Are Republicans Trying to Ruin the Economy?

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Are Republicans Trying to Ruin the Economy?

Postby Glmclain » Sat Jun 26, 2010 1:34 am UTC

Well?
http://gawker.com/5572444/are-republicans-trying-to-ruin-the-economy

On Thursday, 40 Senate Republicans and one Democrat (Ben Nelson, of course) successfully filibustered a cautious attempt at extending widely agreed-upon tax cuts and necessary unemployment benefits. This, despite having voted to extend similar tax cuts for years. What gives?

What a heartwarming, come-from-behind victory for those plucky Republicans! Despite being vastly outnumbered by Democrats, GOP senators used a magical power known as "the threat of a filibuster" to prevent the government from taking slightly less money from its citizens in the hopes that those citizens might spend that money on things. American things!

The "jobs bill," as it was called (because literally everything has to have the words "the jobs" in The Jobs D.C. right now) consisted mostly of deficit-financed benefit extensions, tax cuts, and infusions to state Medicaid accounts. It would have helped the economy by preventing layoffs and keeping money circulating while people search for employment. Democrats had reduced its price tag to the relative bargain of $30 billion.

And yet, Republicans voted against it—even though they'd voted for deficit-financed tax cuts and emergency stimulus spending several times in the past. Now, why would they go and do a thing like that?

* They genuinely don't want to finance tax cuts with deficit spending, out of principle. LOL.

* They are intentionally sabotaging the economy. This is Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow's position—that Republicans are venal scum (go on, I'm listening) who want to take out the economy while Democrats are in charge and then lay the blame at the Democrats' feet. Devious!

* It's not the economy they want to fail, but the government. Greg Sargent suggests that the GOP really doesn't give a shit about the economy—they just want to "prove" that the government sucks at helping people by, uh, specifically causing it to suck at helping people.

* They actually have a principled opposition to deficit spending—they just didn't have it till now. Both Ezra Klein and Jonathan Chait think that Republicans have convinced themselves that deficit spending is bad, despite formerly supporting it, because they see that opposing it could put them back in power.

*They have a different definition of the word "fail." Former Gawker writer Alex Pareene, now covering the appletini beat for Salon, writes that Republicans "literally don't give a shit about the poor and unemployed," and are basically happy with a stratified economic system featuring high structural unemployment. I like Alex's theory because it has a curse in it.


My initial reaction to this?

* It's not the economy they want to fail, but the government. Greg Sargent suggests that the GOP really doesn't give a shit about the economy—they just want to "prove" that the government sucks at helping people by, uh, specifically causing it to suck at helping people.


Probably.

As depressing as that is...
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Re: Are Republicans Trying to Ruin the Economy?

Postby Internetmeme » Sat Jun 26, 2010 1:37 am UTC

I say it's just politics as usual. BECAUSE the democrats were backing the bill, the Republicans were all "Fuck You" and filibustered it.
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Re: Are Republicans Trying to Ruin the Economy?

Postby Glmclain » Sat Jun 26, 2010 1:42 am UTC

Maybe it's because I was younger when the previous administrations were doing this kind of stuff, but I never quite remember it being so...intense?

Have the Democrats and Republicans always just opposed bills because the others made it regardless of the bill itself, or is this because of the Obama administration is my question.
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Re: Are Republicans Trying to Ruin the Economy?

Postby Jahoclave » Sat Jun 26, 2010 1:44 am UTC

Internetmeme wrote:I say it's just politics as usual. BECAUSE the democrats were backing the bill, the Republicans were all "Fuck You" and filibustered it.

Yeah, you'd think we wouldn't need people with advanced degrees to figure out and writer articles on reasons. Really, any middle school is a much better example of the tactic. Obama wants it, we don't like Obama, so we are the children who say "no."

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Re: Are Republicans Trying to Ruin the Economy?

