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Old 02-06-2012, 02:53 PM  
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Originally Posted by rivalarrival View Post
Being one of the liberals to whom you have repeatedly raised your "Obama's debt" issue, I know that you either don't understand or comprehend the criticism brought against your position, or you refuse to or are incapable of defending your position against even minor criticism. I know that I don't particularly want to be bothered with the details to the "solution" to a "problem" that either doesn't exist, you don't understand yourself, or you have been unable to articulate.

Some of the counter arguments you've never defended against include the nature of the problem itself - you've repeatedly argued that debt is nothing but a waste of money, and have completely ignored that the borrowed money was used to purchase things that have benefited us since they were originally purchased. You've misrepresented the nature of debt by ignoring inflation, and the inability for the government to earn significant amounts of interest. You ignore the nature of American debt in the global economy. In short, your position on debt has been challenged on a wide variety of points, you have not rebutted those challenges, and you seek to provide solutions to problems that you haven't demonstrated exist.

I know you raised your position on debt to try to rebut the OP, but I think it supports it very well.
Erskine Bowles said this at Duke University:
Quote:
“If we don’t do something about [the deficit], by the year 2020 we’ll be spending over $1 trillion a year in interest costs alone,” Bowles said. “Not only is it a trillion dollars that we can’t spend in this country to educate our kids and to build our infrastructure and to perform the research that will create the next new thing here, it’s a trillion dollars that’s principally going to be spent in Asia educating their kids and building their infrastructure and creating the next new thing over there.”
Too much of the national debt is now financed with short term paper so the debt can't be inflated away. That coupled with misspending by the congress nullifies any argument that we as a nation have benefited from debt. . Bowles also said this;
Quote:
“The Congress turned around and passed the stimulus package,” Bowles said. “You can argue the pluses and minuses of a stimulus, but you can’t argue the point that if you’re going to have the stimulus, you should’ve had it in the context of long-term fiscal reform.”
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Old 02-06-2012, 11:47 PM  
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Originally Posted by Eddie_T View Post
Erskine Bowles said this at Duke University:
Too much of the national debt is now financed with short term paper so the debt can't be inflated away. That coupled with misspending by the congress nullifies any argument that we as a nation have benefited from debt. . Bowles also said this;
This is an interesting situation.

Argumentum Ad Hominem is a term representing a particular type of logical fallacy. A proper argument challenges the man's ideas, not the man himself. In this case, however, one small aspect of the man - Eddie_T's position on debt - is being used in support of arguments about the relationship of intelligence and political ideology.

Eddie_T has put his own arguments on debt up as a counter-example to the OP, which suggests a correlation between conservatism and low IQ. To rebut his points, I have to directly argue that he has demonstrated a lack of intelligence. While I am forced to argue this, please remember that I'm arguing Eddie_T's previous position, and that he is free at any time to abandon previous positions that tend to support the claims in the OP. Also note that abandoning flawed theories is a sign of intelligence. Should Eddie_T be willing to abandon his demonstrably flawed theories, he would tend to rebut the claims in the OP. Also note that I am focusing only on one aspect of Eddie_T, and that aspect is something that he brought forth in support of his argument. I'm not seeking to discredit the man, but the argument he made.



Eddie_T, in general, the interest rates on short-term paper are lower than long-term. Your argument on that point is thus self-contradictory. Furthermore, the length of the loan is irrelevant, as you've repeatedly shown is that the government services the debt, it doesn't repay it. Whether it recycles the debt every 2 weeks or 20 years, 3% average annual interest is 3% average annual interest. Furthermore, the government is trying to lock in the current low interest rates, and converting short-term debt to long-term.

How much has congress spent properly, and how much has been misspent? Your arguments suggest that far more than half of our dollars spent are completely wasted. Please quantify these figures, or don't use them.



I touched on five issues that I've presented to you repeatedly in other threads, and you've responded to only two of those. I'll add two more that I've also presented to you in the past, without ever having received a significant rebuttal.

You've yet to explain to me why, if the government is hemorrhaging money in interest payments as you suggest, investments in government debt are modest, and lucky to keep up with inflation. This point alone represents a fatal blow to all of your doom-and-gloom arguments about government debt. So long as we manage our debt such that our creditors aren't doing significantly better than us, we need not concern ourselves with it.

To that end, a few months back the treasury offered inflation-protected bonds at negative interest rates, and in current news, the treasury is about to offer T-bills at negative interest rates. People are *paying* for the right to lend money to the government.


You said in #5:
Quote:
The liberals in my circle of friends seem to stop listening when I point out the perils of Obama's debt. They don't seem to want to be bothered with the details of seeking a solution.
You have been unable or unwilling to address these numerous criticisms of your position in the past. You continue to present your initial argument without adapting it or adjusting it for these criticisms. You expect people to follow your position without even looking at the evidence that contradicts you.

