidates are too religious and too far to the right. When Carl Rove thinks your candidates are too far right you have a problem.

  • In reply to TNA
    awm55's picture

    ANT:
    UFO - the problem is the snobby elite don't like people who disagree with them. The majority of Americans are religious (moderately), believe in freedom and responsibility and want the government to take less and stay out of there way.

    The majority of hardworking Americans cannot identify with the North Eastern welfare state, the anti religious tilt on the left, the forcing of left wing beliefs on the average American.

    The left wants increased taxes because they want to control people. They want to ban guns because they want only the police to control the power. They want to kill religion because only their beliefs should be worshiped. They want to destroy the family so that the state can dictate how someone can be raise.

    The problem ANT is that all of the "real American" states drain more from the country than they contribute. I think Texas is the exception.

    The ironic thing is most Americans want freedom, I agree, and North Eastern liberalism from a social standpoint is a hell of a lot less restrictive than some bible humping fringe right candidate who wants to force their religion down everyone's throat. I am Roman Catholic btw, but I staunchly support separation of church and state.

  • TNA's picture

    AWM - Italian politicians are a joke. French IMF chiefs are a joke. British politicians, who allow their country to be raped for days by insolent entitlement babies, are a joke. Greek politicians are a joke.

    You seem to think the rest of the world is so great, yet fail to see how incompetent the rest of the world is.

    Also, I fail to see how Republicans did anything wrong. They played hardball, got cuts and didn't raise taxes. Exactly like I wanted them to and exactly like they should have done.

  • In reply to awm55
    TNA's picture

    awm55:
    ANT:
    UFO - the problem is the snobby elite don't like people who disagree with them. The majority of Americans are religious (moderately), believe in freedom and responsibility and want the government to take less and stay out of there way.

    The majority of hardworking Americans cannot identify with the North Eastern welfare state, the anti religious tilt on the left, the forcing of left wing beliefs on the average American.

    The left wants increased taxes because they want to control people. They want to ban guns because they want only the police to control the power. They want to kill religion because only their beliefs should be worshiped. They want to destroy the family so that the state can dictate how someone can be raise.

    The problem ANT is that all of the "real American" states drain more from the country than they contribute. I think Texas is the exception.

    The ironic thing is most Americans want freedom, I agree, and North Eastern liberalism from a social standpoint is a hell of a lot less restrictive than some bible humping fringe right candidate who wants to force their religion down everyone's throat. I am Roman Catholic btw, but I staunchly support separation of church and state.

    Fine and dandy and I also support a separation. We had a very religious Texan in the White House and guess what, abortion is still legal, being gay is still legal, porn is still legal, divorce is still legals.

    I don't see the horror of a religious person in power. We have a Constitution and Supreme Court to keep them in check.

  • TNA's picture

    Being a drain doesn't mean they are bad states. The North is where all the cities are, finance is, etc. Of course they will be net contributors. How much industry is in Alabama or Oklahoma? That is what happens when you have a country the size of a continent.

    Europe has its shitty countries and its wealthy countries also.

  • ragnar danneskjöld's picture

    Rural America = Anti-America, but is "indeed the voice of real America"??? Real American's but its "unfortunate" they are paying attention and halfway understand what the "educated" class do? Do you even have a concept of how elitist that realm of thinking is?

    The same 20% of American's (who produce 70% of the world's grain supply and 40% of the production of the world's 3rd largest oil producer) living in rural areas getting internet access is responsible for what is wrong with the country? They, with their new fangled techumnologies accumulated $14 trillion in debt?

    I'll tell you what... now those bumpkins have an innernet I hope they read this tripe... cut your skinny-pant wearing asses off and come by in about a month to divide up your shit. You might stop to consider those uneducated rural American's, provide you with food, energy, and basically every other commodity by which your narcissistic existence is allowed to continue. How dare they feel as though they are entitled to an opinion?

    @ UFO, you are right, no one can "collect" but after the cut off point and until U.S. manufacturing and textile industries rebuild to catch up with demand, things would suck for a long time.

  • In reply to TNA
    awm55's picture

    ANT:
    awm55:
    ANT:
    UFO - the problem is the snobby elite don't like people who disagree with them. The majority of Americans are religious (moderately), believe in freedom and responsibility and want the government to take less and stay out of there way.

    The majority of hardworking Americans cannot identify with the North Eastern welfare state, the anti religious tilt on the left, the forcing of left wing beliefs on the average American.

    The left wants increased taxes because they want to control people. They want to ban guns because they want only the police to control the power. They want to kill religion because only their beliefs should be worshiped. They want to destroy the family so that the state can dictate how someone can be raise.

