Sanding our assholes with 150 grit.

Congress has Solved ALL Problems Vital to America!

Isn't it a GREAT feeling knowing that congress has solved all of America's vital problems? Social Security reform, tax code reform, Iraq, homeland security, immigration. All these problems *must* be solved, right? Otherwise congress wouldn't be wasting freakin' time worrying about insignificant freakin' baseball divas juicing up. Right? All vital issues must have already been taken care of, right? Right?
Permalink Godless Visigoth 
March 17th, 2005
Lets see, the Republicans control the whitehouse, the senate and the house of representatives. Therefore, if anything goes wrong, it will be blamed on the godless democrats. Which is why they have their own army it Ireland. After all, the gang of terrorists are called the Irish Republican Army. Which makes them Republicans.

Get back to camp xray you godless commie...

Look! Over there! Its Hillary!
Permalink Peter 
March 17th, 2005
With Engineering, we have this idea that we can solve a problem, and it will mostly stay solved. Sure, we may have to tweak a solution a bit, but after awhile the solution 'converges' to a state which is pretty stable.

For instance, the Brooklyn Bridge has not had to be torn down and replaced with some European looking Stay bridge every 4 years.

However, Congress has to do something to justify its existence. Well, they do have to do a yearly budget, so that's one thing. But sometimes I think we should reach a state that all the laws that should be made have been made.

Then I realize we're talking about People, and Nations, and Economies, and realize the state of flux never solidifies into a stable problem to be solved. It's always changing.

Unfortunately, the Republicans have had as their mission in life for the last 80 years to return us to the good-old-days of the 1920's. They hated Roosevelt and the New Deal. They hated Kennedy and Civil Rights. They hated Clinton with his ideas of Productive Investement and global Health Care.

Somehow, the Republicans have convinced a small majority of the American populace that the depression didn't happen, that we don't need no stinking safety net, that Taxes are merely how the Government gets the money it wastes. Thus going back to the time just before the depression doesn't sound that bad. And they'll say anything, change anything they have to, to make it happen.

I am not optimistic.
Permalink AllanL5 
March 17th, 2005
Oops, "universal" health care, not "global" health care. Sorry about that.
Permalink AllanL5 
March 17th, 2005
It's widely accepted that the New Deal prolonged the Depression, and would have continued to prolong it indefinitely if WWII hadn't saved FDR. Cyclic free markets just don't spend a decade in a depression without help from illogical do-gooders. Republicans realize that the world ain't Utopia. They realize that government isn't necessarily composed of good guys, and they realize that without incentives, people don't strive to produce. As an practical engineer, why don't you just take a step back and realize that your Marxist Utopia cannot exist. Say it with me now, "Without incentives, people don't strive to produce." And as for Social Security, there isn't a month that goes by that seeing that huge FICA deduction doesn't give me a shudder. Sheesh, what I could do with all that money if the government weren't protecting me from myself! Biggest Ponsi scheme on the planet. Democrats believe that the masses are just plain too stupid to manage their own money - best that the central planners just take the money away before someone puts out an eye.

Republicans also realize that even if Marxism were viable - and any *rational* individual knows that it's not - it is unethical. Republicans believe in the individual; they believe in the right of an individual to have the opportunity to exist and strive without the interference of society. They believe, also, that with freedom comes responsibility. Democrats believe in the collective. Whenever a crime is committed, it's the fault of society, no? And whenever an individual has succeeded, should he not return all of the fruits of his labor to society where it belongs? Because truly, nobody owns anything.

Hippies.
Permalink anon 
March 17th, 2005
Yea, guys are so stupid and misinformed. Thinking that it was right wing governemnts which caused the depression by encouraging the cut in wages and bringing in tariff barriers to protect home grown capitalists.Or that we haven't had an equivalent depression since because of Keynsian economics and not because Milton Friedman was furioulsy offering votives to the spirit of Ricardo for the greater good of all.

Or that having their pensions in government stock is safer than having it in the stock of Enron or WorldCom.

Or not seeing the true incentives of the "Republican Utopia" where they can slave away all their life for sub-minimum wages and then have their seocnd-hand TV and trailer in the trailer-park taken away when they can't pay the medical bills.
Permalink Stephen Jones 
March 17th, 2005
>> "Thinking that it was right wing governments which caused the depression by encouraging the cut in wages and bringing in tariff barriers to protect home grown capitalists."