Postby Frozen-rpg » Sat Jun 26, 2010 2:14 am UTC

The federal budget deficit has already increased enough under the administration. Why not use some of the stimulus money that has not been paid out yet to fund the $30B needed for this?

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Re: Are Republicans Trying to Ruin the Economy?

Postby sourmìlk » Sat Jun 26, 2010 2:57 am UTC

I'm agreeing with most of the above posters. This is just "We can't agree with our enemy because he's our enemy" behavior. It's almost like Godwin's Law. Godwin's Law points out how ridiculous it is that something is automatically bad if associated with Hitler. Here we have the republicans saying something is automatically bad if supported by democrats.

Same thing happened with the stimulus package: the republicans were hypocrites in at least two ways. First, their principles state that what's good for businesses is good for America, but they still didn't want to bail out businesses. Second, they supported the same thing Bush did only a few years before.
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Re: Are Republicans Trying to Ruin the Economy?

Postby Vellyr » Sat Jun 26, 2010 3:22 am UTC

I'm leaning towards

They actually have a principled opposition to deficit spending—they just didn't have it till now. Both Ezra Klein and Jonathan Chait think that Republicans have convinced themselves that deficit spending is bad, despite formerly supporting it, because they see that opposing it could put them back in power.


I think they realize that moderates such as myself are starting to catch on to what they're doing in Washington. It has very little to do with conservative economic principles and everything to do with making themselves look good. Clearly they want to convince people that they really are against deficit spending this time, but in the end it's just another play for power. As soon as it's convenient for them they'll go back to the same old stuff.

Also, am I the only one who finds it terribly ironic that the same people who voted for this bloated deficit spending are now trying to blame someone else for ruining the economy?

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Re: Are Republicans Trying to Ruin the Economy?

Postby Jahoclave » Sat Jun 26, 2010 3:54 am UTC

Vellyr wrote:I'm leaning towards

They actually have a principled opposition to deficit spending—they just didn't have it till now. Both Ezra Klein and Jonathan Chait think that Republicans have convinced themselves that deficit spending is bad, despite formerly supporting it, because they see that opposing it could put them back in power.


I think they realize that moderates such as myself are starting to catch on to what they're doing in Washington. It has very little to do with conservative economic principles and everything to do with making themselves look good. Clearly they want to convince people that they really are against deficit spending this time, but in the end it's just another play for power. As soon as it's convenient for them they'll go back to the same old stuff.

Also, am I the only one who finds it terribly ironic that the same people who voted for this bloated deficit spending are now trying to blame someone else for ruining the economy?

No. What I find terrible sad is that people believe the ruse.

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Re: Are Republicans Trying to Ruin the Economy?

Postby mercurythief » Sat Jun 26, 2010 5:01 am UTC

Republicans are starting to realize that they really screwed up under Bush, when they moved away from 'small government'. They want to make the next election about Democrats='high taxes and lots of handouts', vs Republicans='low taxes and fewer handouts'. They need taxes to go up under Obama to make that strategy work.

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Re: Are Republicans Trying to Ruin the Economy?

Postby Patashu » Sat Jun 26, 2010 10:35 am UTC

Why is it that when the Republicans threaten to fillibuster, the democrats don't call them on it?

How long can you fillibuster for before the country gets fed up with it?

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Re: Are Republicans Trying to Ruin the Economy?

Postby kiklion » Sat Jun 26, 2010 12:11 pm UTC

For people who want a less biased source, http://finance.senate.gov/legislation/details/?id=1c237e70-5056-a032-52e9-ef5f959b7a76. I am reading it now as that article was a joke.

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Re: Are Republicans Trying to Ruin the Economy?

Postby sourmìlk » Sat Jun 26, 2010 3:41 pm UTC

The article is obviously very opinionated, but I wouldn't call it a joke. It's kind of an accurate assessment.
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Re: Are Republicans Trying to Ruin the Economy?

