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Old 19th December 2017, 06:10 PM   #321
paulhutch
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
Great article thanks for linking it.

Not the usual over the top gloom and doom I expected based on the title and quoted first paragraph. In fact the sub-title shows where the article is going.
Quote:
Republicans are hoping to use the deficits created by their own tax cuts to slash the social safety net—but they may end up setting the stage for tax hikes instead.
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Old 19th December 2017, 11:08 PM   #322
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
People get enraged about all kinds of things (feet on desk, Dijon mustard, tan suits) why can't the Democratic Party generate a full head of outrage over something substantive like this ?
They do, but a combination of an archaic method of picking the president and highly effective gerrymandering to get a disproportionate level of control over the House means Democrats need a pretty hefty intensity gap or a highly vulnerable Republican party to turn that into a win. We might just get those next general election and this tax plan could help make that happen.
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Old 20th December 2017, 12:04 AM   #323
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Originally Posted by Civet View Post
They do, but a combination of an archaic method of picking the president and highly effective gerrymandering to get a disproportionate level of control over the House means Democrats need a pretty hefty intensity gap or a highly vulnerable Republican party to turn that into a win. We might just get those next general election and this tax plan could help make that happen.
I've never seen anything like this. Republicans are rationalizing that ramrodding through the least popular tax bill in history with as little discussion as possible would be better for their image and political fortunes than ending the year without accomplishing anything at all. Are they really that stupid, or is that just the best cover story they have for this outrageous payoff to their donors, shifting the tax burden to the middle class and then leaving the bill to them?

The answer lies in what the bill actually does, because it would have been so easy to pass a tax bill that would have been popular and didn't depend on gullible people believing a pack of lies. They could have scored a political win by passing a bill that would have actually been good for the economy and the middle class, but that's definitely not what they did.

The overall theme for Democrats in 2018 will be that Republicans are unfit to govern.
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Old 20th December 2017, 12:26 AM   #324
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Originally Posted by WilliamSeger View Post
Are they really that stupid, or is that just the best cover story they have for this outrageous payoff to their donors, shifting the tax burden to the middle class and then leaving the bill to them?
I don't think this is stupidity. I think this is what happens when the Republicans in Congress decide to act like a party of principle. This is a plan they believe in that reflects their values. People have often criticized them for not knowing how to do anything other than obstruction. They were right for a long time. Not anymore. This is what a functional Republican Party looks like.
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Old 20th December 2017, 01:26 AM   #325
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Forbes: GOP Tax Bill Is The End Of All Economic Sanity In Washington

Finally the US has government of the 0.1%, by the 0.1%, for the 0.1%.

When the resulting cuts to essential government services are made to make up for the trillions lost to the mega rich, the GOP/Trump will convince their supporters, it is all the fault of Obama and Hillary Clinton.
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Old 20th December 2017, 01:26 AM   #326
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Originally Posted by WilliamSeger View Post
I've never seen anything like this. Republicans are rationalizing that ramrodding through the least popular tax bill in history with as little discussion as possible would be better for their image and political fortunes than ending the year without accomplishing anything at all. Are they really that stupid, or is that just the best cover story they have for this outrageous payoff to their donors, shifting the tax burden to the middle class and then leaving the bill to them?

The answer lies in what the bill actually does, because it would have been so easy to pass a tax bill that would have been popular and didn't depend on gullible people believing a pack of lies. They could have scored a political win by passing a bill that would have actually been good for the economy and the middle class, but that's definitely not what they did.

The overall theme for Democrats in 2018 will be that Republicans are unfit to govern.
I hope that isn't the main theme. The Democratic Party do well when they have a positive message delivered by attractive candidates. IMO relying on "We're a shower of **** but the other lot are much, much worse" isn't going to generate the kind of engagement and turnout they need to overcome the gerrymandering, roll purging and vote suppression the GOP have planned.
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Old 20th December 2017, 02:49 AM   #327
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Originally Posted by TheSupermeerkat View Post
When the resulting cuts to essential government services are made to make up for the trillions lost to the mega rich, the GOP/Trump will convince their supporters, it is all the fault of Obama and Hillary Clinton.
I saw a commentator the other day make a good point - Trump is simultaneously saying that the economy is doing excellently, thanks to him, and that it's doing so badly, because of Obama, that it needs this tax bill. It's real doublethink stuff.
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Old 20th December 2017, 04:06 AM   #328
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
It's just grotesquely surreal.
It helps to think of them all as immoral kleptocrats, then you don't expect any different action.
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Old 20th December 2017, 04:08 AM   #329
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Originally Posted by paulhutch View Post
Great article thanks for linking it.

