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llotter
07-08-2011, 10:40 AM
The massive economic damage bequeathed to all of us by Bush is far worse than any of us could have anticipated but we can all take some comfort in the fact that The Moron is doing exactly as much as a moron can be expected to do. The damage Bush perpetrated on us is so monumental that may well be beyond the ability of even our most intelligent Harvard grads.

The only possible solution appears to be to fundamentally change our system, eliminating greed and jealousy as our motivating forces and instituting sharing and social justice to enrich our happiness instead of our wallets. I can hardly wait.

Sev
07-08-2011, 03:23 PM
Invest in lead and brass.

LWW
07-08-2011, 05:44 PM
And gold and silver ... and keep your passport current.

Sev
07-08-2011, 08:26 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: LWW</div><div class="ubbcode-body">And gold and silver ... and keep your passport current. </div></div>

You may need lead and brass in order to escape.

LWW
07-09-2011, 05:10 AM
That's why I said "ADD" ... and anyone who by now doesn't own a firearm is, IMHO, a fool.

Soflasnapper
07-09-2011, 03:10 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: llotter</div><div class="ubbcode-body">The massive economic damage bequeathed to all of us by Bush is far worse than any of us could have anticipated but we can all take some comfort in the fact that The Moron is doing exactly as much as a moron can be expected to do. The damage Bush perpetrated on us is so monumental that may well be beyond the ability of even our most intelligent Harvard grads.

The only possible solution appears to be to fundamentally change our system, eliminating greed and jealousy as our motivating forces and instituting sharing and social justice to enrich our happiness instead of our wallets. I can hardly wait. </div></div>

Somehow, I take this as sarcasm. If that's true, that's regrettable, because much truth would be found in taking it as true.

I think it's becoming clearer that the US has been a Potemkin-economy for some time, as the bi-partisan consensus among the elites of both parties has been the gutting of American industry for the benefit of the financial vampire sector. Allowing them to build an immense house of cards on easy credit, vast private, business and national debt increases, criminal accounting, impossibly risky leverage, and etc., SEEMED to provide prosperity-- for a while.

After the drugs wore off, and the party was over, to which none of our type was invited or enjoyed during its revelry, wow what a hangover, and what a ruin has been left in its wake.

The gdp growth was phony, only a fraction of the growth of debt, and the game rigged by the perpetrators, to mainly let them off scott free holding onto their ill-gotten gains, with everyone else tasked to work for decades to put it back together.

The standard of living in this country was only sustained by taking on way more debt than could be sustained over time, and now must fall significantly for most people.

llotter
07-10-2011, 10:58 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">The standard of living in this country was only sustained by taking on way more debt than could be sustained over time, and now must fall significantly for most people.
</div></div>

Yes, we built our 'economy' on way too much debt, both public and private but the solution instituted by The Moron is more debt on a grand scale. Is it any wonder that the moniker 'moron' fits like a glove on the guy in the WH?

LWW
07-10-2011, 01:49 PM
The actual root of our issues goes back to the late 1990's and is bipartisan.

Both parties participated in the repeal of Glas-Stegall and the implementation of Graham leach Bliley.

That move alone doomed us to the banking meltdown. Note only was the gubmint, via CRA, strong arming banks to make stupid loans ... they made the poison palatable by privatizing profits and socializing losses. Investment banks should never have been allowed under the FDIC umbrella. FANNIE/FREDDIE?FHA standards should never have been lowered.

Add in that the Clinton regime allowed ENRON accounting and promoted the dot-bomb house of cards ... and you have a recipe for disaster.

Dear leader can actually be held blameless for most of this, although he was bought and paid for by FANNIE/FREDDIE at the end, he has shown that he has no clue WTF to do in order to get the bus to slow down before it crashes into the wall.

Soflasnapper
07-10-2011, 05:52 PM
The actual root of our issues goes back to the late 1990's and is bipartisan.

Almost everyone else places the origins at 30 years ago, including people of the left and the right.

