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InvisibleRandalFlagg
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Registered: 06/15/02
Posts: 15,608
Why Democrats Should Be Thankful
    #3661349 - 01/22/05 01:25 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

http://slate.msn.com/id/2109203/


Why Democrats Should Be Thankful


At least they don't have to clean up the Bush fiscal catastrophe.
By Daniel Gross
Posted Thursday, Nov. 4, 2004, at 12:49 PM PT


On Nov. 3, as the bleary-eyed nation returned to work, the Treasury Department announced an impending crisis. If the lame-duck Congress doesn't raise the statutory $7.384 trillion debt limit, which was intentionally breached in October, by Nov. 18, the world's greatest power will run out of cash.

Congress, with the White House's blessing, left town before the election without dealing with the debt limits?but not before passing an appalling, special-interest-written, corporate tax bill that will deprive the government of more than $100 billion in future revenues. That double irresponsibility?the lousy tax bill and the ignored debt limit?was a fitting end to the past four years of essentially one-party rule.

The only solace for sullen Democrats is that now Republicans might have to clean up their own fiscal mess. The fiscal record of the past four years has been one of unmitigated?and seemingly intentional?irresponsibility. A Republican Congress working with a Republican president created the massive new Medicare prescription-drug entitlement, passed a new, subsidy-crammed farm bill, committed hundreds of billions of dollars to war efforts, and loaded up on pork-barrel spending. Meanwhile, taxes were reduced?on wage earners, investors, and companies. The end result: We collected about the same amount of taxes in fiscal 2004 as we did in fiscal 1999. But we spent 34 percent more. The total national debt has risen 30 percent in the past four years. The fiscally conservative Clinton administration had committed government to restraining spending. But now a massive structural gap has opened up between the country's financial inflows and outflows. It's only the willingness of the Chinese and Japanese central banks to buy our debt that keeps us afloat.

Freed of the need to run for re-election, will Bush act more fiscally responsible in a second term? Wishful thinking. This crowd literally doesn't have a clue when it comes to fiscal matters. Bush actually believes he has restrained Congressional spending, Cheney believes deficits don't matter, and most members of the Bush economic team can't?or won't?speak truth publicly. As for Congress, when it comes to managing the nation's fiscal affairs, House Majority Leader Dennis Hastert is a pretty good wrestling coach, and Senate Majority Leader William Frist is a pretty good doctor.

And so, while the moral-values crowd may have won, the fiscal orgy in Washington is sure to continue. Given Bush's mandate and his stated desire to fix the Alternative Minimum Tax (a huge tax reduction), make the temporary tax cuts permanent (ditto), and transform Social Seucrity (massive borrowing), his pledge to halve the deficit by 2009 is absurd.

In decades past, increasing Republican dominance of the House and Senate would have meant more fiscal discipline. But Republicans increasingly dominate the states that are net drains on Federal taxes?the Southern and Great Plains states?while fading in the coastal states that produce a disproportionate share of federal revenue. (It's Republicans, not Democrats, who are sucking on the federal teat.) What Amity Shlaes quaintly identified in today's Financial Times as the "southern culture of tax cutting" has been married to the southern culture of failing to generate wealth and the southern culture of depending on federal largesse. The offspring is an unsightly deficit monster.

Establishmentarians have long wondered when the grown-ups will asserts themselves in the Republican party. The stark truth today is that there are no grown-ups. The day before the election, I saw my congressman, Republican Chris Shays of Connecticut, greeting potential voters on Platform 19 at Grand Central Station, the launching point for the 5:01 to New Haven, the Bushenfreude express. When I thanked him for cutting my taxes, Shays smiled broadly. But when I suggested that he had raised taxes on my children, he looked at me quizzically. "You have to know all these tax cuts aren't really tax cuts. They're just tax shifts," I said. "All this debt has to be paid back."

Shays acknowledged that there had been a massive increase in debt. "But 40 percent of that is due to spending." That was the moment I realized my sober, moderate representative may have slipped the surly bonds of reality. Like virtually every other Republican in Congress, Shays had voted for each of Bush's revenue-reducing tax cuts and every spending-increasing budget. And yet he seemed blissfully, willfully unaware of the role he?and his party?played in controlling, originating, and approving all that spending. "And did you vote for the Medicare bill?" I asked. "I did," he smiled. As I scurried off to get a seat before the doors closed, I heard a plaintive cry from one of the last remaining Republican moderates in Congress: "But I voted against the farm bill!"

If this is what passes for a deficit hawk, we're in big trouble. The Republicans have suffered no political consequences for destroying the nation's balance sheet, after all. Why should they take the painful efforts needed to fix the mess they created? No one is holding them accountable. It leaves those yearning for some return to fiscal sanity in the perverse position of hoping for a crisis in the bond or currency markets to shock the faith-based crowd back into reality. And when that adjustment comes, I can't wait to see how conservatives try to find a way to blame it on Clinton.


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Invisibleblacksabbathrulz
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Registered: 05/22/02
Posts: 2,511
Re: Why Democrats Should Be Thankful [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #3661429 - 01/22/05 01:42 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

The medicare bill was crap, I think Bush was trying to appease some people. Bush also needs to decrease the scope of the government, rather than increase it like he has been doing.


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InvisibleRavus
Not an EggshellWalker
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Registered: 07/18/03
Posts: 7,991
Loc: Cave of the Patriarchs
Re: Why Democrats Should Be Thankful [Re: blacksabbathrulz]
    #3661439 - 01/22/05 01:45 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

You actually think Bush cares about decreasing the size of the government? :lol:

Bush wants to increase it even more. The more power the federal government has, the easier it is to get rid of dissenters, whether they be called terrorists or protesters or drug users. It's not likely we're going to see a president, whether democrat or republican, decrease the size of the federal government anytime soon.

