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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#14801 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-February-21, 06:18

Quote of the week:

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The dismay and the disgust at the attempts by others to defend his actions as just business as usual in our polarized climate should transcend party. The dismay and disgust at any attempt to interfere with the efforts of prosecutors and members of the judiciary to fulfill their duty should transcend party. -- Judge Amy Berman at the sentencing of Roger Stone

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#14802 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-February-21, 06:54

View PostZelandakh, on 2020-February-21, 03:38, said:

Trickle down economics is not as bad a theory as some on the Left proclaim. The idea that the more hands money passes through from creation to expiry, the more wealth is generated is sound. And so is the idea that $1000 spent by a rich person will on average pass through more hands than $10 each from 100 poor people. The problem comes from the disconnect between money given to rich people and their spending patterns. If you provide $10 to a poor person they will almost certainly spend 100% of it quite quickly. But the rich person receiving $1000 has already bought everything they need so they are much more likely to use that extra cash for investments than spending. That in turn means that the $1000 ends up passing through very few hands on its way through the system, providing the opposite effect to that being desired. So yes, trickle down economics do not really work but the reasons are a little more complex than your pi$ analogy.


I generally agree. Back in the Kennedy years the tax rate of the upper end was cut substantially. I believe the slogan then was "A rising tide lifts all ships". Sounds better than "trickle down" but the same idea. Very few things should be reduced to a quick slogan.


I am hardly rich, not at all, but I doubt that my spending would be affected at all by a modest reduction in my taxes or a modest increase in my taxes. I have a way of life I can afford, I'm not on any precipice. If I won multi-millions in a lottery that would probably change things, but that's unlikely since I don't buy lottery tickets. People who do live on the edge will be spending what they get, maybe an occasional steak or a trip to the beach.
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#14803 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-February-21, 07:59

View PostZelandakh, on 2020-February-21, 03:38, said:

Trickle down economics is not as bad a theory as some on the Left proclaim. The idea that the more hands money passes through from creation to expiry, the more wealth is generated is sound. And so is the idea that $1000 spent by a rich person will on average pass through more hands than $10 each from 100 poor people. The problem comes from the disconnect between money given to rich people and their spending patterns. If you provide $10 to a poor person they will almost certainly spend 100% of it quite quickly. But the rich person receiving $1000 has already bought everything they need so they are much more likely to use that extra cash for investments than spending. That in turn means that the $1000 ends up passing through very few hands on its way through the system, providing the opposite effect to that being desired. So yes, trickle down economics do not really work but the reasons are a little more complex than your pi$$ analogy.


I would have to argue that it is indeed bad theory as it requires a condition that - as you point out - does not exist. To work requires a magical transformation of that condition - and that would make it fantasy, not theory. :)
“It’s just so unfair that American companies aren’t allowed to pay bribes to get business overseas,” Trump whines
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#14804 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-February-21, 08:08

View Posty66, on 2020-February-21, 06:18, said:

Quote of the week:


I would argue that this is the key quote from ABJ at the Stone sentencing:


Quote

“He was not prosecuted, as some have claimed, for standing up for the president. He was prosecuted for covering up for the president.”

“It’s just so unfair that American companies aren’t allowed to pay bribes to get business overseas,” Trump whines
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#14805 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2020-February-21, 09:57

View PostZelandakh, on 2020-February-21, 03:38, said:

Trickle down economics is not as bad a theory as some on the Left proclaim. The idea that the more hands money passes through from creation to expiry, the more wealth is generated is sound. And so is the idea that $1000 spent by a rich person will on average pass through more hands than $10 each from 100 poor people. The problem comes from the disconnect between money given to rich people and their spending patterns. If you provide $10 to a poor person they will almost certainly spend 100% of it quite quickly. But the rich person receiving $1000 has already bought everything they need so they are much more likely to use that extra cash for investments than spending. That in turn means that the $1000 ends up passing through very few hands on its way through the system, providing the opposite effect to that being desired. So yes, trickle down economics do not really work but the reasons are a little more complex than your pi$$ analogy.

One theory of Tinkle Down economics that the right fringe in the US are pushing is that by reducing the taxes on the rich, budget deficits will disappear, or at least greatly reduce, because the economy will miraculously go into hyperdrive and the explosive growth will translate into more taxes.

In theory, Tinkle Down economics have a happy appeal if you already have the belief that the very rich are the noblesse oblige. Of course, very few of the very rich are. The actual reasons that Tinkle Down does not work are not so simple that proponents have the foggiest idea that it doesn't work.

This also applies to business income taxes. Most mature profitable businesses have a stable share of their markets. Throwing money at a market to increase market share may or may not be successful, but will certainly be less successful if their competitors do the same thing. So instead, do stock buybacks for the big public corps, increase cash reserves, or for private corps, just give bigger bonuses to the executives who are already getting big bonuses.