Glass-Steagall was named after 2 Democrats in the Congress who sponsored it, in the Senate and the House, under Democratic majority control

Graham-Leach-Bliley was named after 3 Republicans, in a Senate and House under majority GOP control. The vote for the Graham-sponsored bill in the Senate saw nearly every (or maybe all) Democrats vote against, and nearly every (or maybe all) Republicans voting for it, splitting on partisan lines.

Was it the root cause? Perhaps not, as its defenders have argued as follows:

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> Defense

According to a 2009 Cato Institute policy report authored by one of the institute's directors, Mark A. Calabria, critics of the legislation feared that, with the allowance for mergers between investment and commercial banks, GLB allowed the newly-merged banks to take on riskier investments while at the same time removing any requirements to maintain enough equity, exposing the assets of its banking customers.[31] Calabria claimed that, prior to the passage of GLB in 1999, investment banks were already capable of holding and trading the very financial assets claimed to be the cause of the mortgage crisis, and were also already able to keep their books as they had.[31] He concluded that greater access to investment capital as many investment banks went public on the market explains the shift in their holdings to trading portfolios.[31] Calabria noted that after GLB passed, most investment banks did not merge with depository commercial banks, and that in fact, the few banks that did merge weathered the crisis better than those that did not.[31]

When Bill Clinton was asked in 2008 whether he regretted the decision to sign the bill rolling back the Glass-Steagall Act and deregulate banking during his presidency, Clinton responded:

"I don't see that signing that bill had anything to do with the current crisis. Indeed, one of the things that has helped stabilize the current situation as much as it has is the purchase of Merrill Lynch by Bank of America, which was much smoother than it would have been if I hadn't signed that bill.... On the Glass–Steagall thing, like I said, if you could demonstrate to me that it was a mistake, I'd be glad to look at the evidence." [32]

In February 2009, one of the act's co-authors, former Senator Phil Gramm, also defended his bill:

"...if GLB was the problem, the crisis would have been expected to have originated in Europe where they never had Glass–Steagall requirements to begin with. Also, the financial firms that failed in this crisis, like Lehman, were the least diversified and the ones that survived, like J.P. Morgan, were the most diversified.
" Moreover, GLB didn't deregulate anything. It established the Federal Reserve as a superregulator, overseeing all Financial Services Holding Companies. All activities of financial institutions continued to be regulated on a functional basis by the regulators that had regulated those activities prior to GLB." [33]

The economists Brad DeLong (of the University of California, Berkeley) and Tyler Cowen (of George Mason University in Virginia) have both argued that the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act softened the impact of the crisis.[34] Atlantic Monthly columnist Megan McArdle has argued that if the act was "part of the problem, it would be the commercial banks, not the investment banks, that were in trouble" and repeal would not have helped the situation.[35] An article in the conservative publication,National Review, has made the same argument, calling liberal allegations about the Act “folk economics.”[36]</div></div>

LWW
07-11-2011, 03:37 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Soflasnapper</div><div class="ubbcode-body">The actual root of our issues goes back to the late 1990's and is bipartisan.

Almost everyone else places the origins at 30 years ago, including people of the left and the right.

Glass-Steagall was named after 2 Democrats in the Congress who sponsored it, in the Senate and the House, under Democratic majority control

Graham-Leach-Bliley was named after 3 Republicans, in a Senate and House under majority GOP control. The vote for the Graham-sponsored bill in the Senate saw nearly every (or maybe all) Democrats vote against, and nearly every (or maybe all) Republicans voting for it, splitting on partisan lines.

