A. I agree with you that Bush has a beautiful opportunity to help re-direct our country away from foreign oil and accomplished almost nothing. Sad.
B. Nuclear energy is the only viable alternative in the long run. Thankfully, there is a small but growing number of left wingers starting to come to this realization. A left wing organization in CA put on a report calling for 30 new nuclear plants in CA before 2050. So I'm a little encouraged, but still doubtful that all the insane chicken little leftist propaganda about the dangers of nuclear power for the past 30 years can be overcome quickly. But for kids economic future I hope so.
C. I dropped my Republican registration because of massive overspending on the part of G. Bush. But since there are only two viable parties in the US. I rejoined once Obama made Bush look frugal.
If Social Security were a stand alone program, then your statement is entirely correct.
However, it is not a stand alone program ... financially it is recorded as just another part of the general budget, so it rest entirely upon the ability of the US to pay it's bills just like any other program -- thus it is in just as bad of shape as any other government program which means it is in bad shape.
I think Social Security really should be pulled out of the budget, and then most of SSI dropped, and then a guaranteed return of at least 2 to 3% applied, and then stop Congress from re-defining what a cost of living adjustment means. Today social security essentially will pay you back exactly what you put in over 40 years with 0% interest. Congress swiped the interest on all that money. The return is likely to go negative in the years to come.
No one would ever sign up for a program like Social Security in the private sector who made an average income given the choice. So we are coerced into sending nearly 13% of our income to the government for a retirement program that pays 0% interest. What a bad deal.
financially it is recorded as just another part of the general budget
No it's not.
so it rest entirely upon the ability of the US to pay it's bills just like any other program
No it doesn't. Even if you conservatives succeed in hand-waving away the $2.5T+ you owe FICA payers, SS could just moderately raise FICA contributions to remain in the black going forward.
SS is not broken, and thus does not need to be fixed.
So we are coerced into sending nearly 13% of our income to the government for a retirement program that pays 0% interest. What a bad deal.
SS is genius in that it provides a baseline security. As a pay-as-you-go program, Congress has not swiped anything, yet.
Since 1957, there has been $12.8T paid into the program and $11.7T disbursed to enrollees.
"Interest" is not a free lunch -- for someone to receive interest someone else must pay it. The magic of SS is that it avoids this idea of interest altogether, relying on future productivity increases to be able to give the retired population a better standard of living than they woud get from their contributions alone.
No other modern economy worth the name doesn't have a solid social pension foundation. Other than China and Japan I guess, but the former will be hitting that wall soon and the latter's economy is moribund partially because it does not have its fiscal house in order that well.
Unfortunately, the ideological divide is just too great in this country.
You and me are lightyears apart. And we're going to move further apart as shit goes down.
As for the national debt, I think we need to cut the military 50% over the next 10 years, convert Medicare into Canadian-style single-payer for everyone (with Canada's ~$4000 per-capita cost structure, too), raise taxes back to pre-Reagan levels over 5 years, and tariff the shit out of China, Japan and the Eurozone.
None of these things are going to happen, so this country will continue to circle the bowl.
Natural Gas production is way up because of Fracking Technology not because of Obama policies. And in fact, Obama's EPA and Environmentalists are all over the issue now working on new regulations to slow down the production improvements and hurt our economy further.
But nice try.
I wasn't trying to say that Obama was responsible for it but to ignore natural gas as being part of energy is like saying that steroids should be ignored in professional sports. Here's your asterisk.
To bellingham. How would tarrifs sell to the lower class though? They are the ones that would pay more of any regressive form of taxation.
Kevin what does being rich have to do with an understanding of economics?..Obama gets support from people in these positions because they will get something in return.
E C O N O M I S T S and C O R P O R A T E C E O S.
You know, people who's entire job it is is to understand macro or micro economic trends, create jobs, and generally do business.
You have failed to provide any argument for how Obama doesn't understand economics, and people who really, deeply, truly understand Economics, along with the princes of capitalism, all support the man. Your definition of "doesn't understand economics" is apparently "does not agree with my view of the economy, which is that nothing at all should be different compared to 1850".
Let me guess: You've never actually read the transcript, and didn't watch it when it was actually on TV? Every thing in your list is either a gross distortion of what was said, is something that was never even implied, or is just an outright lie. Did you get this list from a republican chain letter or something?
I read his entire speech twice before I posted that. Here are the exact quotes.