Yeah, ummm... It's not the 1920's and economic thinking is much more sophisticated. Last I checked, it was you liberal nut cases that so desperately want to appease the unions by implementing tariff barriers.

>> "Or that we haven't had an equivalent depression since because of Keynesian economics and not because Milton Friedman was furiously offering votives to the spirit of Ricardo for the greater good of all."

Look. You don't need a degree in Economics to understand that whacko Keynesians are irrational. The government just doesn't produce wealth. However, the government is wonderful at shaking down taxpayers to fund its bloated, mind-numbingly inefficient bureaucracies. But in the liberals' minds, the same government that can't manage to fix potholes or count votes correctly is given the God-like task of centrally micromanaging "fairness" throughout the land. You can't swing a dead cat without hitting some goofy lib complaining about the corruption of powerful capitalists. But give the same capitalist guy more power by electing him to office and giving him a police force and an army to do his bidding, then this guy is above corruption, right?

>> "Or that having their pensions in government stock is safer than having it in the stock of Enron or WorldCom."
Yeah. This is freakin' rich. I'm not going to see a damn dime of Socialist Security because you libs are going to bankrupt the system, or maybe you'll means-test me out of my fair share. Safe indeed!

>> "Republican Utopia"
Republicans don't believe in Utopia - that's a liberal thang. Conservatives are realists. They know that if everyone gets the same crappy loaf of bread at the end of the day whether they produce or not, then it's likely that people won't produce.
Permalink anon 
March 17th, 2005
I don't usually argue with anybody named 'anon'. It's clear you believe in the conservative side of the argument. However, I did say:

"Thus going back to the time just before the depression doesn't sound that bad. And they'll say anything, change anything they have to, to make it happen."

You've brought up Marxism, Communism, and that people won't work if they have no incentive to work. I didn't mention any of that -- are you saying that Social Security makes us a Marxist country? Are you saying that because it exists people are not working as HARD as they could be?

Just because I say the un-fettered free market leads to monopolies and abuse doesn't mean I'm recommending the destruction of the free market. It does mean I'm saying that SOME regulation of the free-market is absolutely necessary. Of course people need incentives to work, but not starving to death is too harsh an incentive. And what incentive to work do people who inherit two million dollars or more from their parents have?

But thank you for making your argument. I would propose that your argument absolutely confirms what I was saying -- you are saying that the 1920's was not that bad, and you'll say anything to justify that. Thanks.
Permalink AllanL5 
March 17th, 2005
Dear anon

At least with a socialist in the White House you would be able to afford your medication.

And perhaps you could tell me what is so whacko about Keynes's idea that governments should save in times of plenty so that there is money to spend to trigger demand in times of recession.
Permalink Stephen Jones 
March 17th, 2005
>Yeah. This is freakin' rich. I'm not going to see a damn dime of Socialist Security because you libs are going to bankrupt the system.

In 1983, Saint Ronnie and Saint Greenspan cooked up a scheme to raise FICA witholdings and purchase long term US Treasury Bonds and T-Notes. These T-Bills and T-Notes start coming due in 2017.

Step 1 of bushco's plan to destroy Social Security is to default on the $1.7 Trillion worth of T-bills and T-notes held by the Social Security Administration. Read Amendment 14 of the Constitution.

It is not the liberals that will destroy and bankrupt Social Security, it will be the Republicans. First, by defaulting on the Trust Fund, then by loaning you (and me and the rest of the workers of America) the money to put into your/our privatized accounts. When you retire at 67 or 75 (or ever), you will repay the US Treasury for the loan with the interest at "t-bill + 1%" Get used to the word "clawback" because you'll be paying it back whether your privatized fund has the money or not.

Congratulations for falling for the Republican Big Lie Machine.
Permalink Peter 
March 17th, 2005
"are you saying that Social Security makes us a Marxist country?"

?

Are you saying that Social Security isn't a socialist program?

Philo
Permalink Philo 
March 17th, 2005
"Keynes's idea that governments should save in times of plenty so that there is money to spend to trigger demand in times of recession."

That's a great idea. Has anyone actually tried it? Because as far as I can tell most governments generally spend money as fast as it comes in.

Philo
Permalink Philo 
March 17th, 2005
"That's a great idea. Has anyone actually tried it?"

Uh, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush?

Clinton allowed a surplus to happen during a time of great prosperity. W. is pouring money out of the government and into the economy through tax cuts and spending like mad, during a time of recession.