Postby Glmclain » Sat Jun 26, 2010 5:41 pm UTC

Patashu wrote: How long can you fillibuster for before the country gets fed up with it?



To the tune of 534 hours, 1 minute, and 51 seconds apparantly
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Re: Are Republicans Trying to Ruin the Economy?

Postby mmmcannibalism » Sat Jun 26, 2010 7:02 pm UTC

Why is it that when the Republicans threaten to fillibuster, the democrats don't call them on it?


Um what? The democrats have devoted quite a bit of time to saying they can't pass anything without 60 votes.
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Re: Are Republicans Trying to Ruin the Economy?

Postby Not A Raptor » Sat Jun 26, 2010 7:13 pm UTC

mmmcannibalism wrote:
Why is it that when the Republicans threaten to fillibuster, the democrats don't call them on it?


Um what? The democrats have devoted quite a bit of time to saying they can't pass anything without 60 votes.

I think he meant "Stand up an actually hold the floor instead of saying "I filibuster""

In short, procedural nonsense in Congress has warped the "traditional" filibuster.
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Re: Are Republicans Trying to Ruin the Economy?

Postby mmmcannibalism » Sat Jun 26, 2010 7:38 pm UTC

I think he meant "Stand up an actually hold the floor instead of saying "I filibuster""

In short, procedural nonsense in Congress has warped the "traditional" filibuster.


I suppose. Then again, is it really an improvement if instead of getting the 60 votes we make some junior senators read all day?(regardless of party)
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Re: Are Republicans Trying to Ruin the Economy?

Postby Not A Raptor » Sat Jun 26, 2010 8:03 pm UTC

They can't hold the floor forever.
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Re: Are Republicans Trying to Ruin the Economy?

Postby Xenks » Sat Jun 26, 2010 9:03 pm UTC

Not A Raptor wrote:They can't hold the floor forever.

Actually, in a group of more than two or three people, you will find that they can indeed hold the floor forever, by speaking in turn and napping. This is, in fact, the reason the filibuster exists.

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Re: Are Republicans Trying to Ruin the Economy?

Postby General_Norris » Sat Jun 26, 2010 9:21 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:Godwin's Law points out how ridiculous it is that something is automatically bad if associated with Hitler.

No. Godwin's law says:
"As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one." (As in, 1 per one or 100%)

But yes, I don't think they are stupid. They are just playing politics.

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Re: Are Republicans Trying to Ruin the Economy?

Postby ++$_ » Sat Jun 26, 2010 9:25 pm UTC

Xenks wrote:
Not A Raptor wrote:They can't hold the floor forever.

Actually, in a group of more than two or three people, you will find that they can indeed hold the floor forever, by speaking in turn and napping. This is, in fact, the reason the filibuster exists.
They can physically do it, but they can't do it politically.

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Re: Are Republicans Trying to Ruin the Economy?

Postby Malice » Sat Jun 26, 2010 11:33 pm UTC

++$_ wrote:
Xenks wrote:
Not A Raptor wrote:They can't hold the floor forever.

Actually, in a group of more than two or three people, you will find that they can indeed hold the floor forever, by speaking in turn and napping. This is, in fact, the reason the filibuster exists.
They can physically do it, but they can't do it politically.


Precisely. A true filibuster ties up Congress from dealing with anything else, which pisses off the public, because even if you don't like the bill they're trying to kill, you probably like a lot of the other bills that are now backed up while Senator Dickface reads his colleagues the phone book.
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Re: Are Republicans Trying to Ruin the Economy?

Postby mmmcannibalism » Sun Jun 27, 2010 1:14 am UTC

Malice wrote:
++$_ wrote:
Xenks wrote:
Not A Raptor wrote:They can't hold the floor forever.

Actually, in a group of more than two or three people, you will find that they can indeed hold the floor forever, by speaking in turn and napping. This is, in fact, the reason the filibuster exists.
They can physically do it, but they can't do it politically.


