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View Diary: Boehner just shot himself in the foot (170 comments)

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  •  Those are pretty meaningless statements (2+ / 0-)
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    ozsea1, VClib

    The President's budget assumes that we are winding down and ending the wars.  (In fact, I agree that it includes the budget gimmick -- which it definitely is -- of counting no wars as "cuts to spending" for the next 10 years).  

    And higher taxes than what? And how high?  

    The Clinton model was not "no wars and higher taxes."  It was bringing revenue up to about 19% of GDP and bringing spending -- all spending, including war spending -- down to about 19% of GDP.  It was bringing the budget into relative balance when you look at revenue and spending as a percent of GDP.  

    Now, I don't think we need to bring the into actual balance as Clinton did.  But I do think we need to bring revenues up to about 18% of GDP and spending down to around 21% of GDP.  And -- if you look at real numbers --  neither the President nor the Republicans have any proposal for anything close to that.  

    •  I'm not sure how you define "gimmick" (6+ / 0-)

      If we aren't fighting useless wars, then we are really spending less, right?  So why is that a gimmick?

      The real "gimmick" was when You Know Who fought all these wars and didn't count the spending as actual spending, and instead of having a budget said "we'll spend whatever it takes -- no cost is too great", and when Cheney said "deficits don't matter".  And when afterwards Republicans called Obama the great spender.

      •  Not fighting a war is not a "gimmick." (0+ / 0-)

        However, calling the fact that we are no longer occupying Iraq a "cut" in spending for the next ten years, when nobody intended on doing that in the first place, is a "gimmick."

        It's like saying, "I could have spent $100,000 that I don't have on a sports car, but since I'm not going to, I've cut spending by $100,000."  That's a gimmick.  It makes the phrase "cut spending" meaningless. For the President to say that not maintaining the force we used to have in Iraq is a "cut in spending" for FY 2013 - 2023 (when we never were going to be in Iraq from 2013 - 2013) is an accounting gimmick.  

        Really, we could be spending money invading Iran.  The fact that we are not is not a "cut in spending" for the next 10 years.    

        •  why don't we just forego the rw bullshit tp's & (2+ / 0-)
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          lostinamerica, pat bunny

          cut to the chase . . .

          you & the r's want taxes for 250K & up to go down (to zero) & those below 250K to go up -- i believe republicans call that (ahem) "broadening the tax base.

           then everything will be right as rain!

          just like it always is with trickle down!!

          b/c nothing's supposed to trickle down -- & that's the joke.

          •  Of course, I said nothing of the sort. (1+ / 0-)
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            VClib

            I said I think  taxes need to increase so that they are back up to Clinton levels, somewhere around 18% of GDP.  And I think that spending needs to come down, not to Clinton levels, but to maybe 21% of GDP.  

            I'd prefer that revenues be increased through an overall overhaul of the tax code so that people at the same income level pay roughly the same in taxes, measured in effective tax rates, rather than some of the rich paying an effective tax rate of 26% (through the AMT, for example) and some just pay an effective rate of 15% (if they get all income through capital gains).  Something like the Simpson Bowles Tax Plan, but perhaps the top rate a point or two higher so that you get receipts where they need to be as a percent of GDP.  The present tax code is a mess, and I think it needs a huge overhaul.  

            I don't know how you get "want the rates on those above $250,000 to go down to zero" out of that.  

            •  oh, gee, i guess i got that idea from a comment (1+ / 0-)
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              lostinamerica

              you posted a few weeks ago when you were whining about the d's wanting to raise tax rates on the 250K+ crowd & you said there was no reason for the d's to be so insistent about that b/c the prez could have the revenue he wanted if he just accepted the r's proposal -- which was the same fucking plan mitt romney ran on: closing loopholes & eliminating deductions.

              it's called subtext, btw.

              the tax code is a mess b/c lobbyists have deliberately written it to be that way . . . & that's why it will never be overhauled, either.

              but of course, you already knew that.  you're just playing games with heads around here.  8-I

        •  Your analogy doesn't make sense (1+ / 0-)
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          pat bunny

          We seem to be using differentials when defining "tax cuts" or tax increases.  That is, if the tax rate is lower than it was last year, it's a tax cut.  So why isn't the same definition used for spending cuts?

          You say:

          It's like saying, "I could have spent $100,000 that I don't have on a sports car, but since I'm not going to, I've cut spending by $100,000."