Not the usual over the top gloom and doom I expected based on the title and quoted first paragraph. In fact the sub-title shows where the article is going.
That seems overly optimistic. Their biggest accomplishment before this was taking health care away from kids and that was hugely popular. Public opinion really doesn't matter.
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Old 20th December 2017, 05:20 AM   #330
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I honestly can't decide which is worse:
That republicans genuinely believe this bill will result in job growth and higher wages across the board, and regard experts telling them otherwise as simpletons who 'just don't get it'.
or
That republicans know it's all rule 10, but do it anyway because their pockets and those of their corporate masters will grow fat from it.

Will be some pretty interesting townhalls in the near future, provided they have the guts to do it.
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Old 20th December 2017, 06:15 AM   #331
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The Republicans I know, personally, think it will make everyone wealthier (jobs, wages, economy). This, despite there being no evidence or their ability to show when that's happened.
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Old 20th December 2017, 06:50 AM   #332
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Originally Posted by thaiboxerken View Post
The Republicans I know, personally, think it will make everyone wealthier (jobs, wages, economy). This, despite there being no evidence or their ability to show when that's happened.
Republicans are also more likely to be Fundamentalist Christians than the population at large so maybe they're predisposed to "believe" and are generally impervious to fact-based arguments.
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Old 20th December 2017, 07:10 AM   #333
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I suspect that many Republican voters think that it will make everybody wealthier. I'd be very surprised if many Republican politicians did.
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Old 20th December 2017, 07:59 AM   #334
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Originally Posted by Civet View Post
I don't think this is stupidity. I think this is what happens when the Republicans in Congress decide to act like a party of principle. This is a plan they believe in that reflects their values. People have often criticized them for not knowing how to do anything other than obstruction. They were right for a long time. Not anymore. This is what a functional Republican Party looks like.
I thought Corker was having a midnight crisis of conscience over this, and I might have been right, but in the wrong way.
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Old 20th December 2017, 08:04 AM   #335
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
It helps to think of them all as immoral kleptocrats, then you don't expect any different action.
The phrase "reptilian overlords" comes to mind.
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Old 20th December 2017, 08:53 AM   #336
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Originally Posted by thaiboxerken View Post
The Republicans I know, personally, think it will make everyone wealthier (jobs, wages, economy). This, despite there being no evidence or their ability to show when that's happened.
Not even that, when similar policies have been implemented, it's turned out poorly. See Kansas for example.
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Old 20th December 2017, 09:08 AM   #337
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I think it’s possible that tax cuts might stimulate the economy, some job growth but I’m highly doubtful we’ll see tax revenue growth commensurate to offset the massive addition to the deficit.
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Old 20th December 2017, 09:16 AM   #338
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Originally Posted by Pterodactyl View Post
I think it’s possible that tax cuts might stimulate the economy, some job growth but I’m highly doubtful we’ll see tax revenue growth commensurate to offset the massive addition to the deficit.
This seems to be the consensus. There will be some growth and job stimulation, but it will NOT pay for itself, increasing deficit by about $500 billion IIRC. And after the individual measures expire, tax rates will actually increase for individual income tax across the board in 2027 (compared to now).

The corporate reductions, though, those were permanent.
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Old 20th December 2017, 09:28 AM   #339
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Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post
This seems to be the consensus. There will be some growth and job stimulation, but it will NOT pay for itself, increasing deficit by about $500 billion IIRC. And after the individual measures expire, tax rates will actually increase for individual income tax across the board in 2027 (compared to now).

The corporate reductions, though, those were permanent.
Yep, and when that happens, a Democrat will be in office and it'll be his/her fault.

