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View Diary: An Email Exchange You Might Find Interesting (26 comments)

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  •  ok, to your points: (3+ / 0-)
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    emmasnacker, 84thProblem, DBunn

    1 & 2: the Koch brothers and their like minded fellows, in both the private sector and in govt, are the drivers behind the implementation of the Chicago School theories that have brought us to this pass.  I should have also mentioned their gutting of the nation's regulatory structure (for which the Dems share almost equal responsibility) which was how the '08 crash was allowed to happen, said crash causing much of the current deficit problem by virtue of its having caused a precipitous drop in revenues.  If I had had the graph in this diary on hand when I wrote the reply, it would have been helpful.

    3: No, the conditions Bush (and his predecessors) put in place have everything to do with how we proceed.  That was what my "black hole" comment was about, although it wasn't fleshed out enough by the preceding paragraph.  We have the structural problem of revenue shortfall compared to outlays, and that, it is correct, is only partially solved by increasing the taxes on the rich.  I probably should have also noted that Keynesian stimulus spending is a proven remedy, but that also causes temporary revenue shortfalls.  The point is, the US govt isn't like a consumer who got over his or her head with credit cards and second mortgages: the resources we have as a nation are much more robust than an individual has.  The govt can create wealth in the form of public infrastructure which both adds value to the communities it's installed (or improved) in, as well as creating jobs and, thereby, tax revenue.  Again, I should have elaborated on that remark and made the point that, as Krugman often points out, deficit spending is how you get out of messes created by wealth-disparity-driven financial calamities.  But it takes time.

    4: That was an oblique comment about Obama's mandate, as compared to the "mandate" that Bush claimed after he got the Presidency via his brother's suppression of Democratic votes in FL.   Nonetheless, he was inspired to precipitously execute the most drastic tax cut the nation has ever seen, and he did it without any kind of mandate, as opposed to the very clear mandate (backed by public opinion) behind Obama's current proposal.  Again, not very well-stated on my part and not something that was specifically in the email I was responding to, but that I felt was important.  Good point you raise, though.

    5: Something, again, that wasn't in the original argument but that is still germane (which is why I brought it up).  Entitlements are only in jeopardy, as you say, in the longer term.  They need to be fixed in the relatively near future and the fixes are easy (raise the cap and make them less regressive than sales taxes thereby, for crissake) but my point about entitlement revenues is that they've been used, unfairly, as part of the general fund all these years, and any jeopardy they are in is because of that, primarily.  Decoupling them from the rest of the federal budget is paramount, before any fix (which isn't an emergent issue anyway) is instituted.

    6: You're right, I had 29 in my head instead of 39.  My bad. Brain farts are my forte!  So Obama's actually wanting to raise taxes on the wealthy to almost 43% of what Eisenhower presided over! Communist!

    7: See above for comments on entitlements, but another main driver of the deficit is our sluggish economy.  See comments above about stimulus spending in that regard.

    Regarding your last paragraph, I did attack him on the premise that Clinton-era growth rates, when the tax on the top tier was 40%, were stronger than after Bush cut them.  I framed it as a " Clinton surplus" issue, though (1st sentence of second paragraph).

    Your last points about health care are excellent and, you're right to include them in the argument.  I would add that if single payer is instituted, then businesses (and state governments) would be able to quit dealing with Workers' comp insurance.  That's a huge deal that businesses, if they were being logical, should love.

    Thanks for your post.  Very thoughtful and engaging.

    "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi // Question: "succeed" at what?

    by nailbender on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 01:34:37 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  First of all, thanks for taking my comments (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nailbender, DBunn

      in the way they were meant.

      Secondly, I hope to be able to respond to your comment but the two little rug rats are calling me and time may not allow tonight.

      Be well.

      We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

      by theotherside on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 03:23:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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