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January 05, 2012

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Ignatz

--As to the House reciprocity bill, I think that goes too far in overturning our Federal system.--

The solution is simple.
They should have required everyone who crosses a state line with a concealed weapon to carry a handful of wheat or their health insurance card with it.

Jack is Back!

I believe there is also a young marine or army grunt who just got nabbed for making the same mistake of asking where he could check his weapon.

Why not institute a DADT kind of policy for CCP from out of state?

Jane

How long before NY gets rid of Bloomberg? He is such bad news. Get Giuliani back.

narciso

I interrupt these meme spoiling with some news


http://www.conservative.org/press/

Captain Hate

narc when I clicked on that link my firefox got so bollixed up I had to reboot.

narciso

Sorry, the point is that Palin will speak at the CPAC closing session,

Captain Hate

Yeah I saw that and imagine that teh Tam will be mentioning that frequently today.

Ranger

At Instapundit this morning:

IF YOU’RE A REPUBLICAN AND YOU’RE UNHAPPY, YOU CAN CHEER YOURSELF UP by reading this “What if Obama loses” symposium in the Washington Monthly. From their PR email:

The Washington Monthly asked a group of distinguished journalists and scholars to think through the likely ramifications of a GOP victory in November. Here’s what they conclude:

David Weigel reports that the Tea Party will control the agenda regardless of which Republican wins the nomination.

Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann predict that there’s a “better-than-even chance” that the Senate filibuster will be destroyed.

David Roberts shows that the GOP won’t eliminate the EPA, but will permanently cripple it.

Harold Pollack disabuses liberals of the hope that health care reform can survive a Republican presidency.

Dahlia Lithwick writes that one more round of judicial appointments by a Republican president will lead to a generation of anti-government rulings no future Democrat can undo.

Plus: Jonathan Bernstein on why campaign promises matter; Michael Konczal on the end of Dodd-Frank; James Traub on the GOP’s “more enemies, fewer friends” doctrine; and Paul Glastris on why, this time, conservative anti-government aspirations will be fulfilled.

Let's hope they are correct.

Extraneus

It's not just an out-of-state issue, either. NY City doesn't even have reciprocity with its own state.

Anyone with a NY State CCW permit who accidentally forgets to leave his weapon home during a short trip over the NY City border - even a guy from Yonkers who takes a wrong turn and accidentally crosses the line - is eligible for this same mandatory 3 1/2 yr prison sentence. It's nuts.

Ignatz

John Tamny on deficits and the real problem; spending.

Captain Hate

Of course it's the spending. I was at a party on New Years and a woman asked me if I thought all millionaires should get together and say "Let's pay more and get rid of this deficit; don't you think that would solve the problem?" To which I said "No; the big spenders will just start spending again." I don't know if I convinced her but she didn't roll her eyes and go away.

Old Lurker

The point is Cap'n that the millionaires don't actually make enough to eliminate the deficit even if they contribute all of it. (Though it gets tricky how one defines millionaire...)

Jane

narc when I clicked on that link my firefox got so bollixed up I had to reboot.

Me too, it messed me up badly.

Captain Hate

OL, it was a party and I had to give a short answer that would address what she posed. I have a feeling that if I'd said what you suggested (which I agree with) it might have produced a discussion going nowhere on that.

Ignatz

Tamny's point is it's actually better, given a budget of $3 trillion, to run a deficit of $1.5 trillion than to run no deficit at all.
That whatever wealth is destroyed by the debt racked up is still less than what would be destroyed were the government confiscating sufficient capital to fund itself fully.

jimmyk

Me too, it messed me up badly.

I had no problem with it.

MarkO

It struck me in the night. Obama is Nixon.

Captain Hate

Well yes; deficits are ok per se if they're producing a robust and growing economy. Other countries have an ample reason to buy the debt in those cases. El JEFe keeps pretending that that's what is or will happen.

Captain Hate

jimmyk, do you use firefox (I went to see what version it is and an update started)?

jimmyk

Yes, version 9.0.1.

pagar

" real problem; spending."

"President Obama has finally found a segment of government spending he is willing to cut: national defense."

http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2012/01/05/obama-announces-major-ground-troop-cut/

narciso

No, he's Henry Wallace, the second coming of.

Ignatz

I'm running the latest Firefox and didn't have any problems either.

Porchlight

That whatever wealth is destroyed by the debt racked up is still less than what would be destroyed were the government confiscating sufficient capital to fund itself fully.

Confiscation or voluntary transfer (per the woman at the party's idea) - same effect. Let's pretend it is possible that millionaires and billionaires could come together and collectively pay off the deficit. What would happen to the economy if $1.5 trillion were suddenly taken out of it?

jimmyk

That whatever wealth is destroyed by the debt racked up is still less than what would be destroyed were the government confiscating sufficient capital to fund itself fully.