Rinse and repeat until the US ceases to exist. Which really isn't a bad thing at this point, if what we have today is considered what it means to be American.
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Old 20th December 2017, 09:30 AM   #340
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Actually, most growth has already happened in anticipation of the tax cuts.
Now, there is no way for taxes to go but up.
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Old 20th December 2017, 09:48 AM   #341
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
I hope that isn't the main theme. The Democratic Party do well when they have a positive message delivered by attractive candidates. IMO relying on "We're a shower of **** but the other lot are much, much worse" isn't going to generate the kind of engagement and turnout they need to overcome the gerrymandering, roll purging and vote suppression the GOP have planned.
You post the Democratic Party message then ignore it and say the only message here is 'the other guys are worse'. And that doesn't even make sense. What have the Democrats done to you lately? Obviously they aren't perfect when it comes to being influenced by lobbyists, but seriously, they are not the party of the 1%.

Positive messages: undo the gerrymandering, end the voter suppression, undo the tax benefits for the rich and for the personal enrichment of the Republican Congresspersons who voted for it, make sure automatic cuts in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security don't happen, restore the ACA and CHIP, increase the minimum wage, actually invest in infrastructure rather than just promising to, ... and that's not including things we need to do on the international scene.
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Old 20th December 2017, 10:20 AM   #342
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
Actually, most growth has already happened in anticipation of the tax cuts.
Now, there is no way for taxes to go but up.
I'm basing this on the Tax Foundation analysis (see https://taxfoundation.org/final-tax-...ails-analysis/).

From that link:
Quote:
•The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would reform both individual income and corporate income taxes and would move the United States to a territorial system of business taxation.
•According to the Tax Foundation’s Taxes and Growth Model, the plan would significantly lower marginal tax rates and the cost of capital, which would lead to a 1.7 percent increase in GDP over the long term, 1.5 percent higher wages, and an additional 339,000 full-time equivalent jobs.
•The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is a pro-growth tax plan, which would spur an additional $1 trillion in federal revenues from economic growth, with approximately $600 billion coming from the bill’s permanent provisions and approximately $400 billion from the bill’s temporary provisions over the budget window. These new revenues would reduce the cost of the plan substantially. Depending on the baseline used to score the plan, current policy or current law, the new revenues could bring the plan closer to revenue neutral.
•Over the next decade, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would increase GDP by an average of 0.29 percent per year; GDP growth would be, on average, 2.13 percent, compared to 1.84 percent. In 2018, GDP growth would be 0.44 percent over the baseline forecast.
•On a static basis, the plan would lead to 0.3 percent lower after-tax income on average for all taxpayers and 0.6 percent lower after-tax income on average for the top 1 percent in 2027, due to the expiration of the majority of the individual income tax cuts, but retention of chained CPI. When accounting for the increased GDP, after-tax incomes of all taxpayers would increase by 1.1 percent in the long run.
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Old 20th December 2017, 10:23 AM   #343
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
You post the Democratic Party message then ignore it and say the only message here is 'the other guys are worse'. And that doesn't even make sense. What have the Democrats done to you lately? Obviously they aren't perfect when it comes to being influenced by lobbyists, but seriously, they are not the party of the 1%.
The one "loud and clear" that I got from both Brexit and the election of President Trump is that the electorate at large consider the majority of politicians (of either major party) to be untrustworthy, acting in their own self interests rather than those of their constituents and to be too immersed in the Washington (or Westminster) bubble to be aware of the problems that real people face.

If the Democratic Party's message is just "not Trump" or "look how rotten the Republicans are" IMO that will not be sufficient.

Instead the Democratic Party needs a compelling and attractive counter message and policies delivered by attractive candidates.

For all of her qualifications and IMO unquestioned ability to govern, Hillary wasn't it (and neither was Gore nor Kerry) and the message that she was giving, although IMO factually correct, wasn't a message that excited enough of the electorate. I fear a repeat of this in 2018 and again 2020 - largely bland candidates delivering a worthy but dull message about competent administration and contrasting that to the less effective administrators on the other side. All true, but not something to really enthuse people.