          No. Not the same. Because I haven't been spending $100,000 a year on sports cars in the past.  But we have been spending money on wars in the past.  So if spending on useless wars next year is less than it was this year, I don't see why that's not called a spending cut.

          Accounting "gimmicks" are things like pretending money I've spent/earned this year was really spent/earned in a different year or averaged out over a ten year period or whatever.  Or that gifts my children have received from me aren't really income.  Or that things aren't really income if they're passed through a certain kind of trust. Or lots of the other things the tax code provides to let rich people not pay taxes on things that they do that the rest of us would normally pay taxes on.  In short, legal fictions.

          If we were spending a trillion dollars on a useless war and now we're not, that's a cut.

          •  It's a matter of what baseline you start from (1+ / 0-)
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            VClib

            to say whether you are "cutting."

            For FY 2013 - 2023, it makes no sense to say that the "baseline" includes spending for Iraq and Afghanistan, because current policy is that we will not be in Iraq and Afghanistan during those years.  That's the problem.  What is the baseline -- what will happen if all the policies that are in place now continue?  That baseline does not include Iraq and Afghanistan.  In order to say you are cutting spending based on Iraq and Afghanistan, you have to assume that the baseline would be continuing that war spending in FY 2013 - 2023.  

            For example, what is the baseline on revenues for next year?  If you assume that under existing law, all Bush tax cuts expire, then a plan that continues them for households under $250,000 is a cut in tax revenues.  But if you assume that the baseline is what we have today -- all those tax cuts in place -- then the very same legislation, extending the Bush Tax cuts on Households under $250,000  -- is an increase in  tax revenues.

            For political reasons, people tend to pick the baseline that supports their preferred narrative.  When people in Washington play with numbers, they fool around with the baseline more than anything else.  It's what allows two groups to look at the same thing and one say they "cut spending" and one say they "increased spending."   They both are telling the truth because they are starting from different baselines.  

            •  The baseline is what we were doing before (2+ / 0-)
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              lostinamerica, pat bunny

              That's what is meant when you're not trying to redefine "cut" in some bizarre way.

              If I "lost" weight, it means that I weigh less than I did last year.  Not that I weigh less than some "baseline" based on some "policy".  That's how my investment people define my gains and losses in stocks or mutual funds.

              I'm a math nerd, and that's how you define what a change is.  DeltaY where y = f(x) means f(x+deltaX) - f(x).  If x is this year, and if deltaX is a year, then it's f(nextYear) - f(thisYear).  None of this "policy" and "baseline" stuff.

              •  That works when you are comparing one year (1+ / 0-)
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                VClib

                to the year before.  It doesn't work when you are talking about projecting cuts in spending for the next 10 years, which is how our government does budgeting.  In order to do that, you have to have a "baseline" for the next 10 years -- what spending would have been.  Then reductions from what spending would have been are your cuts.  

                •  That's what it is everywhere else. (1+ / 0-)
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                  lostinamerica

                  When they talk about NASA budget cuts, they mean it's cut with respect to last year, not with respect to a 10-year NASA baseline that was projected.

                  That's how it is everywhere else in business, too.  When I got a salary increase of 3%, it was called a salary increase of 3%, not a salary cut of 1% even if some policy forecast said that over 10 years I should be getting an average 4% increase per year.  Calling it an increase wasn't a "gimmick"; it was the normal way of describing the event.

                  •  I wish the terms everyone used were the (1+ / 0-)
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                    coffeetalk

                    same for government spending and executive compensation. It would be nice if the word "cut" was reserved only for actual, real dollar reductions where Year B spending was actually lower than Year A. The problem with the word "cut" as it relates to federal budget issues is that no one knows what it actually refers to. In addition, "budget cuts" for any year past the next two are complete fiction. The current Congress can't dictate anything past the 113th session.  

                    "let's talk about that"

                    by VClib on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 09:15:49 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

            •  I believe the CBO's budget numbers have already (0+ / 0-)

              baked in the Iraq war ending and a reduced presence in Afghanistan. The CBOs budget also has ALL the Bush tax cuts expiring at the end of the 2012.

              "let's talk about that"

              by VClib on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 09:19:43 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  You Keep Mistating This (1+ / 0-)
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      pat bunny

      It was NOT

      and bringing spending -- all spending, including war spending -- down to about 19% of GDP
      ...it was growing the economy faster than growing spending so that the ratio decreased while spending still increased.  And you can't do that right now by cutting spending.  See: Britain, Spain, Italy, Greece, et al.

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