That's close to Reagan's "take away their allowance argument," more like "Don't increase their allowance." But those debts have to get paid back at some point, one way or another. Inflation, here we come.

jimmyk

What would happen to the economy if $1.5 trillion were suddenly taken out of it?

Unfortunately we're already seeing that--employment down 5% from the peak, housing prices continuing to collapse, etc. The $1.5 trillion is already gone, we just used a credit card while we figure out how we're going to pay for it.

Old Lurker

Well 66% of Federal Spending is handing money out to others.

20% pay almost all the taxes already so right there you have achieved a redistribution objective of current income flows.

Excess spending becomes Federal Debt and it too is either "carried" (interest paid) by the spending funded by that top 20%, or else it will be paid back by their children in the future.

It will not be paid back by the children of the 80%. So that achieves a redistributional goal of assets just as effectively as income was redistributed above.

That means that, while a <$5T debt might have be repaid in a generation, $15+T cannot possibly (not to mention the five times that which represents "promises" made but not booked. So that locks in generations of future redistribution even if rational governance takes over and the budget is balanced overnight.

Mission Accomplished.

Captain Hate

Dunno jimmyk; I've got an earlier version (I think) and I got a continual stream of boxes saying a facebook script was being unresponsive and I couldn't get rid of it. I finally just rebooted.

Ranger

Mission Accomplished.

Well, it doesn't seem to be working out that well in Europe right now. They are either going to have to start running the printing presses non-stop or stop giving out all that "free money", because in very short order, no one will have any spare cash to loan us.

rse

jimmyk-

I posted on Sen on the previous thread on my concerns. LUN is a link to a particular story.

Would love your thoughts.

Thomas Collins

TM, the right to travel is an integral part of our federal system. NYC's gun laws pose an impermissible burden thereon. This is an area that is quite appropriate for federal legislation. See LUN for an example of a potential application of NYC's gun laws that illustrates my point.

I realize that the House's approach might be argued to be overbroad. However, legislation that would protect citizens in the diverted plane situation described in the LUN, and that would impose a requirement on each state to publicize at the state's borders its gun control laws, would be appropriate. I also think that a federal law mandating a good faith exception is in order.

It is not necessary to the federal system to deny travellers protection against loonies such as Bloomberg.

Ignatz

If you haven't read Tamny's article it's worth it.
His point is that the spending itself is a destroyer of wealth and that there is a difference between taxation and debt.
As jimmy says it has to be paid back eventually but in those decades prior to the bill coming due we are better off paying the interest on that debt and accumulating more wealth all those decades especially as it compounds than stagnating without debt but also without wealth as fully funding leviathan drastically cuts wealth creation.
That was Reagan's great insight but what he didn't know was just how much credit people would extend before leviathan was starved.
As Greece demonstrates, quite a lot.

Funniest thing I've read all day and that's saying a lot.

Weich: 'Please do hesitate' as a slip instead of 'Please do not hesitate'.

From n's 12:45 link.
================

Cecil Turner

It will not be paid back by the children of the 80%. So that achieves a redistributional goal of assets just as effectively as income was redistributed above.

Yep. Until the pyramid collapses. Speaking of which, Romney was "fact-checked" a while back on growth of federal government, and PolitiFact suggested transfer payments didn't really count (since it was government payouts to people), and besides:

And it’s worth noting that Social Security and Medicare -- the drivers of government growth -- are among the most popular of all government programs.
I'm sure that's true, because for the recipients, it's free money. But the overall effect is pernicious:
Transfers are the largest and fastest growing type of spending. Congress should cut all types of transfers including Social Security benefits, health care spending, and business subsidies. Transfers produce a mirage that the government is creating a net flow of income to the people, but the reality is that every dollar of spending comes from taxes on current and future workers, savers, and small businesses. Those taxes get cycled through the sausage factory on Capitol Hill and redirected to favored groups, but the nation is worse off because of the economic damage done and wasteful bureaucracy created.
That's the main issue in the coming election; and reform, if it happens, is going to be ugly and unpopular, much like the Greek fiasco. It also seems to me Mitt is uniquely unsuited to make the argument, but that's another topic.

Ignatz

The Volokh Conspiracy is supposedly a fairly conservative site, but virtually every time I go there I get pissed off after reading what lawyers, even supposedly conservative ones, can do to common sense and good governance.
Anybody else have that experience?

MarkO

Well, maybe. But, Maximus Santorum is a big government guy who says things that I doubt would find purchase here. I can't see Maximus slimming the government, should he even get near to winning.

jimmyk

rse, I'm about to step on a plane, but will try to get to it.

