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View Diary: Gulf Watchers Sunday - BP's Destruction of Gulf Coast Continues - BP Catastrophe AUV #440 (131 comments)

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  •  I was saying something about the tax cut deal (9+ / 0-)

    (not the Gulf)and the way that public policy is always a trade off between interests and that when we invest socially in one segment of the population we pretty much disinvest in some other.  So SoSec invests in the elderly (a good thing to do) but really does trade off against the young (a sad thing to do), but the elderly vote and the young don't.

    Somehow pointing out that we make social choices about where we're going to put resources is AEI-land.  I thought it was standard public policy think.  And I think I said something about how we need to think through the set of trade offs we want to make....  I thought it was pretty harmless stuff, actually.

    Mostly, the upperworld here is so flipped out about the tax deal, and I see it from a policy/structure position instead of from an activist position.  So I guess I'm a traitor or a troll or a Republican or something.

    The poli sci people seem to think it's a good deal, the economists think there are better ways to move money around, but they don't pay as much attention to Congress's workings so what they come up with could be good economics and impossible politics.

    Like I said, I'm a bad bad bad bad person!

    Thanks for the kind words at any rate!

    •  If I understand you correctly, I'm right (7+ / 0-)

      there with you (not something I often say topside).

      Congress failed to pass that bill, and O was left with the choice between screwing a ton of folks in deep trouble out of what he felt they should get, or making a deal with the devil.

      It takes a unique kind of courage to make a deal like that.  You know you're going to get slammed against the wall, but you do what's right in your heart.

      He helped a hell of a lot of people, which is more than Congress did.

      The cuts expire in two years, and if he plays it right, it can be a huge selling point in '12.

      "We live now in hard times, not end times." -- Jon Stewart

      by Yasuragi on Sun Dec 12, 2010 at 08:51:11 AM PST

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      •  Cuz, (6+ / 0-)

        The cuts expire in two years, and if he plays it right, it can be a huge selling point in '12.

        I so  o o  o agree with you. If the Dems can, for one fucking time, get their messaging clear and concise and harmonized, this will be a massive selling point, bigger than we have seen since the Iraq war, which was not handled very well as a anti-Repug issue.

        It is a clear cut message. The Republicans in Congress were willing to let the middle class/poor go without unemployment insurance to extend tax cuts to the rich. The Republicans in Congress were willing to [deny help for the 9/11 survivors] [hold up the START treaty] [Block repeal of DADT] [deny help to the families of those who were killed in the Deepwater Horizon explosion] and on and on to extend tax cuts for the mega-rich.

        Hypocritical Republicans say they want to reduce the deficit, yet they gave [$-how ever much money it turns out to be] to the mega-rich, increasing the deficit by [$ - whatever it turns out to be]. Talk about flip-flopping!!!

        I think this could be the best political move ever, if they seize it.

        Action is the only agent for change -- talking without action has never effected change anywhere, in any way, at any time.

        by rubyr on Sun Dec 12, 2010 at 09:09:11 AM PST

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        •  It's that crazy intensity of desire and (7+ / 0-)

          unwillingness to bargain that turns the brinksmanship/chicken game into a death trap for the dems.  As long as only one side is panicked about the outcome, and as long as only one side will flinch, we have ugly compromises.  Ugly it is, and probably all that we'll get for now.

          The way it games out is that the Dems care too much about the outcome and the Republicans can bide their time.

          There's a lot of game theory material that is really relevant just to understanding the structures here, never mind the policy outcomes.

          Because I separate these two things, the policy outcome that I want (steeply progressive taxes, public investment, support for the young who are disenfranchised) from the structures we have, I just parse the whole situation differently.

          Oh well.

          By the way, It's A Cruel Crazy Beautiful World!!!  And I just downloaded some Johnny Clegg.  I'm a little late to the party....  Oops!

          Thanks for the music in my life!  I dedicate this iPod to GulfWatchers Block Parties!

          •  I am going to burn for this statement but... (6+ / 0-)

            I deeply believe that a massive problem within the Progressive movement is that they do not have any concept, whatsoever, of delayed gratification. This has been our downfall historically.

            Action is the only agent for change -- talking without action has never effected change anywhere, in any way, at any time.

            by rubyr on Sun Dec 12, 2010 at 09:49:25 AM PST

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            •  Don't forget also that we were raised by (6+ / 0-)

              parents who lived through the depression (at least I was -- yours may have been a little younger).  Our whole value set has been shaped by that.  Waiting, not being extravagant, making do with what we have.

              Those aren't just financial behaviors: they translate into how we respond to political situations, too.

              "We live now in hard times, not end times." -- Jon Stewart

              by Yasuragi on Sun Dec 12, 2010 at 10:35:07 AM PST

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            •  Not burn, good analysis and (5+ / 0-)

              that is what we need at this point.  People have to step back from the immediacy -- on all sides, preferably -- and see what works.

              The top end of the economy actually needs to do this as well.  The anxiety that the U of C angry law professor and N. Gregory Mankiw expressed over possible tax increases (they both take home mid 6-figure salaries) is as problematic as anything.

              When we don't stop for a moment and parse what our individual preferences add up to socially, we get in trouble.

              Kind of like the energy-use tie in to the Gulf.  It wasn't just BP, it was a socially determined mass craving for cheap oil, a socially determined mass craving for stock returns, and so on that did us in.  Big structures, small people who somehow add up to these structures, and kaboom goes the oil well.

              My hope is that we all sit down and find ways to pre-bind ourselves, to pre-limit some of our choices so that we cut down on the race to the bottom style competition.  But doing so is locally irrational, even if globally the right thing to do.

              So let's get crazy!

          •  Fully agree with all you said. (6+ / 0-)

            And I'm thrilled to have introduced another person to Clegg.  I find he speaks to me like no one else.

            And I always want to say, "If you can only get one album, get..."  But I can't!  They're all too good.

            "We live now in hard times, not end times." -- Jon Stewart

            by Yasuragi on Sun Dec 12, 2010 at 10:28:43 AM PST

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      •  Me too (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        peraspera, Yasuragi, DawnN, Lorinda Pike

        You do the best you can with what you have to work with. That is the best life advice, no matter if you are President or garbage collector.

    •  Pretty much, on Daily Kos at this time, (7+ / 0-)

      if you state an opinion, one side or the other is apt to think you are a bad, bad, bad person. Yesterday, I said to urso that we can never, ever, ever let that kind of anger steal our light. If we do, we are surrendering that light to the chaos.

      And I am a person who is totally in favor of bedlam. tee

      Action is the only agent for change -- talking without action has never effected change anywhere, in any way, at any time.

      by rubyr on Sun Dec 12, 2010 at 08:51:58 AM PST

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    •  Lisa--I'm against the tax cut deal--as it stands. (8+ / 0-)

      Rubyr is right; congress fiddled while time was burning away--and Obama was left with crap.
      That said---he DID botch it by giving away too much; Sanders was right; it presently is a bad deal.
      However, I won't go topside and fight that battle----not worth my time.  I don't argue with fools.

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