The GOP will have their "If you vote Democrat the world will end" fire-and-brimstone and that will chime to people's fears. The Democratic Party IMO should not attempt to replicate the fear message - it's not their MO and it will come across as being false.

Instead IMO they need to construct a positive message.

Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Positive messages: undo the gerrymandering, end the voter suppression, undo the tax benefits for the rich and for the personal enrichment of the Republican Congresspersons who voted for it,
All exceptionally good points - but dry as a dry thing.

There's nothing to get excited about here for the majority of people. People who understand and care about ending gerrymandering and voter suppression already vote Democrat.

The personal enrichment part IMO is good but only as a counterpoint to whatever brilliant things the Democratic Party propose to do to help the American people.

Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
make sure automatic cuts in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security don't happen, restore the ACA and CHIP,
Again, very important but to the average voter it's snoresville unless it's packaged right. These things should be of vital importance to everyone but for most people they are as interesting as the terms and conditions on their cellphone contract.

Also there's (entirely justified) fearmongering there - that's the GOP's schtick and IMO the Democratic Party don't pull it off well.

Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
increase the minimum wage, actually invest in infrastructure rather than just promising to, ... and that's not including things we need to do on the international scene.
Here are some positive points but the problem is that for decades Americans have been told that increases in the minimum wage will cause mass unemployment as jobs are offshored and automated (despite that happening even though the minimum wage has been kept ridiculously low and that local rises in the minimum wage have not resulted in the feared job losses) and that infrastructure investment is "big government" and thus very bad indeed.

The person or people to turn around these long held misconceptions need to be charismatic to sweep people along and ignore their taught prejudices.


Which goes back to my broken-record assertion that the Democratic Party needs positive messages and policy proposals delivered by attractive charismatic candidates. "Not Trump" and "Not them" may some limited success but IMO it won't mobilise voters in the numbers necessary to overcome GOP gerrymandering, roll purges and voter suppression.
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Old 20th December 2017, 10:32 AM   #344
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Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post
I'm basing this on the Tax Foundation analysis (see https://taxfoundation.org/final-tax-...ails-analysis/).

From that link:
I'd find a source that doesn't make the perpetually false assumption that the economic growth will offset the lost revenue.

Quote:
For example, a 2005 study from Greg Mankiw and Matthew Weinzierl found that tax cuts could pay for between 15 and 32 percent of their initial cost. A 2014 paper by Bill Gale and Andrew Samwick surveyed existing economic literature and concluded tax cuts might not produce any significant economic growth, in part because they result in higher debt. Finally, a 2005 CBO analysis found the economic growth from a 10 percent cut in individual income tax rates would at best recover 28 percent of the lost revenue and at worst further increase deficits slightly due to the negative economic impact of higher deficits. The bottom line is that while tax cuts can help accelerate economic growth in some circumstances, they will not generate anywhere close to enough growth to fully offset the revenue losses they create.
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Old 20th December 2017, 10:38 AM   #345
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Originally Posted by Stacko View Post
Nobody knows, not even the people who put it into place: https://twitter.com/AP_Politics/stat...64703321362432
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Old 20th December 2017, 10:56 AM   #346
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Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post
I'm basing this on the Tax Foundation analysis (see https://taxfoundation.org/final-tax-...ails-analysis/).

From that link:
Tax Foundation Model Seeks to Revive Economic Voodoo

Quote:
Before deciding to trust the results coming from any economic model, it is important to understand whether the model offers a reasonable approximation of the nation’s economy and its fiscal policies. Unfortunately, a review of numerous TAG Model analyses suggests that it does not.

Two fundamental shortcomings are apparent across most of the TAG Model’s dynamic analyses. First, the TAG Model currently views government investments in infrastructure, education, and other services as economically worthless. Second, the TAG Model assumes that certain tax policy changes would produce unrealistically large economic effects. In some cases, the TAG Model portrays tax cuts as a “free lunch” with economic effects so large that any negative impact on federal revenues is ultimately negated through faster growth. In others, the model ventures even further into the territory of “economic voodoo” by depicting tax cuts as a means of raising federal revenues, and tax increases as ineffective at achieving that same goal.