Precisely. A true filibuster ties up Congress from dealing with anything else, which pisses off the public, because even if you don't like the bill they're trying to kill, you probably like a lot of the other bills that are now backed up while Senator Dickface reads his colleagues the phone book.


I think that depends on public perception. The healthcare bill for instance lost a lot of public support because it took so long to pass. A filibuster is probably only going to backfire if it is holding up something people feel is absolutely necessary.

That being said, I would totally vote for someone named dickface just to see what the news media would do to talk about him.
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Re: Are Republicans Trying to Ruin the Economy?

Postby Malice » Sun Jun 27, 2010 2:22 am UTC

mmmcannibalism wrote:
Malice wrote:
++$_ wrote:
Xenks wrote:
Not A Raptor wrote:They can't hold the floor forever.

Actually, in a group of more than two or three people, you will find that they can indeed hold the floor forever, by speaking in turn and napping. This is, in fact, the reason the filibuster exists.
They can physically do it, but they can't do it politically.


Precisely. A true filibuster ties up Congress from dealing with anything else, which pisses off the public, because even if you don't like the bill they're trying to kill, you probably like a lot of the other bills that are now backed up while Senator Dickface reads his colleagues the phone book.


I think that depends on public perception. The healthcare bill for instance lost a lot of public support because it took so long to pass. A filibuster is probably only going to backfire if it is holding up something people feel is absolutely necessary.


I may be mistaken, but doesn't a filibuster hold up discussions on everything? In the old system, if the schedule was:

1. Health Care Bill
2. Free puppies for everyone

Filibustering the health care bill meant delaying the vote on the puppies, as well.

Whereas the new system goes, "Hey, let's vote on the health care bill," and then one guy goes "I'll filibuster it," and then the first guy goes, "Oh, well, nevermind. On to the puppies, then."

This is predicated on the idea that Congress only talks about one thing at a time, which, if that's not true, why doesn't more shit get done?

That being said, I would totally vote for someone named dickface just to see what the news media would do to talk about him.


If they bleeped the "dick" part, that would be awesome, because then opposing senators could call him "fuckface" in person without anyone outside the room knowing.
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Re: Are Republicans Trying to Ruin the Economy?

Postby Sheikh al-Majaneen » Sun Jun 27, 2010 4:09 am UTC

Malice wrote:
++$_ wrote:
Xenks wrote:
Not A Raptor wrote:They can't hold the floor forever.

Actually, in a group of more than two or three people, you will find that they can indeed hold the floor forever, by speaking in turn and napping. This is, in fact, the reason the filibuster exists.
They can physically do it, but they can't do it politically.


Precisely. A true filibuster ties up Congress from dealing with anything else, which pisses off the public, because even if you don't like the bill they're trying to kill, you probably like a lot of the other bills that are now backed up while Senator Dickface reads his colleagues the phone book.

The phone book? How unimaginative. Read Cryptonomicon out loud, so its at least interesting.

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Re: Are Republicans Trying to Ruin the Economy?

Postby Gellert1984 » Sun Jun 27, 2010 10:29 am UTC

Sheikh al-Majaneen wrote: (various quotes snipped)
The phone book? How unimaginative. Read Cryptonomicon out loud, so its at least interesting.


These are republicans we're talking about. You wouldn't even get them to read a modern bible due to it being to 'liberal' what with that new testament and forgiveness 'n' stuff.
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Re: Are Republicans Trying to Ruin the Economy?

Postby jesseewiak » Sun Jun 27, 2010 3:10 pm UTC

A couple of quick things.

1. There were more filibusters in the past session of Congress (which isn't over yet) than during the entire decade of the 50's.

2. The whole myth that a politician can be forced to stand up and speak during a filibuster is just that, a myth. The truth is, if they really want to gum up the works, all a Senator has to do is object to unanimous consent to a variety of things that make it possible for the Senate to run. Which Mitch McConnell has done multiple times this session. That's not even getting to the filibuster.