He wants the Patriot Act II, a Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage, to get rid of all medical marijuana. The latter two are all states rights to choose, yet he doesn't care. The former is the civil rights of the people, and the federal government could care less about that


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So long as you are praised think only that you are not yet on your own path but on that of another.


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Invisibleblacksabbathrulz
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Re: Why Democrats Should Be Thankful [Re: Ravus]
    #3661446 - 01/22/05 01:48 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

Ravus said:
You actually think Bush cares about decreasing the size of the government? :lol:

Bush wants to increase it even more. The more power the federal government has, the easier it is to get rid of dissenters, whether they be called terrorists or protesters or drug users. It's not likely we're going to see a president, whether democrat or republican, decrease the size of the federal government anytime soon.

He wants the Patriot Act II, a Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage, to get rid of all medical marijuana. The latter two are all states rights to choose, yet he doesn't care. The former is the civil rights of the people, and the federal government could care less about that




Did you read what I said? Clearly you didn't. Might want to get some reading comprehension tapes. I said, BUSH NEEDS TO DECREASE THE SIZE OF THE GOVERNMENT, RATHER THAN INCREASE IT LIKE HE HAS BEEN DOING.


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Invisiblevampirism
Stranger
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Registered: 03/14/04
Posts: 8,120
Re: Why Democrats Should Be Thankful [Re: blacksabbathrulz]
    #3661452 - 01/22/05 01:50 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Well yes, but why would someone who is neither moderate nor conservative want to do that :laugh:


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InvisibleRavus
Not an EggshellWalker
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Registered: 07/18/03
Posts: 7,991
Loc: Cave of the Patriarchs
Re: Why Democrats Should Be Thankful [Re: blacksabbathrulz]
    #3661454 - 01/22/05 01:50 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

I got that. And to respond, I said that there's no chance in hell Bush is going to decrease the size of the government, rather than increase it like he's been doing.

Perhaps it's you who need the reading comprehension skills

Don't you love ad hominem attacks eh?


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So long as you are praised think only that you are not yet on your own path but on that of another.


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Invisibleblacksabbathrulz
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Registered: 05/22/02
Posts: 2,511
Re: Why Democrats Should Be Thankful [Re: Ravus]
    #3661463 - 01/22/05 01:52 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

Ravus said:
I got that. And to respond, I said that there's no chance in hell Bush is going to decrease the size of the government, rather than increase it like he's been doing.

Perhaps it's you who need the reading comprehension skills

Don't you love ad hominem attacks eh?




You said:
"You actually think Bush cares about decreasing the size of the government? "

Where did I say that I THINK Bush cares about the size of the government?


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Invisibleblacksabbathrulz
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Re: Why Democrats Should Be Thankful [Re: vampirism]
    #3661466 - 01/22/05 01:53 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

Morrowind said:
Well yes, but why would someone who is neither moderate nor conservative want to do that :laugh:




A conservative should decrease the size of the federal government, however Bush is not truly conservative, that is one of the reasons I consider him to be moderate.


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Invisiblevampirism
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Registered: 03/14/04
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Re: Why Democrats Should Be Thankful [Re: blacksabbathrulz]
    #3661474 - 01/22/05 01:55 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

But a moderate would try to maintain the same size of government.


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Invisibleblacksabbathrulz
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Registered: 05/22/02
Posts: 2,511
Re: Why Democrats Should Be Thankful [Re: vampirism]
    #3661506 - 01/22/05 02:01 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

Morrowind said:
But a moderate would try to maintain the same size of government.




That is true, however democrats always try to increase the scope of the government, so bush lies more to the left by expanding the government.


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Offlinephi1618
old hand

Registered: 02/14/04
Posts: 4,102
Last seen: 7 years, 5 months
Re: Why Democrats Should Be Thankful [Re: blacksabbathrulz]
    #3661732 - 01/22/05 03:32 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:


A conservative should decrease the size of the federal government, however Bush is not truly conservative, that is one of the reasons I consider him to be moderate.





Since when have conservatives been interested in reducing the size of the government?

Politicians retain power by promoting the interests of the people they want to vote for them and those who will finance their campaign. This means spending tax dollars on roads and defense contracts (helps taxpayers in certain districts), agricultural subsidies and medicare (help politically infulential groups), etc.

Democrats and republicans have different bases of power and different priorities, but neither one has any interest in actually decreasing the size of government (though some politicians pay lip service to that goal - Newt Gingrich, for example). When has the size of government ever decreased, regardless of who's in power?

While Clinton was in office, the size of gov't increased at a substantially lesser rate than it has so far during the Bush presidency. Reagan spent gobs of money. "Conservative" politicians have no interest whatsoever in decreasing the size of government, only in increasing their own power - not unlike "liberal" politicians.


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InvisibleDNKYD
Turtle!

Registered: 09/24/04
Posts: 12,326
Re: Why Democrats Should Be Thankful [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #3662761 - 01/22/05 03:00 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

We need a libertarian, dammit.


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Offlinezappaisgod
horrid asshole

Registered: 02/11/04
Posts: 81,741
Loc: Fractallife's gym
Last seen: 1 year, 4 months
Re: Why Democrats Should Be Thankful [Re: DNKYD]
    #3667806 - 01/23/05 03:00 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

And a mean one to boot.


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Offlineunbeliever
Yo Daddy!
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Registered: 05/22/04
Posts: 5,158
Loc: Gallifrey
Last seen: 8 years, 7 months
Re: Why Democrats Should Be Thankful [Re: zappaisgod]
    #3668249 - 01/23/05 04:49 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

zappaisgod said:
And a mean one to boot.




One who shoots fireballs from his eyes and lightning bolts from his arse?


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Happiness is a warm gun...


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