Was it the root cause? Perhaps not, as its defenders have argued as follows:

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> Defense

According to a 2009 Cato Institute policy report authored by one of the institute's directors, Mark A. Calabria, critics of the legislation feared that, with the allowance for mergers between investment and commercial banks, GLB allowed the newly-merged banks to take on riskier investments while at the same time removing any requirements to maintain enough equity, exposing the assets of its banking customers.[31] Calabria claimed that, prior to the passage of GLB in 1999, investment banks were already capable of holding and trading the very financial assets claimed to be the cause of the mortgage crisis, and were also already able to keep their books as they had.[31] He concluded that greater access to investment capital as many investment banks went public on the market explains the shift in their holdings to trading portfolios.[31] Calabria noted that after GLB passed, most investment banks did not merge with depository commercial banks, and that in fact, the few banks that did merge weathered the crisis better than those that did not.[31]

When Bill Clinton was asked in 2008 whether he regretted the decision to sign the bill rolling back the Glass-Steagall Act and deregulate banking during his presidency, Clinton responded:

"I don't see that signing that bill had anything to do with the current crisis. Indeed, one of the things that has helped stabilize the current situation as much as it has is the purchase of Merrill Lynch by Bank of America, which was much smoother than it would have been if I hadn't signed that bill.... On the Glass–Steagall thing, like I said, if you could demonstrate to me that it was a mistake, I'd be glad to look at the evidence." [32]

In February 2009, one of the act's co-authors, former Senator Phil Gramm, also defended his bill:

"...if GLB was the problem, the crisis would have been expected to have originated in Europe where they never had Glass–Steagall requirements to begin with. Also, the financial firms that failed in this crisis, like Lehman, were the least diversified and the ones that survived, like J.P. Morgan, were the most diversified.
" Moreover, GLB didn't deregulate anything. It established the Federal Reserve as a superregulator, overseeing all Financial Services Holding Companies. All activities of financial institutions continued to be regulated on a functional basis by the regulators that had regulated those activities prior to GLB." [33]

The economists Brad DeLong (of the University of California, Berkeley) and Tyler Cowen (of George Mason University in Virginia) have both argued that the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act softened the impact of the crisis.[34] Atlantic Monthly columnist Megan McArdle has argued that if the act was "part of the problem, it would be the commercial banks, not the investment banks, that were in trouble" and repeal would not have helped the situation.[35] An article in the conservative publication,National Review, has made the same argument, calling liberal allegations about the Act “folk economics.”[36]</div></div> </div></div>


Do you know what bipartisan even means?

BTW ... it's OK if you don't because democrooks generally believe it means throwing a tantrum until the other side gives in.

eg8r
07-12-2011, 03:38 PM
I agree with what you are saying for the most part but this quote strikes me as odd considering the news of the day...<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">The standard of living in this country was only sustained by taking on way more debt than could be sustained over time</div></div>It seems you would be in agreement that if we raise the debt ceiling then we would not be learning from our past, and a very recent past it is...

eg8r

Soflasnapper
07-13-2011, 01:10 PM
Do you know what bipartisan even means?

BTW ... it's OK if you don't because democrooks generally believe it means throwing a tantrum until the other side gives in.

I do not think it accurate to say GLB was bi-partisan as nearly every Democrat voted against it in the Senate. Nor is it apparently accurate to call its repeal of GS the actual problem, any more than it's accurate to blame the 1978 Community Reinvestment Act.

Yes, the Democratic Party caucuses have always included senators representing big money. Typically the vast majority of the Dem caucus opposes those interests, but then the CT senators representing the insurance company industry that used to be centered there cut some backroom deal with their opposites in the GOP caucus, and the POTUS.

What happened 30 years ago was also not particularly bipartisan, but closer to unipolar, and I take the origins of our current problems to have originated at that later time, not the '90s.

Soflasnapper
07-13-2011, 01:41 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: eg8r</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I agree with what you are saying for the most part but this quote strikes me as odd considering the news of the day...<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">The standard of living in this country was only sustained by taking on way more debt than could be sustained over time</div></div>It seems you would be in agreement that if we raise the debt ceiling then we would not be learning from our past, and a very recent past it is...

eg8r </div></div>

I agree it is an apparent contradiction. No doubt, that's true.

