03-29-2013, 04:18 PM
Okay, exactly what beliefs do you hold that make you call yourself a liberal? How do you define liberal, as opposed to "progressive," socialist or communist? What differentiates those positions?--Odysseus
Sic Hacer Pace, Para Bellum.
Before you can do things for people, you must be the kind of man who can get things done. But to get things done, you must love the doing, not the people!
03-29-2013, 04:39 PM
Case in point: They take the Keynesian theory to extreme. What Keynes said was to either 1) Cut taxes, 2) Raise spending, or 3) Do both. The liberals just want to spend and raise taxes. They have no realization of reality at all. They know absolutely nothing about economics. You will see that the Republicans do know, because they always say that they will agree to more spending if they cut taxes, or agree to more taxes is they cut spending. It is never the other way around.
Ad for Clinton. He was not the fiscal guru the liberals are claiming. His policies didn't raise the economy. The dot com bubble at the time did. He taxes the shit out of the winners who were making millions off their internet ventures. Then when that crashed, Bush lowered the tax rates. So anyone who thinks that Clinton is an economical genius is more stupid the Kardashians on Jeopardy.
I love my God, my country, my flag, and my troops ....
03-29-2013, 06:04 PM
Oh dear - hopefully I can keep up. Feel free to keep shooting questions my way, but it may start to take a bit longer before I can respond. I'll try not to forget anyone, though!
If we've determined acne treatment is medical (because it improves quality-of-life) whereas botox is merely cosmetic, then which is a sex-change operation more similar to? I'm sure those looking to get those surgeries would argue it is very important for their emotional health, but if I were looking to have these removed from Medicare coverage this is the leg of the argument I would go after.
Paul Krugman would tell you it is because we did not spend enough during TARP. Others will say it's because Obama is screwing things up. To me, it seems like just another symptom of the unemployment rate remaining high, but then why is that happening? Is min wage killing jobs? Can the US no longer compete with cheap labor? Has automation killed low-medium skill jobs forever? Are companies retaining cash hoards rather than investing in new manufacturing / jobs because demand is low? If so, why is that?
I don't know the answers to these questions, and I tend to be quite skeptical of those who claim to know them for sure. These are complex issues. We can also wonder how things would have been different if McCain was elected, and again I'm going to be skeptical if anyone is sure it would currently be better or worse.
03-29-2013, 06:16 PM
Cholesterol drugs help combat future medical costs by lowering the risk of CHD.
I have never seen acne medication covered by Medicare. I have seen it covered by Medicaid and the freaking dermatologists write for every new name brand drug on the market that private insurance companies won't even touch and if they do it's with a very high co-payment. In fact, Medicaid covers OTC acne medications as well. Teenagers get pimples and they still get knocked up, taxpayers pay for that also.
03-29-2013, 06:30 PM
I actually have no interest in your politics, policies, positions, values, morality, social or economic agenda. I've heard enough from enough liberals to know that I have and do not want anything to do with how they think or act and I do everything I can to keep them from gaining political power.
But Welcome to CU.Be Not Afraid.
03-29-2013, 06:59 PM
Simply put, I don't believe debts and deficits are evils in-and-of themselves. Breaking my rule about making household analogies for government spending, here's an example:
The average family probably has a mortgage (debt) which is requiring interest payments of 3-5% annually. Say this family comes into $1000 (tax refund, gift, etc). I think it is an entirely prudent move to invest this money in the stock market, where you could expect an 8-10% annual return. Even though they aren't reducing their debt, they'll tend to come out ahead in the long run. Likewise, it would be reasonably prudent of the family to instead spend that $1000 on gym memberships or equipment. The math here gets a little fuzzier because it's difficult to quantify the benefits of this, but between increased life expectancy, reduced medical costs, and the general good feeling from being in shape, it seems to be a worthwhile investment.
But at the same time, this family cannot forget that it is indeed in debt. Any money they are not spending, or worse, spending on useless stuff, is essentially being put on a credit card at 3-5% interest (the opportunity cost of paying down the mortgage). So they shouldn't be buying Latte's at Starbucks every day until they are free of that debt, unless they think the return on investment is better than the interest rate they are paying.
The government gets a pretty sweet deal on debt. It's interest rates on debt are much lower than a family (or even a company, through shareholder expectations) would receive. This means it's pretty easy for the government to borrow money and use it in ways that are providing a return better than the interest it is paying, even if it isn't as efficient at spending money as the private market. So I don't think TARP was a bad idea in principle, nor did I immediately throw up my hands when I saw the senate budget contained yet more government spending than is currently occurring. But again, the same principle with returns applies - anywhere the government is wasting our money should be cut; even programs that are barely breaking even with their associated interest expense should probably be scrapped, scaled back, or made leaner, with those extra funds either paying down the debt or being moved to more efficient programs. Now the fun questions are - which programs are worthwhile and which are not, and how do we measure them? A lot of them are like the gym membership example, it's awfully hard to objectively determine what kind of return the government is getting on a lot of its investments.
*There are lots of other questions too - like what level of GDP:debt ratio is acceptable (depends on how confident we are that we will get the returns on our investments we are predicting, if interest rates will remain where they are, if there ever will be a run on US debt, and to what extent we would ever be willing to use our 'panic button' - inflating the debt away, and probably a bunch of other things) and so on.
Edit: one more
Last edited by Epimetheus; 03-29-2013 at 07:02 PM. Reason: One more response
03-29-2013, 07:29 PM
With so many variables involved in economics, it is difficult to really see what causes and effects are. Was Clinton our best fiscal president for having budget surpluses? Was he just lucky for being president during a bull market? Or was he actually bad for contributing to the events leading up to the 2007 collapse?
I'm guessing the first question wouldn't get a 'yes' here, but my point is that there are so many ways to slice data that it's easy for anyone to find some pattern that fits their preconceptions and run with it.
The debt does concern me somewhat, but I don't find analogies between government spending and household spending compelling. When the interest rates the US government gets are so low, it's seems almost impossible that the government wouldn't be able to get a better return on investment than that by borrowing, even if it is less efficient at spending money than corporations. So the answer isn't to have no debt. I can't tell you where I think we should draw the line, though.
03-29-2013, 08:03 PM
Keep going Epi... not sure what you are trying to accomplish, but you do have guts. I admire that in an opponent...
We could say they are spending like drunken sailors. That would be unfair to drunken sailors, they're spending their OWN money.
03-29-2013, 09:14 PM
I've a question: What do you see as the appropriate level of government involvement in the day-to-day lives of the citizens?
Should the federal government have a string to pull for every facet of life that can be construed to impact the well-being the general population?
Or should we move closer to the strict limitations of the Tenth Amendment? "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
What would be your 'compass' that shapes your opinion on this?We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge or gallantry would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution is designed only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for any other.In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.
03-29-2013, 09:21 PM
I love my God, my country, my flag, and my troops ....
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