3. The GOP won't be hurt by this because the vast majority (and by that - I mean appx. 70%) of the people don't understand how the Senate works. Various polling has shown massive percentages of people don't understand how many votes are needed to break a filibuster, how many votes are actually needed to pass the health care bill, etc. All the average person knows is that the DNC has failed to pass stuff in the Senate despite having 59 votes, so they're going to be hurt in the upcoming election.

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Re: Are Republicans Trying to Ruin the Economy?

Postby mmmcannibalism » Sun Jun 27, 2010 3:58 pm UTC

I just wanted to throw something out here.

This article is pretty much disagree with republicans claim they want to fuck the country over; however, its just as easy to say that about the dems when they are a minority or even right now for instance...

Its a fair claim that the poor are more likely to vote democrat, the democrats are spending so much money** so the debt leads to another financial collapse***, this will lead to more poor people who will vote democrat.

**or insert some other issue here

***I don't want to argue economics, I'm just saying its easy to take a partisan position and then claim its true to make the opposition be "ruining the economy/country"
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Re: Are Republicans Trying to Ruin the Economy?

Postby Velict » Sun Jun 27, 2010 5:05 pm UTC

Am I the only person who prefers to flat-out ignore flagrantly polemical articles like the blog post the OP linked? Any time a so-called journalist attempts to just dismiss a GOP policy (like reducing deficit spending - in case the writer has been living under a rock for the past year, curbing deficits happens to be a massive part of the much-reviled but politically powerful Tea Party movement) as invalid without elaborating on his dismissal, it just reeks of partisanship. Not to mention an utter lack of understanding of opposing viewpoints and beliefs that, quite frankly, has come to decline American politics (the other side is just a bunch of evil jerks!).

I am torn on the stimulus issue, personally. Despite the outcry of some liberals who regard the stimulus spending as unquestionable orthodoxy in times like these (and anyone who genuinely doesn't think it's necessary has to be EVIL!), I'm not convinced. The claims of what the prior stimulus package would accomplish were greatly exaggerated by the administration backing it (source); while stimulus spending does help the economy in the abstract, it would seem that we are horrible at targeting the right sectors of our economy to spend on. The more intelligent supporters of stimulus (e.g. Paul Krugman) tend to point out that by cutting stimulus spending we risk another 1937 right now, but I think their point is substantially weakened by the efficacy of our stimulus spending in action. And while stimulus spending is beneficial to the economy, large amounts of public debt are baneful.

As with tax cuts - I'm all for extending tax cuts on things like capital gains, but the many of the Bush-era income tax cuts are ultimately unsustainable and should be repealed. We need to cut the right taxes - corporate and capital gains - that would provide incentives for people to invest in the American economy.


I think they realize that moderates such as myself are starting to catch on to what they're doing in Washington. It has very little to do with conservative economic principles and everything to do with making themselves look good. Clearly they want to convince people that they really are against deficit spending this time, but in the end it's just another play for power. As soon as it's convenient for them they'll go back to the same old stuff.


One of the hallmarks of the Tea Party movement is that entrenched Republican primary candidates are losing to new candidates. I concede the possibility that the Republican party will go back to the "same old stuff" (which is basically the same economic policy as the Democratic party with slightly more emphasis on lower taxation, by the way), but I wouldn't be at all surprised if a large number of Tea Partiers get elected and legitimately make an effort to curb deficit spending, like Markel is in Germany right now. The Republican party is notoriously volatile at the moment, and we could be seeing a real paradigm shift in this midterm election.

1. There were more filibusters in the past session of Congress (which isn't over yet) than during the entire decade of the 50's.


This has been a trend for many years, even when Democrats were in the minority. Filibusters are more common now than the used to be. The Republicans definitely use more filibusters than their opposites, though; I believe this is because of the structure of the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party is a very large tent, comprising full-blown liberals to conservative Southerners. It has never had the sort of ideological unity that the Republican Party consistently displays, so it can't get everyone to uniformly oppose bills and filibuster.