    The problem ANT is that all of the "real American" states drain more from the country than they contribute. I think Texas is the exception.

    The ironic thing is most Americans want freedom, I agree, and North Eastern liberalism from a social standpoint is a hell of a lot less restrictive than some bible humping fringe right candidate who wants to force their religion down everyone's throat. I am Roman Catholic btw, but I staunchly support separation of church and state.

    Fine and dandy and I also support a separation. We had a very religious Texan in the White House and guess what, abortion is still legal, being gay is still legal, porn is still legal, divorce is still legals.

    I don't see the horror of a religious person in power. We have a Constitution and Supreme Court to keep them in check.

    Bachmann and Perry are way way more religious than Bush was. Perry's religious rally had people who claim Oprah is the anti-christ and Muslims are all inbred (and that is a fact!). They are far more explicit with their intention to incorporate Christianity into government and schools. Bush was largely a fairly moderate guy in comparison.

  • TNA's picture

    And neither will win the nomination or an election. Politicians move towards the middle if they want to be elected. Everyone needs a fervent core to raise money , work the phone banks, etc. The left has just as many loonies as the right.

    I wouldn't say Oprah is the anti Christ, but she is a POS. I wouldn't piss on her if she was on fire.

  • In reply to TNA
    awm55's picture

    ANT:
    And neither will win the nomination or an election. Politicians move towards the middle if they want to be elected. Everyone needs a fervent core to raise money , work the phone banks, etc. The left has just as many loonies as the right.

    I wouldn't say Oprah is the anti Christ, but she is a POS. I wouldn't piss on her if she was on fire.

    You think so? Again, I am a fairly moderate guy but when was the last time a Democratic party candidate wanted the country to default, wanted to end the census, thought CO2 was a harmless gas because it was produced naturally, and held religious rallies full of nutty hard right evangelicals.

    Seriously, I just don't see this bat shit crazy stuff from the Dems. At least not to the same extent. The hard right has far far more pull in this country than the hard left (which largely does not exist in any form in the US government).

  • In reply to awm55
    UFOinsider's picture

    awm55:
    ANT:
    And neither will win the nomination or an election. Politicians move towards the middle if they want to be elected. Everyone needs a fervent core to raise money , work the phone banks, etc. The left has just as many loonies as the right.

    I wouldn't say Oprah is the anti Christ, but she is a POS. I wouldn't piss on her if she was on fire.

    You think so? Again, I am a fairly moderate guy but when was the last time a Democratic party candidate wanted the country to default, wanted to end the census, thought CO2 was a harmless gas because it was produced naturally, and held religious rallies full of nutty hard right evangelicals.

    Seriously, I just don't see this bat shit crazy stuff from the Dems. At least not to the same extent. The hard right has far far more pull in this country than the hard left (which largely does not exist in any form in the US government).


    ....because they don't need to. Remember 2003? Wooooo, freakshow

    Get busy living

  • TNA's picture

    Not raising the debt ceiling would not of caused a default, we just would have had to make tough choices. Honestly, both parties played chicken with the issue and the Republicans won.

    S&P said cuts were not big enough and revenues were not high enough. The Dems has a token revenue increase. If you want to really increase revenues, you remove all the dam tax credits. Phase out the child tax credit, mortgage interest deductibility, etc.

    I personally believe in global warming, but then again, I could be wrong. I honestly could careless who is right, I would like to see less deforestation and more nuclear energy. But then again, I am am rather anti human and pro animal/environment.

    To me 10 White Rhinos are more precious than a million people, but I digress.

    You need to look at the logical conclusion. If you say global warming is real, you need to do something about it. You need to shut down coal plants, subsidize alternative energy and thereby increase operating costs for American businesses. All for something that might not be a big deal or might not be real (even though I think it is). There are major ramifications for doing certain things.

  • In reply to UFOinsider
    awm55's picture

    UFOinsider:
    awm55:
    ANT:
    And neither will win the nomination or an election. Politicians move towards the middle if they want to be elected. Everyone needs a fervent core to raise money , work the phone banks, etc. The left has just as many loonies as the right.

    I wouldn't say Oprah is the anti Christ, but she is a POS. I wouldn't piss on her if she was on fire.

    You think so? Again, I am a fairly moderate guy but when was the last time a Democratic party candidate wanted the country to default, wanted to end the census, thought CO2 was a harmless gas because it was produced naturally, and held religious rallies full of nutty hard right evangelicals.

    Seriously, I just don't see this bat shit crazy stuff from the Dems. At least not to the same extent. The hard right has far far more pull in this country than the hard left (which largely does not exist in any form in the US government).


    ....because they don't need to. Remember 2003? Wooooo, freakshow

    Not sure what you mean?

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