A. "fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims" -- lumping the US in with accused.
B. "a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations"
C. " It was Islam -- at places like Al-Azhar -- that carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for Europe's Renaissance and Enlightenment." -- I don't know of any credible historian that agrees.
D. "I also believe that events in Iraq have reminded America of the need to use diplomacy and build international consensus to resolve our problems whenever possible. (Applause.) Indeed, we can recall the words of Thomas Jefferson, who said: "I hope that our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us that the less we use our power the greater it will be.""
E. "Nine-eleven was an enormous trauma to our country. The fear and anger that it provoked was understandable, but in some cases, it led us to act contrary to our traditions and our ideals." -- a completely inappropriate comment in a foreign country.
F. "For centuries, black people in America suffered the lash of the whip as slaves and the humiliation of segregation. But it was not violence that won full and equal rights. It was a peaceful and determined insistence upon the ideals at the center of America's founding." -- forgot the Civil War.
G. "And Israel must also live up to its obligation to ensure that Palestinians can live and work and develop their society. Just as it devastates Palestinian families, the continuing humanitarian crisis in Gaza does not serve Israel's security;"
H. " In the middle of the Cold War, the United States played a role in the overthrow of a democratically elected Iranian government." -- by the way it was not in the middle of the cold war, it was right at the beginning in 1953. But why bring it up at all, except to make the US look bad, the coop happened before most in the audience were alive 58 years ago?
I. "For instance, in the United States, rules on charitable giving have made it harder for Muslims to fulfill their religious obligation. That's why I'm committed to working with American Muslims to ensure that they can fulfill zakat." -- What rules?
J. "Meanwhile the struggle for women's equality continues in many aspects of American life" -- equating American women's rights with Muslim women's rights seems like a major stretch.
Great... Here's the deal. I did not say privatize it etc. you extrapolated that from your bias onto me. I said SS should pay at least 2 to 3% interest. Today SS pays ~0% after paying in for 40 years. That is a total ripoff. The reason is: Social Security pays for all the SSI fraud and massive government management overhead, etc.
This is why I think the US Government should pay into SS and ensure the retirees get an average 2 to 3% on their money. This would double the average Social Security payout. Any investment strategy should pay at least 2 to 3% interest which is still ridiculously low after 40 years. Even that minor change would nearly double the benefit to the average retiree.
The Obama Administration has done virtually nothing in ACTUAL energy production since they took office. The made a huge deal out of green energy plans and pumped billions of loan guarantees into dozens of green energy companies most of which are now in serious trouble having a net negative impact on electricity cost while producing very little energy. My energy bill went up 20% last month in the annual rate increase.
Anyone with even a small mind for mathematics, physics, or chemistry can quickly figure out that wind, solar, ethanol, etc. are fringe technologies that will not have a serious impact on CO2 production, energy costs, or energy MWH production.
Even worse, Obama's buddies in the enviro movement are aggressively trying to blow up dams on the west coast (just did the Condit dam), working the lower 4 on the Snake River, and working on the Klamath dam. It's sort of like the Great Depression Democrats in reverse ... let's all the possible negative things we can do for the economy as opposed to help things along. They even argue that blowing up dams and reducing the electricity production will create 1700 jobs in the case of the Klamath dam. These folks are just insane.
Krugman's argument is not valid because it is not right to arbitrary exclude spending items and then conclude spending is low. Greece sort of did that --- ah let's not count this spending and hide that spending. Stimulus spending is Obama spending. In fact, that is another major problem with how the US is financing items (some are on-budget, some are off-budget). That kind of thinking is very dangerous financially speaking. Everything should be on-budget and counted including 1 time stimulus payments and payments that are higher than normal due to a bad economy.
One of the reasons to insist on this is because I don't see the catalyst to get this economy moving anytime soon. Therefore, government needs to downsize to the new normal.
On the issue of default, I'm glad you agree with me. We had no chance of defaulting because by law we had to pay our debts first and we had money coming in to do that.
So you switched your point to -- other folks who work for the government not getting paid. I agree some of those folks would not have been paid. But that wasn't your original point. You were spouting the "We are going to default" line which was not true and that's what I mean by Political theater -- we need to start telling the truth accurately and not just working on talking points to make a Democrat look bad or a Republican look bad.
"fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims" -- lumping the US in with accused.