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Re: Are Republicans Trying to Ruin the Economy?

Postby Malice » Sun Jun 27, 2010 7:18 pm UTC

Velict wrote:And while stimulus spending is beneficial to the economy, large amounts of public debt are baneful.


Which is a bit like saying, "It would be good to buy a new pair of shoes right now, because my current ones are full of holes; on the other hand, I might need that 30 bucks ten years from now." A proper government spends its way out of a bust and saves through a boom, where saving includes paying down the debt it previously accumulated. Yes, we should be mindful of where we're heading with the deficit; but that does not mean government should stop doing necessary things in the short term. Your post is not an argument for less stimulus; it's an argument for better stimulus. I doubt many would disagree.
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Re: Are Republicans Trying to Ruin the Economy?

Postby ++$_ » Sun Jun 27, 2010 7:49 pm UTC

Malice wrote:
Velict wrote:And while stimulus spending is beneficial to the economy, large amounts of public debt are baneful.


Which is a bit like saying, "It would be good to buy a new pair of shoes right now, because my current ones are full of holes; on the other hand, I might need that 30 bucks ten years from now." A proper government spends its way out of a bust and saves through a boom, where saving includes paying down the debt it previously accumulated. Yes, we should be mindful of where we're heading with the deficit; but that does not mean government should stop doing necessary things in the short term. Your post is not an argument for less stimulus; it's an argument for better stimulus. I doubt many would disagree.
The situation is actually a little more complicated, because there's a distinct possibility that in the boom times we will not pay down the debt either. The problem with this country is that when we are rolling in money (economic booms), we want to spend all of it as fast as possible, and when funds get tight (recession) the debt suddenly looms large and we feel like we have to hang onto every last penny. That's totally backwards, but there you go.

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Re: Are Republicans Trying to Ruin the Economy?

Postby Jahoclave » Sun Jun 27, 2010 7:59 pm UTC

Velict wrote:Am I the only person who prefers to flat-out ignore flagrantly polemical articles like the blog post the OP linked? Any time a so-called journalist attempts to just dismiss a GOP policy (like reducing deficit spending - in case the writer has been living under a rock for the past year, curbing deficits happens to be a massive part of the much-reviled but politically powerful Tea Party movement) as invalid without elaborating on his dismissal, it just reeks of partisanship. Not to mention an utter lack of understanding of opposing viewpoints and beliefs that, quite frankly, has come to decline American politics (the other side is just a bunch of evil jerks!).

Well, the tea party has yet to demonstrate that they've made their candidates electable. They could quite well be shooting the gop in the foot by forcing them to run farther right candidates who won't pick up moderate votes.

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Re: Are Republicans Trying to Ruin the Economy?

Postby Princess Marzipan » Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:59 am UTC

Sheikh al-Majaneen wrote:How unimaginative. Read Cryptonomicon out loud, so its at least interesting.
Oh man, I have the urge to run for senate now just so I can filibuster by reading the entirety of The Wheel of Time out loud to the floor and the American people.
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Re: Are Republicans Trying to Ruin the Economy?

Postby Not A Raptor » Mon Jun 28, 2010 3:11 am UTC

Princess Marzipan wrote:
Sheikh al-Majaneen wrote:How unimaginative. Read Cryptonomicon out loud, so its at least interesting.
Oh man, I have the urge to run for senate now just so I can filibuster by reading the entirety of The Wheel of Time out loud to the floor and the American people.

Well, you have to sell out all of your values first.
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Re: Are Republicans Trying to Ruin the Economy?

Postby netcrusher88 » Mon Jun 28, 2010 4:11 am UTC

I don't know, the filibuster can serve a purpose. Unfortunately we don't live in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, because then Jimmy Stewart would be alive. And uh, something about reasonable use of a filibuster.
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donanthony5
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Re: Are Republicans Trying to Ruin the Economy?