Together, they fit the Keynesian model to a T.
Permalink Jim Rankin 
March 17th, 2005
"Are you saying that because it exists people are not working as HARD as they could be?"

Pretty much.

With pretty much any activity: tax it more, get less of it; tax it less, get more of it. Lower taxes on capital gains, you get more investment in capital markets. Increase taxes on gasoline, get fewer miles driven. Lower taxes on income, get more people coming into the workforce and people working longer hours.

I'd be curious to hear a counter example.
Permalink Jim Rankin 
March 17th, 2005
Most governments spend it faster, and Republican governments don't even bother to wait for it to come in.

The Clinton administration appears to have done so.

In general Keynsian intervention is less effective now because of the effects of globalization; you throw in more money to heave off the recession and it creates more jobs in China. The greatest example of irresponsible finance were the UK Conservative 1987 tax cuts, which resulted in the Brits spending the bonanza on goods from elsewhere in the EU because the British economy couldn't meet demand, and also resulted in massive house price inflation that led directly to a collapse and bitter recession, as people struggled with negative equity.

However, criticize Keynes as much as you like but the post 1944 world seems to have avoided the excesses of the boom bust cycles that were standard from 1800 until 1929.
Permalink Stephen Jones 
March 17th, 2005
Peter,

You sure you want to refer to a system where one part of the government spends money from another part of the government and leaves an IOU in it's place, a "Trust" Fund?
Permalink Jim Rankin 
March 17th, 2005
"In general Keynsian intervention is less effective now because of the effects of globalization; you throw in more money to heave off the recession and it creates more jobs in China."

Stephen, that's actually a somewhat interesting statement. I'm shocked.

So, how do you stimulate an economy in a post-Keynesian world? (<-- serious question)
Permalink Jim Rankin 
March 17th, 2005
The answer could be that you fiddle it so you are not restricted by the Free Trade Treaties you have signed.

Claiming things are necessary for national security is one way :)

The problem appears to be that the world's economies are out of synch. It may well be that instead of making the solution harder this has simply made the problem go away.
Permalink Stephen Jones 
March 17th, 2005
Well Jim, just what do you call a loan?
Permalink Peter 
March 17th, 2005
"Well Jim, just what do you call a loan?"

What do you call a loan you make to yourself?
Permalink Jim Rankin 
March 17th, 2005
I have to try

&#9827; &#9827; &#9827; &#9827; &#9827; &#9827; &#9827; &#9827; &#9827; &#9827; &#9827; &#9827; &#9827;
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
March 17th, 2005
Bwhahaha. Wrong thread.
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
March 17th, 2005
---"What do you call a loan you make to yourself?"----

Creative accountancy
Fiscal optimization
Permalink Stephen Jones 
March 17th, 2005
14th Amendment
...
Section 4. THE VALIDITY OF THE PUBLIC DEBT OF THE UNITED STATES, AUTHORIZED BY LAW, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, SHALL NOT BE QUESTIONED. But neither the United States nor any state shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

(caps added for emphasis)
http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/constitution.amendmentxiv.html

When bush was sworn into office, he swore to uphold the Constitution. His desire to plunder Social Security is a violation of that oath of office. Was he committing perjury back in January 2001/2005?
Permalink Peter 
March 17th, 2005
Philo:

True, Social Security is a socialist program. As is bailing out the car companies, as is bailing out aviation companies, as is propping up the banks with public money, etc.

But Mr. 'anon' up there seemed to be implying that destruction of Social Security was a requirement so we did not become Marxist, that having it removed all need for people to work. That arguing it did positive things and should be preserved was also a Marxist argument.

My point was that it is this absolute philosophical hatred of any and all "Socialist" programs that is leading people to support the privatization of Social Security. And that we've HAD Social Security since the 30's and people HAVE continued to work. That it overall has had a positive effect -- on my grandmother, and on my mother and father.

To destroy something that has worked so well for so long for so many people on philosophical grounds is an idiotic point of view -- no matter how strongly you feel about it.

Thus my comment regarding returning us to the 1920's, when there WAS no Social Security and the Depression hadn't hit yet. And my comment that conservatives will say anything in order to justify their cause.
Permalink AllanL5 
March 17th, 2005
"When bush was sworn into office, he swore to uphold the Constitution. His desire to plunder Social Security is a violation of that oath of office."

So, it is your sincere position that the cutting of any benefit program in any way is an outright violation of the U.S. Constitution?

Should the Supreme Court be notified of this?
Permalink Jim Rankin 
March 18th, 2005

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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