WHERE? He does not use the word "US" "United States" "America" AT ALL when discussing colonialism. He's clearly referring to the legacy of European and Asian colonialism. Why do you feel the need to lie?
B. "a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations"
Yes, this ACTUALLY HAPPENED. Are you going to claim that the U.S. stuck around to help out after we used Afghanistan to fight the soviets? It wasn't just muslim countries either. Vietnam and Korea also got to be victims of a war between two big countries.
" It was Islam -- at places like Al-Azhar -- that carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for Europe's Renaissance and Enlightenment." -- I don't know of any credible historian that agrees.
I'm willing to bet you don't know any credible historians.
"I also believe that events in Iraq have reminded America of the need to use diplomacy and build international consensus to resolve our problems whenever possible. (Applause.) Indeed, we can recall the words of Thomas Jefferson, who said: "I hope that our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us that the less we use our power the greater it will be.""
That's probably because it was unwise to go into Iraq, something the majority of the United States population agrees with. It was a mistake, period, end of story. There is absolutely nothing wrong with admitting to a mistake, even to a foreign audience.
[ditto for E]
F is unequivocally a true statement. If you're actually going to suggest that Black people had "full and equal rights" after the Civil war, you clearly know nothing about American history (even recent history).
G. I really don't understand your argument. Because he didn't mention aid to Gaza it somehow makes the factually correct statement about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza wrong?
H. Nice way to remove context from that one. Obama was clearly reciting the history of U.S. / Iranian conflict. He also talked about Iranian hostages. He then said that we need to move on from past mistakes. Learn to read entire paragraphs maybe?
J. There's no "equating American women's rights with Mulsim women's rights" here. Again, read the actual statements.
If I apply the same standards that you did, here's what I'd get out of the speech:
"I reject...the West"
I can totally find those words in that order in the speech, and therefore Obama obviously hates America.
I'm willing to bet you don't know any credible historians.
yeah, James Burke's _The Day the Universe Changed_ had a great episode on how western knowledge was kept in use by the Islamic world after our forebears fell to tribal and then feudal rule of the post-Roman ages.
Stimulus spending is included in Krugman's graph. Read it again -- the bulk of increases since 2009 have nothing to do with Obama.
Oh, who the hell am I kidding. You're welded to your Republican ideology and you're not budging -- you've got your bullshit stories and you're sticking to them.
As for Obama's use of default, doing some more research I see what he was saying at the time:
"If that happens, and we default, we would not have enough money to pay all of our bills – bills that include monthly Social Security checks, veterans’ benefits, and the government contracts we’ve signed with thousands of businesses."
Obama in the speech selectively paints a very negative picture of America that is ignorant of actual American history.
A. He lumps Western powers and America together in his critic. You separated them, Obama didn't. You made the point I was making -- what was America doing being lumped in with Colonial powers. Worse, Obama fails to mention the positive things the US did in the middle east. You see that is what a lot of liberals do, they only see the perception of negative in America. Does Obama mention the massive bribe we pay both Egypt and Israel to keep the peace each year? No.
B. Most countries sought out the chance to be proxies ... it meant free weapons and money. Egypt played the proxy game big time against both the US and Soviet Union. Does Obama mention how we came to Egypt's aid against both the UK and France during the Canal crisis. No he doesn't. America was the primary player on one side in the cold war and we worked against Colonial expansion in WWII and beyond. Any credit? No, Obama just lumps us in with all that perception of bad stuff.
And like said, all of that in just 1 speech. Obama seems to have a pattern of trying to establish his credibility to his foreign audience by first slamming America, then he brings up a point of disagreement now that he views himself an honest broker because he can be critical of his team, then talks about how we can all get along. He repeats this pattern over and over again. Except many times his slam on America simply is untrue, a partial truth leaving out really important details, or is a terrible reading of history. He really reaches to slam America, when he brought up Iran he reached way back to 1953 just to find something he could slam on America for.
It's totally insane to equate American woman's rights with the right's of woman in the Middle East. Compare us with Canada, UK, France, Germnay, okay ... but the Middle East, please.
I did not say that the Islamic world did not have Algebra, Windmills, or Astronomy, etc. Obama made the claim that the Islamic world paved the way for the Renaissance. There is no credible evidence this is true. The Renaissance started in Florence and spread from there. Renaissance art looks nothing like Islamic art which bans images of people. Renaissance music is nothing like Islamic music. Please stick to the point, you are deviating into other points. Did the Islamic world pave the way for the Renaissance or not? I don't think credible historians would back that up.