Postby donanthony5 » Mon Jun 28, 2010 3:17 pm UTC

It is absolutely incredible that members of Congress, both republicans and democrats alike, seem to only have their own best interests in mind. And sometimes, it just goes to show how absurd they really are. Take Senator Hatch from Utah as an example. In an attempt to kill the legislation which would have extended unemployment for the millions of Americans still without jobs, he attached the most ridiculous and bizarre amendment you have ever seen. His proposal would have required every American receiving unemployment benefits to take and pass a drug test before becoming eligible for unemployment assistance. His reasoning was that if you are unemployed, you are somehow on drugs and would use the unemployment money to further your drug habit. What a shit head. We need to get rid of Senators like this. Fire him.

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Re: Are Republicans Trying to Ruin the Economy?

Postby phonon266737 » Mon Jun 28, 2010 3:17 pm UTC

No, the Republican lawmakers are not "trying to destroy the economy". They are showing just a little bit of responsibility as far as deficit goes. I advise anyone who thinks that George W Bush got us into massive debt to look at the deficit as % of GDP from 2000 to the passage of TARP in 2008. It went from ~ 30% to 33% over that entire time period.

The "stimulus plan" and TARP, raised it by 9%. Those two acts were as expensive as "George W Bush" spending and tax cuts for 24 years.

When you aren't spending shitloads of money, you can vote for tax cuts and not raise the federal deficit too much. When you are spending shitloads of money and have $1.4 trillion deficits, no, you cannot lower taxes or spend more. There's a very big difference between a $200 billion deficit and a $1.4 trillion deficit. This article seems to ignore that fact.

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mmmcannibalism
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Re: Are Republicans Trying to Ruin the Economy?

Postby mmmcannibalism » Mon Jun 28, 2010 3:23 pm UTC

donanthony5 wrote:It is absolutely incredible that members of Congress, both republicans and democrats alike, seem to only have their own best interests in mind. And sometimes, it just goes to show how absurd they really are. Take Senator Hatch from Utah as an example. In an attempt to kill the legislation which would have extended unemployment for the millions of Americans still without jobs, he attached the most ridiculous and bizarre amendment you have ever seen. His proposal would have required every American receiving unemployment benefits to take and pass a drug test before becoming eligible for unemployment assistance. His reasoning was that if you are unemployed, you are somehow on drugs and would use the unemployment money to further your drug habit. What a shit head. We need to get rid of Senators like this. Fire him.


1. you find it incredible that people are selfish...this is not incredible and is practically a law of nature.

2. How is trying to ensure people on unemployment aren't blowing the money on drugs the "most ridiculous and bizarre amendment ever seen"? While I have some qualms with the war on drugs(especially in relation to marijuana), it seems perfectly reasonable to require people recieving unemployment to not be actively breaking the law.
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Re: Are Republicans Trying to Ruin the Economy?

Postby phonon266737 » Mon Jun 28, 2010 3:35 pm UTC

My girlfriend works part-time for an elementary school as a teacher, because (NY budget crap) they can't hire any full time teachers (A part time teacher just doesn't get paid for planning periods etc, they still teach just as much)

Her cousin was on unemployment, and was making ~ 10% more; The government is writing larger checks for unemployed people than for new school teachers. For every unemployed person you drop off the rolls, you can hire a teacher. Conversely, for every person you add, you end up firing a teacher. The cost to the taxpayer is similar, but the benefits are vastly different. Either way, you reduce the unemployed by one.

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Re: Are Republicans Trying to Ruin the Economy?

Postby Princess Marzipan » Mon Jun 28, 2010 4:38 pm UTC

phonon266737 wrote:Her cousin was on unemployment, and was making ~ 10% more; The government is writing larger checks for unemployed people than for new school teachers.
Actually, if we assume an equal tax rate for both people, then your teacher was making x(teacherpay) - x*y(taxrate). Her cousin looks to have been bringing in 1.1x, but unemployment benefits are taxed - it's just not cut from the actual check.