In the US, Tinkle Down economics has been a failure going back to Reagan tax cuts (which backfired so badly some of the cuts had to walked back), the Bush tax cuts, and the Manchurian President's tax cuts have exploded the Federal deficit.

In mathematical terms, suppose you reduce tax rates so that overall revenue falls 10%. To make up the shortfall, taxable income would have to increase over time by ~10% so that the net taxes would be the same. You would need to increase taxable income by more than 10% to make up for the years immediately after the tax cut when the taxable income hadn't increased enough.

In a mature economy, this is just a nutty theory that tax cuts pay for themselves. You have to figure in inflation, increased spending on new programs, etc. so you can basically never make up for the shortfall of cutting taxes.
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#14806 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-February-21, 11:36

View Postjohnu, on 2020-February-21, 09:57, said:

One theory of Tinkle Down economics that the right fringe in the US are pushing is that by reducing the taxes on the rich, budget deficits will disappear, or at least greatly reduce, because the economy will miraculously go into hyperdrive and the explosive growth will translate into more taxes.

In theory, Tinkle Down economics have a happy appeal if you already have the belief that the very rich are the noblesse oblige. Of course, very few of the very rich are. The actual reasons that Tinkle Down does not work are not so simple that proponents have the foggiest idea that it doesn't work.

This also applies to business income taxes. Most mature profitable businesses have a stable share of their markets. Throwing money at a market to increase market share may or may not be successful, but will certainly be less successful if their competitors do the same thing. So instead, do stock buybacks for the big public corps, increase cash reserves, or for private corps, just give bigger bonuses to the executives who are already getting big bonuses.

In the US, Tinkle Down economics has been a failure going back to Reagan tax cuts (which backfired so badly some of the cuts had to walked back), the Bush tax cuts, and the Manchurian President's tax cuts have exploded the Federal deficit.

In mathematical terms, suppose you reduce tax rates so that overall revenue falls 10%. To make up the shortfall, taxable income would have to increase over time by ~10% so that the net taxes would be the same. You would need to increase taxable income by more than 10% to make up for the years immediately after the tax cut when the taxable income hadn't increased enough.

In a mature economy, this is just a nutty theory that tax cuts pay for themselves. You have to figure in inflation, increased spending on new programs, etc. so you can basically never make up for the shortfall of cutting taxes.



As Zes pointed out above, these are not simplistic ideas, but as usual, each side has taken a portion of the truth and weaponized it for their own messaging's sake. Take, for instance, the Laffer Curve. Again, the Laffer Curve simply noted that at some point taxes are too high and there is a theoretical curve where taxation and tax receipts maximize. Of course, the right took this to say all tax cuts pay for themselves, which is patently untrue. Trickle-down or Reaganomics is just another way of describing Supply-side, which, again, in theory, is accurate in that it does require savings in order to invest in new businesses and expansion: but that is only part of the economic question. The expansion of business is not driven by its ability to invest but by a demand for more coupled with an ability to invest. After all, it is supply and demand, not supply or demand.

What is required is a return to a fact-based, truth-encouraged discussion about what is needed. What that requires is a virtual total elimination of the current Republican party's hold on power.
“It’s just so unfair that American companies aren’t allowed to pay bribes to get business overseas,” Trump whines
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#14807 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2020-February-21, 12:03

Trump's corporate tax cuts were supposed to stimulate hiring, which is how they were supposed to trickle down and eventually pay for themselves, but they totally failed at that. A few companies gave out some one-time bonuses, and Trump was happy to point those out as the cuts "working", but for the most part they used their tax savings to buy back stock. There was very little increased investment, hiring, pay raises, etc. Many of the companies that did increase wages (I think Walmart or Amazon increased their minimum wages) were planning on doing that all along, it wasn't related to the cuts. Trump has been a master of taking credit for many things that reached fruition after he took office, even though they'd been in the works for years.

#14808 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2020-February-21, 18:10

View Postbarmar, on 2020-February-21, 12:03, said:

Trump's corporate tax cuts were supposed to stimulate hiring, which is how they were supposed to trickle down and eventually pay for themselves, but they totally failed at that. A few companies gave out some one-time bonuses, and Trump was happy to point those out as the cuts "working", but for the most part they used their tax savings to buy back stock. There was very little increased investment, hiring, pay raises, etc. Many of the companies that did increase wages (I think Walmart or Amazon increased their minimum wages) were planning on doing that all along, it wasn't related to the cuts. Trump has been a master of taking credit for many things that reached fruition after he took office, even though they'd been in the works for years.