One of the reasons "liberals" stop listening to you is because they correctly recognize your stated ideas as "wrong", and they recognize your current methodology renders you incapable of ever being "right" on this issue. Your refusal to adjust your methodology indicates your lack of intelligence on this issue, which tends to support the claims made in the OP.
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:06 AM  
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My point was that my liberal friends can't address the debt arguments they just place their trust in the government, as does RA and his friends.

This is a decent article on the subject:
Quote:
Why the US debt crisis is a good thing
By Christopher Whalen
July 27, 2011

I must politely disagree with Felix Salmon of Reuters, Ben White at Politico and others who wring their hands and fret about the undoing of the world in the prospective debt default by the US. The damage is done, Felix declared on Reuters.com. I have heard similar views from many friends and colleagues, but I must disagree.

First the debate over the budget, pathetic as it may seem, represents an increase in the intensity of the public discourse over the nature of the American economy. Debate is good. It is the essence of checks and balances, the key feature that separates American democracy from the authoritarian states of Europe and Asia.

For too long Americans have been on auto pilot, relying upon elected representatives and various flavors of hired agents in Washington and on Wall Street to manage our money and our nation. It?s time to start paying attention again.

Second and more important, the debate over federal spending and the tradeoff between higher taxes and greater fiscal discipline begins a larger discussion about the nature of the American political system. After 80 years of borrow, spend and inflate to finance the Cold War, Housing Bubbles and the rest of the world?s growth needs, the US economy has reached an endpoint. The experiment in corporate statism begun by FDR in the 1930s and extended through and after WWII has brought us to the brink of insolvency.

Political gridlock in Washington means not only an end to growth in government spending, but also that we are no longer willing to serve as the overdraft account for the world in terms of demand for imported goods and services. As I noted in my 2010 book Inflated, the US has bailed out the no growth states of Europe three times since WWI. Each time our allies in western Europe have defaulted on their debts. Bring the US troops in Europe home, I say, right now.

Asia, likewise, has grown at the expense of American jobs, the bitter legacy of owning the world?s reserve currency. As the US reins in spending and the monetary excesses that created the illusion of economic growth since the 1980s, an illusion funded with inflation and vast amounts of public debt, our ability to bail out the EU will fade. Remember George Washington?s warning about ?European entanglements.?

But the third and most important side effect of the fiscal crisis in Washington is that people around the world will start to diversify both commerce and financial transactions out of dollars and into other currencies. Far from being a threat, I welcome such an evolution. The less of world trade and finance that flows through dollars, the less easy it will be for the Treasury to issue debt or for the Fed to monetize this borrowing on the backs of US consumers and businesses via steady, unrelenting inflation.

Of course Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman rightly notes that a reduction in federal spending will result in pain for many Americans. But what he fails to tell these Americans, especially low income working people he pretends to love, is that the cost of the borrow and spend policies advocated by second generation New Dealers is persistent inflation, a diminution of purchasing power that is just as surely killing the hopes and dreams of all Americans.

I have long argued that a low growth, low inflation environment is better for the working people that the manic, boom and bust cycles caused by big federal deficits and following accommodative Fed policies to make this all seem to work in a nominal sense. Alan Greenspan, after all, was at best a tool; a cog in the machine.

Americans need to understand that we face not a mid-cycle slowdown, to paraphrase the economist Richard Alford, but a post-stimulus adjustment to economic reality. Think post WWII in fact. If this crisis helps to break the cycle of debt and inflation, that is a big plus for America?s long term prospects.

The right choice for Americans is to say no to ever more debt and to instead embrace debt reduction and restructuring of insolvent banks and markets to restore economic solidity. Both in the EU and the US, debt levels by governments and consumers must be reduced to restore national and personal solvency, and thereby start the great growth game all over again.

Do Americans have the courage to make the tough choices, cut spending and also generate more revenue, and thereby set an example for the world? I think the answer is yes, but it may take some time. That is why I am in no hurry to pass the new debt ceiling. A few days or weeks of pain will raise the political temperature in Washington even further and bring all Americans into the proverbial kitchen for a long overdue family discussion about money. And that is a very good thing.

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Old 02-07-2012, 09:24 AM  
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What has hurt American jobs is the huge tax breaks that corporations receive by moving their factories overseas. If we still had those jobs, we would not have the huge deficit.
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Old 02-07-2012, 12:22 PM  
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Originally Posted by Eddie_T View Post
My point was that my liberal friends can't address the debt arguments they just place their trust in the government, as does RA and his friends.
This is a strawman, and an ad hominem argument, and asserts a false premise. First, none of my arguments to date have suggested trust in the government. My arguments have focused on economic realities; they remain relevant whether the government makes intelligent or ignorant lending decisions.