Assuming I'm correct in that you're unaware of that, the cousin's NET was 1.1 times the teacher's GROSS.

Benefits = 1.1(x - x*y)
.91 * Benefits = x - x*y

So BEFORE taxes, the cousin was making 91% of what the teacher made AFTER taxes. If we assume a tax rate of around 25%, that 91% is chopped to 69%. Also, you don't get unemployment if you quit yourself, and you also don't get it if you get fired particularly egregiously. And money from each paycheck's taxes is set aside SPECIFICALLY for unemployment benefits. You pay into it before you receive unemployment, and you pay right back into when you get a job again.

mmmcannibalism wrote:2. How is trying to ensure people on unemployment aren't blowing the money on drugs the "most ridiculous and bizarre amendment ever seen"?
Due to sheer logistics and common sense.

a) From what I've heard, this amendment sounds like you just pass a drug test and then you're qualified. Which is fucking useless. Just stop doing drugs before you claim - unless you've been smoking pot, in which case there are so many ways around a drug test that you know is coming. So it's practically pointless.

b) If you assume ongoing drug testing during a period of receiving unemployment, now we're into some pretty BS impositions and cost concerns. People here have been complaining about how much money unemployment costs? How much more is it going to cost to administer a continual drug testing program for every single unemployed person in America? Yes, you may be saving some amount by not paying some filthy druggies for their habits lolz, but now you've just increased the homeless population and made it that much harder for that person to back on their feet. Instead of paying them unemployment for two months, they end up homeless for a year, so you're now missing out on ten months of taxing that person. Not to mention that you're draining the productivity of every person you're forcing to report for drug testing. Instead of finding a job, they're peeing in a cup.

c) If the concern is that people who break the law shouldn't be getting unemployment benefits, what are we doing to make sure you can't get benefits if you're SELLING drugs, but not using them? Obviously selling is a worse crime since it carries very much greater penalties. Also, if you've killed someone in cold blood, you've broken the law and by this reasoning shouldn't receive unemployment benefits. But we don't have a test for seeing if someone is responsible for committing an unsolved or unknown murder, and we don't have a test to see if you're selling drugs.

d) If the concern is that people receiving unemployment don't spend all the money on drugs, what are we doing to prevent someone from spending every single dime of their unemployment check at Best Buy, Chick-Fil-A, and the liquor store? If this is truly your concern, we'll need to scrutinize every dime spent by someone on unemployment to make sure they're not wasting it.

You simply cannot take a principled stand for drug testing as a qualification for unemployment that does not very quickly force you into a plethora of unfavorable positions. And THAT is how trying to ensure people on unemployment aren't blowing the money on drugs is the "most ridiculous and bizarre amendment ever seen".
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Crius
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Re: Are Republicans Trying to Ruin the Economy?

Postby Crius » Mon Jun 28, 2010 4:48 pm UTC

Malice wrote:
Velict wrote:And while stimulus spending is beneficial to the economy, large amounts of public debt are baneful.


Which is a bit like saying, "It would be good to buy a new pair of shoes right now, because my current ones are full of holes; on the other hand, I might need that 30 bucks ten years from now." A proper government spends its way out of a bust and saves through a boom, where saving includes paying down the debt it previously accumulated. Yes, we should be mindful of where we're heading with the deficit; but that does not mean government should stop doing necessary things in the short term. Your post is not an argument for less stimulus; it's an argument for better stimulus. I doubt many would disagree.


Even assuming the government becomes responsible and pays down debt in boom times, the question of "what should we do right now?" does not necessarily lead to "stimulus". A large public debt can be a drag on economic growth (evidence suggests around a 90% debt-to-gdp ratio), so borrowing to pay for stimulus may cancel each other out, or even cause a net negative.


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