The Spending Blind Spot
Buried in the appendix of the Tax Foundation’s more recent TAG Model analyses is an admission that “the Taxes and Growth Model does not take into account … the potential macroeconomic or distributional effects of any changes to government spending” required by tax changes being modeled. In other words, the TAG Model fails to consider the most fundamental reason that taxes exist: to fund the public investments in infrastructure, education, and other services that matter hugely to the economy and society at large.

In the TAG Model, higher tax collections are a damaging drain on the economy and public investments funded through taxes have no economic value whatsoever. Without a mechanism for considering the value of new tax revenues, the TAG Model is set up so that nearly all plans to raise taxes will be found to be wasteful and economically damaging, while plans to cut taxes will produce economic benefits with no budgetary tradeoffs required.
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Old 20th December 2017, 11:06 AM   #347
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Hey, I'm not taking it as truth. Even given their assumptions, I think it's a bad plan. Just posting the sources I'd seen.

ETA: Just to add to this, even if we take their assumptions and models as accurate, they still predict a deficit. Also, the majority of the tax cuts go to corporations (a huge decrease there), with most individuals getting a few percent (while the individual cuts are in effect). IIRC about 10% of the cuts will be individual income taxes. Even there, the largest portion of those (in actual dollars) affect the 95% to 99% bracket. It's crap dressed in a bow.

Last edited by Hellbound; 20th December 2017 at 11:11 AM.
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Old 20th December 2017, 11:06 AM   #348
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The House is currently voting again, because they are too incompetent to have done it correctly the first time.
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Old 20th December 2017, 11:20 AM   #349
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
I saw a commentator the other day make a good point - Trump is simultaneously saying that the economy is doing excellently, thanks to him, and that it's doing so badly, because of Obama, that it needs this tax bill. It's real doublethink stuff.
The sound given off by thwacking a tennis racquet against the side of a 50 gallon trash can is more coherent and persuasive than anything 45 manages to blabber.
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Old 20th December 2017, 11:26 AM   #350
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Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post
Hey, I'm not taking it as truth. Even given their assumptions, I think it's a bad plan. Just posting the sources I'd seen.

ETA: Just to add to this, even if we take their assumptions and models as accurate, they still predict a deficit. Also, the majority of the tax cuts go to corporations (a huge decrease there), with most individuals getting a few percent (while the individual cuts are in effect). IIRC about 10% of the cuts will be individual income taxes. Even there, the largest portion of those (in actual dollars) affect the 95% to 99% bracket. It's crap dressed in a bow.
The short version of the criticism I linked to is that the TAG model makes the same fundamental error many "conservatives" make when thinking about taxes: that government spending disappears down a black hole, so you can cut taxes and everything stays the same except everybody has more money. In fact, whether or not you agree with the policy behind it, government spending goes right back into the economy, and it creates and maintains infrastructure that greatly benefits the public sector, with some benefits being hard to quantify.
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Old 20th December 2017, 11:31 AM   #351
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
I saw a commentator the other day make a good point - Trump is simultaneously saying that the economy is doing excellently, thanks to him, and that it's doing so badly, because of Obama, that it needs this tax bill. It's real doublethink stuff.
It's also doublethink that the stock market is going crazy inflating the price of existing equity, but rich people don't have enough money to create new jobs.
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Old 20th December 2017, 11:41 AM   #352
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Originally Posted by WilliamSeger View Post
The short version of the criticism I linked to is that the TAG model makes the same fundamental error many "conservatives" make when thinking about taxes: that government spending disappears down a black hole, so you can cut taxes and everything stays the same except everybody has more money. In fact, whether or not you agree with the policy behind it, government spending goes right back into the economy, and it creates and maintains infrastructure that greatly benefits the public sector, with some benefits being hard to quantify.
Yes, but this fits in very nicely with Republican plans to privatize infrastructure. As long as deficits don't matter, it's a comprehensive, thoroughly-considered policy approach. If the deficits do matter, then they can be used to justify entitlement reform. It's a win-win.
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Old 20th December 2017, 11:42 AM   #353
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
Which goes back to my broken-record assertion that the Democratic Party needs positive messages and policy proposals delivered by attractive charismatic candidates. "Not Trump" and "Not them" may some limited success but IMO it won't mobilise voters in the numbers necessary to overcome GOP gerrymandering, roll purges and voter suppression.
To basically sum up what you're saying - they need a Tony Blair to come along and convince people they're going to be the "New Democrats". Or, I suppose, more recently, they need another Barrack Obama.
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Old 20th December 2017, 12:01 PM   #354
WilliamSeger
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Originally Posted by Civet View Post
Yes, but this fits in very nicely with Republican plans to privatize infrastructure. As long as deficits don't matter, it's a comprehensive, thoroughly-considered policy approach. If the deficits do matter, then they can be used to justify entitlement reform. It's a win-win.
Their end result of their infrastructure plan will be more like getting loans from private companies to pay part of the cost of improving infrastructure, then deliberately defaulting on the loans and losing ownership of those resources. And of course, the public ends up paying for it either way, but now we'll also have to pay to use resources we already paid for.
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Old 20th December 2017, 12:06 PM   #355
Hellbound
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Originally Posted by WilliamSeger View Post
The short version of the criticism I linked to is that the TAG model makes the same fundamental error many "conservatives" make when thinking about taxes: that government spending disappears down a black hole, so you can cut taxes and everything stays the same except everybody has more money. In fact, whether or not you agree with the policy behind it, government spending goes right back into the economy, and it creates and maintains infrastructure that greatly benefits the public sector, with some benefits being hard to quantify.
Yeah, I'm not arguing against that; I don't know enough to make an informed opinion, but I do recognize that government income doesn't just disappear somewhere.