Second, , this argument suggests that my opinion should be ignored because of something I allegedly do. Argue the ideas, not the person. (My previous post did argue against one small aspect of Eddie_T, however, Eddie_T presented that point in argument, and my comments were limited to rebutting that point. My argument could not be considered ad hominem)

Third, I've obviously addressed a wide variety of debt arguments. In this thread alone, I've mentioned at least 7 different concepts that address your debt arguments, and I've raised each and every one of these points - and several others - at length in other threads.

Again, though, Eddie_T's statements continue to support the claims made in the OP.
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Old 02-07-2012, 06:31 PM  
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Originally Posted by Eddie_T View Post
My point was that my liberal friends can't address the debt arguments they just place their trust in the government, as does RA and his friends.

This is a decent article on the subject:
beyond what rival said...... democrats have done a MUCH better job statistically speaking over the last 50 years then the republicans have, both sides have spent tons of money, AGAIN both sides spend money, the difference is where it goes, republicans it goes borrowed and used towards wars (or unfunded things like bush's medicare expansion) - (during the debates we saw that all the republicans are just itching to go to war with Iran, which could very well turn into a much larger war than anything in recent history), with democrats we get taxes that go towards society, that is basically the sum of what occurs. so basically where is it better spent? wars or on ourselves?
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:15 PM  
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Originally Posted by RedJeepXJ View Post
beyond what rival said...... democrats have done a MUCH better job statistically speaking over the last 50 years then the republicans have, both sides have spent tons of money, AGAIN both sides spend money, the difference is where it goes, republicans it goes borrowed and used towards wars (or unfunded things like bush's medicare expansion) - (during the debates we saw that all the republicans are just itching to go to war with Iran, which could very well turn into a much larger war than anything in recent history), with democrats we get taxes that go towards society, that is basically the sum of what occurs. so basically where is it better spent? wars or on ourselves?
Wasted money running up an un-payable debt has no "better spent" condition. The debt continues to grow and by 2020 it will cost a trillion bucks just to service the debt. Where might that trillion be better spent? Both political parties are guilty, but both must grapple with reining in the spending and resolving the debt. What Simpson/Bowles offered didn't even come close to being a solution and it was ignored.
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Old 02-08-2012, 06:18 AM  
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Originally Posted by RedJeepXJ View Post
beyond what rival said...... democrats have done a MUCH better job statistically speaking over the last 50 years then the republicans have, both sides have spent tons of money, AGAIN both sides spend money, the difference is where it goes, republicans it goes borrowed and used towards wars (or unfunded things like bush's medicare expansion) - (during the debates we saw that all the republicans are just itching to go to war with Iran, which could very well turn into a much larger war than anything in recent history), with democrats we get taxes that go towards society, that is basically the sum of what occurs. so basically where is it better spent? wars or on ourselves?
I have to chime in... The whole "spent on ourselves" thing isn't entirely accurate. What it is spent on is "buying" votes. Often, the money (or benefits) end up in the hands of those who will vote for whoever hands out the most. Once it tips over the 50% mark we are doomed as a society.

But yes, I do think we spend too much overseas. Mostly the money we give away to dictators and corrupt governments that we will end up fighting later anyway. It is stupid.
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Old 02-08-2012, 04:30 PM  
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Originally Posted by Eddie_T View Post
Wasted money running up an un-payable debt has no "better spent" condition. The debt continues to grow and by 2020 it will cost a trillion bucks just to service the debt. Where might that trillion be better spent? Both political parties are guilty, but both must grapple with reining in the spending and resolving the debt. What Simpson/Bowles offered didn't even come close to being a solution and it was ignored.
I've explained why "It will cost a trillion bucks just to service the debt" is a narrow-minded and utterly inaccurate viewpoint on government debt. I've explained this in several threads, and you've continuously either ignored me, or failed to comprehend. If you like, I will be happy to explain this point to you (or anyone interested) again. Asking for, listening to, understanding and if necessary, challenging contrary viewpoints would tend to rebut the claims made in the OP; refusing to do so tends to support the claims made in the OP.

You complained that liberals ignore you when you start talking about the debt, I've explained that it is because I believe you misrepresent the debt, and you refuse to accurately address my concerns. Why shouldn't I ignore you? I believe you are wrong, I explain why I believe you're wrong, and you make no effort to prove me wrong!
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Old 02-09-2012, 11:30 AM  
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Some argue that the debt can be resolved through inflation and that we are buying infrastructure in the present and paying for it with inflated dollars. However a very small percentage of the budget is for infrastructure and notes are being redeemed with current dollars and debt is increasing so we are not paying for the infrastructure. Someday resolution will occur but we may not like the method of mitigation.
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