But going over some arbitrary debt limit wasn't the problem, but the result of the problem (which was basically, people wanting more spending than they were willing to pay for in taxes, at least when given that as an option).

Now, stopping at some arbitrary debt limit isn't the solution, anymore than it was the actual problem.

As I've seen Mitch Daniels say back when he was budget director for the W Whitehouse heading the executive branch OMB, the rise in debt is a simple bookkeeping matter that relates to decisions made in the past.

Perhaps, perhaps not, but what is certainly true is that insisting now that an artificial and arbitrary limit be observed would badly worsen the already rotten stinking situation, by doubling/tripling/quadrupling or more the costs for the debt we've already incurred. Pure increase of transfer of money from the taxpayers to the holders of wealth and our debt that doesn't benefit anyone except those people, which would require still more huge cuts.

One could decide to cut back on ones budget, without defaulting on a credit card, blowing out your credit rating, and costing you a large increase on all your remaining credit card debt, unless your end game was to declare bankruptcy and be stripped of all but a core of your assets. When in dire economic straits, it is smart instead to keep your debt service payments as low as they can be by maintaining your credit rating, instead of costing yourself a ton of money more with perhaps well-motivated, but counterproductive measures you may not have fully thought through.

eg8r
07-13-2011, 02:49 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Now, stopping at some arbitrary debt limit isn't the solution, anymore than it was the actual problem.
</div></div>I completely agree so I was wondering what your position is on the battle going on in Congress. As I see it, there is no option on the table right now that really addresses the real problem and we have two different "teams" pissing into the wind.

I honestly don't think it is the fact that they are going to raise the debt limit that is driving the Reps resistance but rather the Reps see this as an opportunity to try and impose some "force". What I see as a detriment to this entire process is that I also think this is a great idea to do something that is GOOD for our country but both sides have decided to their knee-jerk responses and both are unwilling to budge.

Dems always immediately want access to the rich's money and the Reps immediately want additional tax breaks. I personally think including both ideas in dramatic proportions is the best way to handle our problem. I have long said tough times require tough decisions. I believe we are in this problem because we have too many people telling us how the government is much more complex than simple accounting yet at the very end we are left with a very simple balance sheet. Does the left equal the right. I believe reduction in spending along with dramatic simplification of the tax code (every effort to reduce as many loop holes as possible) will get us where we need to be.

eg8r

Soflasnapper
07-13-2011, 04:56 PM
This is a time of trying to use what is inevitable, no real choice not to do it sans national budgetary suicide, as leverage.

I think it's wrong to think the Dems would have done this on their own. I think they would have agreed to a clean debt increase bill, just as has been the case mainly for a long time.

When Gephardt and the Dems had their way, this dance was taken off the table entirely as the kind of housekeeping chore-- distasteful perhaps but necessary-- as the well-regarded Mitch Daniels said it was, when he ran the OMB for W.

So their side's positions are in response to what I think is an attempted blackmail attempt, sorta like Cleavon Little took himself hostage in 'Blazing Saddles.' (Let me go, or the n-word gets it! It worked for him.)

To find the answer, we need only to look back at what worked in the '90s. Pay-go, where any new spending OR tax cutting must be revenue/deficit-neutral. Hard caps on discretionary spending on the budget. Significant tax increases. Fine tune the military's budget to our actual threat levels (i.e., cut it by 2/3rds, to no more than the real levels averaged during the Cold War, or somewhat less. If we could face off the entire USSR and Warsaw Pack with $259 b, we don't need $650 b + $150 b at this time, unless we're covertly arming to fight a space alien invasion).

If you want to cut the total debt over time, you MUST RUN SURPLUSES. Only way it's possible. The only way to run surpluses is with a growing good economy, AND to rein in new spending and tax cuts under a pay-go regime.

Before we can do that, we could try to stabilize debt to gdp ratios, so even as the total debt goes up, it is relatively as affordable, given the size of the gdp.

Both these goals are aspirational, and may not be possible.