"Obama made the claim that the Islamic world paved the way for the Renaissance. There is no credible evidence this is true. The Renaissance started in Florence and spread from there. "
Skip to 6m for the good part.
The Renaissance wasn't about art, or music.
Now, Burke oversells the point, of course.
Also part of the lead-up to the Renaissance was the sack of Constantinople in the early 15th century, and its final fall in the mid-15th century, both events produced a great movement of knowledge and/or scholars from the capital to Italy.
Renaissance art looks nothing like Islamic art which bans images of people.
You should get into a time machine and go tell the persians that:
what was America doing being lumped in with Colonial powers.
I assume you would have been happy if he added a line that said "Oh yeah, did I mention that the US wasn't one of those colonialists that I talked about before, even though I never implied such a thing and anyone who knows anything about history would not make that connection"?
I mean, really, only in some deranged, ideologically twisted mind can you possibly think that Obama was trying to paint America as a colonialist power. HE WAS TALKING ABOUT A HISTORY OF PROBLEMS IN THE MIDDLE EAST.
"The constitution says plenty of things that the government CAN'T do. They CAN'T establish a state religion, they CAN'T force a person to condemn themselves, etc."
"The constitution establishes up powers and limits, it does not set up laws."
Huh? If a law is determined to be unconstitutional by the courts it is repealed. Ever hear of Brown vs Board of Ed?
"Since there's no article barring forced purchase of a service, you're left with the framework that establishes laws."
You are establishing the concept of prerogative. So you mean to tell me that the government can force us to do anything as long as it isn't banned specifically? That is way too open ended.
"And yet the Supreme Court has ruled repeatedly on the issues, and past rulings argue strongly that the insurance mandate is well within the federal government's rights."
Um no. Past ruling as I've illustrated clearly illustrate that there are limits to the commerce clause. States can do whatever they want with this but there is nothing within the Constitution that specifically allows the government to force a product onto anyone.
In order for a "tax" to exist it has to be levied upon an action or a product. If you buy gasoline there are taxes on it. Same with tobacco and alcohol. If you have income there are taxes, if you have capital gains there are taxes.
How much sense is there for taxation on a non activity? How is the proper rate even established? If we all pay the same amount then it is clear that some will have higher bills than others.
"What do you mean "will not pass"? It's already passed, and becomes effective in a few years. The only thing that might change is if the supreme court rules that the mandata is unconstitutional, at which point only that specific part of the legislation becomes invalid. There's no "passing" to be done."
Huh? Where did you study law? If the mandate is not allowed (not passed) by the courts then it is thrown out pure and simple.
Also if the argument is that health care is to become a "right" how can that be enacted given that it is dependent on other people. What if those people do not want to go along with it? Having police and fire is a government service but it is not a right. If there are fires all over your town and they don't get to your house before it burns then that is a possibility. If a gangster takes hostilities at a bank downtown and you get mugged that is also a possibility. What specific "right" do you have to another persons labor?
How can the government regulate a non economic activity? Would the actions of participating in boycott be next? What if the occupy groups boycott banks (which they have a bit with the withdrawal from bank of america and others). Should they be arrested for that non economic activity.
This has to go to the supreme court because if it is legal in some states but illegal in others it runs aground of the equal protection clause. If the ballot measure passes next year in mass to withdraw romneycare that could also be a setback.
If the individual mandate is take off then the effectiveness gets weakened quite a bit. Younger people will opt out and create a rise in the cost of anyone else that is older (I'm generalizing here I'm sure there's plenty that are younger with aliments and older that are perfectly fine)
One bit that hasn't been talked about is how some groups use their health care plans to woo potential employees. In Mass that changed. The Teamsters advertised a job near me that had full health and dental (but low pay). With romneycare why would anyone accept that if they can pay $1,000 or so to the state and get it for a year. We might actually do the same with sick time here and mandate that too. Unions are probably the most screwed in this since everything they've fought for pretty much is going to be given away by the left.
Folks, I don't know of anyone who hates President Obama for his mixed race, Afro-American ethnic. I hate his policies, not the man. I don't want to live in Hugo Chavez style United States, nor do I wish to be like the Europeans. We can create jobs and stimulate the economy right here. There is no resource exploitation allowed here in Alaska, unless it is by a Canadian firm. What in the Hell is wrong with you people? We pick ourselves up and get in