Basically, 8 years of solid economic growth during the Obama presidency reversed the Bush recession and reduced the national unemployment rates to very low rates under the previous tax system. The last few years have seen more unemployment rate decreases but job increases under the Manchurian President are less than the last 3 years of Obama. Basically, there are relatively few unemployed with high skill job qualifications, and most of the jobs available are low skill, low pay entry level service/retail jobs. Nobody who knows anything about the job market and unemployment statistics was surprised that the stimulus failed miserably.
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#14809 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2020-February-21, 18:16

View PostWinstonm, on 2020-February-21, 11:36, said:

As Zes pointed out above, these are not simplistic ideas, but as usual, each side has taken a portion of the truth and weaponized it for their own messaging's sake. Take, for instance, the Laffer Curve. Again, the Laffer Curve simply noted that at some point taxes are too high and there is a theoretical curve where taxation and tax receipts maximize. Of course, the right took this to say all tax cuts pay for themselves, which is patently untrue.

What the right fringe took away from a 5th grade understanding of the Laffer Curve was that if you reduced taxes for the rich to 0% that the economy would be the greatest in the world and America would be great again. I'm sure the Manchurian President will point out that the tax cuts were not "big" enough to turbocharge the economy because of Democratic opposition, and that a new round of more extensive tax cuts for the rich were absolutely necessary to really get the budget balanced.
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#14810 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2020-February-21, 18:36

  • Trump commits the most blatant abuse of power - using the power of his presidency, to probably illegally hold up hundreds of millions of congressionally appropriated dollars, in order to extort an allied country to help his reelection campaign, by publicly announcing an investigation into his political rival. Yet only one Republican senator votes to impeach him.
  • Susan Collins thinks Trump learned his lesson. Yet days later he retaliates against witnesses who took their oath seriously to tell the truth.
  • Trump fires the national director of intelligence because he didn't like an intelligence briefing given to Congress, about foreign interference in the next election. And it's hardly a major news story.
  • In the course of all this, Trump's approval rating ticks up, not down.


The question in the title of this thread has been answered. Yes, US democracy has been trumped.
The easiest way to count losers is to line up the people who talk about loser count, and count them. -Kieran Dyke
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#14811 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-February-22, 10:47

Some of the headlines in today's WaPo online:

Quote

Trump embarks on search for disloyalty as administration-wide purge escalates


Quote

Trump wants to block ‘traitor’ Bolton’s book entirely, claiming most conversations are classified
my emphasis

Is this the U.S.A. or Erdogan's Turkey? Or something even worse?

“It’s just so unfair that American companies aren’t allowed to pay bribes to get business overseas,” Trump whines
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#14812 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2020-February-22, 13:26

View PostWinstonm, on 2020-February-22, 10:47, said:

Is this the U.S.A. or Erdogan's Turkey? Or something even worse?

I'm going to have to get back to you with my answer.
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#14813 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-February-22, 21:12

Matt Yglesias @mattyglesias 7:53 PM · Feb 22, 2020 said:

My plea to my fellow DC insiders to chill out about Bernie:

He’s a skilled politician who will govern in a broadly similar way to other Democrats and get the online trolls you love to hate working against Trump like you want.

https://www.vox.com/...s-establishment

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#14814 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-February-23, 06:23

Quote


My plea to my fellow DC insiders to chill out about Bernie:

He's a skilled politician who will govern in a broadly similar way to other Democrats and get the online trolls you love to hate working against Trump like you want.



Then, a little farther down:

Quote


On the vast majority of issues, a Sanders administration would deliver pretty much the same policy outcomes as any other Democrat. The two biggest exceptions to this, foreign policy and monetary policy, happen to be where Sanders takes issue with an entrenched conventional wisdom that is deeply problematic.


Just business as usual. Well, except for foreign policy and the economy and maybe a few other lesser things. No big deal.

It's going to be Sanders running against Trump. This is partly due to Sanders's skill, partly due to the competition not being all that strong. I expect there will be many voters in November who will say either "Sanders is not what I would wish but Trump has to go" or else "Trump is awful but there is no way in hell I am voting for Sanders". And some will be voting for one or the other of the candidates because they actually like them.


Later we see:

Quote


Sanders has always talked about his blue-sky political ideals as something he believed in passionately, but he separated that idealism from his practical legislative work, which was grounded in vote counts.


This is definitely a strength, a big strength. It has carried him this far and it might well carry him through, and might make for a good result while he is in office. I can be hopelessly optimistic sometimes.
Ken
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#14815 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-February-23, 10:17

View Postkenberg, on 2020-February-23, 06:23, said:

Just business as usual. Well, except for foreign policy and the economy and maybe a few other lesser things. No big deal.