My point was that even with their assumptions and model (if we just accept it as valid anyway) it's still a bad plan.
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Old 20th December 2017, 12:10 PM   #356
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
To basically sum up what you're saying - they need a Tony Blair to come along and convince people they're going to be the "New Democrats". Or, I suppose, more recently, they need another Barrack Obama.
IMO they need the modern equivalent of Bill or Obama. Someone with real charisma. Instead of a lurch to the right like Blair, maybe the time is right for the reinvention of socialism (though thoroughly rebranded) for the modern age.
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Old 20th December 2017, 12:37 PM   #357
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
To basically sum up what you're saying - they need a Tony Blair to come along and convince people they're going to be the "New Democrats". Or, I suppose, more recently, they need another Barrack Obama.
Or another Bill Clinton, even. Someone with personality. That was Hillary's biggest problem, actually. She'd say three words I'd nod off.
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Old 20th December 2017, 12:44 PM   #358
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The blog for Albany, NY's main newspaper had the following exchange:

Quote:
Trickle Down Economics does not work! Any extra money generated by corporate tax cuts will go to stock holders & owners.

Quote:
Quit your crying. Last time I checked, anyone could become a stock holder. Sure, it might mean not spending that money on beer, cigarettes, hair, nails, eating out, and a new iphone, but hey, that’s how people who are financially responsible grow their wealth..People that aren’t interested in that, have only themselves to blame and have no ground to complain when other people reap the rewards of their hard work and self-discipline.

Hey, you lazy poor people!! Go invest in the stock market and you won't be poor anymore. It's simple.
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Old 20th December 2017, 01:25 PM   #359
Squeegee Beckenheim
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
IMO they need the modern equivalent of Bill or Obama. Someone with real charisma. Instead of a lurch to the right like Blair, maybe the time is right for the reinvention of socialism (though thoroughly rebranded) for the modern age.
I only meant Blair in terms of the buzz he generated (remember Noel Gallagher playing guitar with him at 10 Downing Street? The whole "Cool Britannia" thing that he was a part of?), not in terms of adopting the policies of the opposition.
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Old 20th December 2017, 01:38 PM   #360
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Or another Bill Clinton, even. Someone with personality. That was Hillary's biggest problem, actually. She'd say three words I'd nod off.
Yep. It seems like in the last 40 years, the presidential election was won by the person with the most 'charisma.' Experience and policy aren't as important.
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