Matt said:

But most likely, a Sanders presidency will simply mean that young progressive activists are less sullen and dyspeptic about the incremental policy gains that would result from any Democrat occupying the presidency. It’ll also mean a foreign policy that errs a bit more on the side of restraint compared with what you’d get from anyone else in the field, as well as an approach to monetary policy that errs a bit more on the side of full employment. That’s a pretty good deal, and you don’t need to be a socialist to see it.

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#14816 User is offline   PassedOut 

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Posted 2020-February-23, 10:44

Robert Reich writes: Bernie Sanders' plans may be expensive but inaction would cost much more

Quote

In Wednesday night’s Democratic debate, the former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg charged that the Vermont senator Bernie Sanders’ policy proposals would cost $50tn. Holy Indiana.

Larry Summers, formerly chief White House economic adviser for Barack Obama, puts the price tag at $60tn. “We are in a kind of new era of radical proposal,” he told CNN.

Maya MacGuineas, president of the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, claims Sanders’ agenda would at least double federal spending.

Putting aside the accuracy of these cost estimates, they omit the other side of the equation: what, by comparison, is the cost of doing nothing?

A Green New Deal might be expensive but doing nothing about climate change will almost certainly cost far more. California is already burning, the midwest and south are flooding, New England is eroding, Florida is sinking. If we don’t launch something as bold as a Green New Deal, we’ll spend trillions coping with the consequences of our failure to be bold.

Medicare for All will cost a lot, but the price of doing nothing about America’s increasingly dysfunctional healthcare system will soon be in the stratosphere. The nation already pays more for healthcare per person and has worse health outcomes than any other advanced country. A new study in the Lancet estimates that Medicare for All would save $450bn and prevent 68,000 unnecessary deaths each year.

Investing in universal childcare, public higher education and woefully outdated and dilapidated infrastructure will be expensive too, but the cost of not making these investments would be astronomical. American productivity is already suffering and millions of families can’t afford decent childcare, college or housing – whose soaring costs are closely related to inadequate transportation and water systems.

Focusing only on the costs of doing something about these problems without mentioning the costs of doing nothing is misleading, but this asymmetry is widespread. Journalists wanting to appear serious about public policy continue to rip into Sanders and the Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren (whose policies are almost as ambitious) for the costs of their proposals but never ask self-styled moderates like Buttigieg how they plan to cope with the costs of doing nothing or too little.


I hope that Sanders and Warren can turn the tables on these cost arguments so that a real debate can take place. Those who favor pissing into the wind deserve what they get.
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#14817 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-February-23, 12:24

View PostPassedOut, on 2020-February-23, 10:44, said:

Robert Reich writes: Bernie Sanders' plans may be expensive but inaction would cost much more



I hope that Sanders and Warren can turn the tables on these cost arguments so that a real debate can take place. Those who favor pissing into the wind deserve what they get.


Thank you for this post. It is high time the Demoratic party starts taking the high ground instead of trying to appeal to disgruntled Republicans. Instead of slowing down progress for the sake of the stragglers, keep moving forward and let the stragglers catch up or perish in their past.
“It’s just so unfair that American companies aren’t allowed to pay bribes to get business overseas,” Trump whines
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#14818 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2020-February-24, 16:48

View PostWinstonm, on 2020-February-23, 12:24, said:

Thank you for this post. It is high time the Demoratic party starts taking the high ground instead of trying to appeal to disgruntled Republicans. Instead of slowing down progress for the sake of the stragglers, keep moving forward and let the stragglers catch up or perish in their past.

I wouldn't say the high ground, but why would you negotiate against yourself before the debate has actually begun? You start with a set of goals but if you start from middle ground, you are likely to end up in a compromise that ends up much closer to the Republican position. If you start from a Sanders/Warren progressive position, and have to compromised, maybe you'll end up someplace in the middle where the moderates negotiated against themselves to get to that position before they have to negotiate with Republicans and some conservative Democrats.
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#14819 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-February-24, 18:30

View PostWinstonm, on 2020-February-23, 12:24, said:

Thank you for this post. It is high time the Demoratic party starts taking the high ground instead of trying to appeal to disgruntled Republicans. Instead of slowing down progress for the sake of the stragglers, keep moving forward and let the stragglers catch up or perish in their past.

Something along the lines of Jeremy Corbyn then? It is good to see that the American Left has learned the lessons of the last few years. :unsure:
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#14820 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2020-February-25, 13:09

View PostZelandakh, on 2020-February-24, 18:30, said:

Something along the lines of Jeremy Corbyn then? It is good to see that the American Left has learned the lessons of the last few years. :unsure:


Labour hasn't really learned those lessons yet let alone the US left.

When you hear Rebecca Long Bailey saying it was the message not the policies or the leader and it was all the the media's fault. Also that she doesn't have any friends who are Tories, I feel being able to be friends with people with opposing viewpoints is essential to keep you from disappearing up your own social media bubble.
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