Rick Ballard

"It also seems to me Mitt is uniquely unsuited to make the argument"

Cecil,

Lie back and think of his credentials. If that doesn't do the trick, give some thought to the amazing perspicacity shown in his selection of progenitor.

That should make it easy to swear the oath of fealty required by the nonexistent establishment. If not, a promise to buy one serving of MittBrand on November 6, 2012, assuming that a sufficient quantity of MittBrand has been sold prior to the convention, of course.

rse

ignatz-

Thanks for posting that above. That's the argument I had on New Years at my home with finance prof bil who insisted that more govt spending was the answer to the eco weaknesses here. He specifically mentioned Greece and Ireland. When I pointed out that dollar the govt takes only buys about 40 to 60 cents in goods and services vs say $2 if it stayed in pvt he was genuinely shocked. I left it alone after telling him he could not possibly had read the Austrians if he characterized them as every man for himself.

He brought up the Austrians concerned I had been explaining such doctrines to Red. He's teaching students like economies are a series of math equations and models. I also got a funny look when I said economies are not a fixed pie.

Ranger

BTW, in case you've lost track, things in Egypt are progressing about as exspected:

Hosni Mubarak: Egypt prosecutors seek death penalty

The generals may think that such a specticle will sooth the masses, but the French Revolution might be a good place for them to start reading.

Watch him grow longer horns every time the pundits lie.

Here's an ugly irony coming down the pike. Much as we regret Mitt's insufficient conservative creds, the MSM will paint him as too conservative, probably off of imaginary social conservative attitudes.
===============

lyle

The Washington Monthly asked a group of distinguished journalists and scholars...

Uh huh. Distinguished by what and whom?

Captain Hate

Anybody else have that experience?

Yes; they mostly seem like effing libs to me.

Cecil Turner

Santorum has an incredibly thin resume, but his one significant achievement is welfare reform. I am no Santorum fan, but to contrast him is not an effective reommendation for Romney's supposed conservatism.

Lie back and think of his credentials.

Heh. Thanks for that. It ought to be interesting to see how the NLRB appointments play out, vis-a-vis Romney and Obama. Romney's accusing the President of Chicago-style politics, and Administration catspaws are ginning up the class warfare battle. Seems to me it's a harbinger of things to come (and that the hopey changey crowd have a well-developed playbook for it).

Captain Hate

Mega McCannz to Crazy Larry: If my dad had, you know, like, endorsed Santorum I'd be like, you know, slitting my wrists if I could make it through teh cellulite.

daddy

Breaking, but not unexpected:

Report says global climate deal hinges on Obama reelection:

Save The Planet---Vote Obama.

lyle

The nurse was carrying crushed aspirin for her migraines, which led to the drug allegation.

Barry would know the difference.

Ignatz

--I am no Santorum fan...--

Me neither but I'd say his resume is somewhat thicker than just welfare reform. Some of it I'd prefer not seeing in a resume but it's still there.

Sue

I wish someone on our side would go back and pull Hugo Chavez videos from when he was running for president of Venezuela the first time. I think the country would be surprised to see the similarities in what Chavez said and what Obama says..."save the middle class"...the last thing Chavez wanted to do was save the middle class. The middle class barely exists in Venezuela anymore.

JM Hanes

Cecil:

I certainly agree that redistribution is going strong, but how is Social Security "free money?" There may be better ways to do it, but if you haven't been paying in, you don't get money out.

Politifact did their usual half-assed job on Romney's comparison of government "consumption" today vs. the Kennedy era. He was talking about the combined depredations of federal, state and local governments, not the growth of federal government alone.

Ranger

Oh My (via Instapundit):

“General Motors will strengthen the structure around the batteries in its Volt electric cars to keep them safe during crashes, a person briefed on the matter said Thursday. GM will ask Volt owners to return the cars to dealers for structural modifications, said the person, who did not want to be identified because GM executives plan to announce the repairs later Thursday.”

Old Lurker

JMH, even if there were a 1:1 relationship to the NPV of the cash paid in by a worker and the NPV of all benefits taken out by that worker and his family (which there is not), the plain fact is that under the theory that all money is fungible, all those FICA payments were really just taxes like all other taxes and have been spent on general budget things. It's gone. So why should a future worker have to work to make good on payments to a generation that was so profligate in it's spending that it squandered the payments to something called FICA on things they consumed themselves?

Captain Hate

how is Social Security "free money?" There may be better ways to do it, but if you haven't been paying in, you don't get money out.

Are you sure that's true in terms of payments to dependents of disabled people?

Dave (in MA)

Speaking of Hugo, his nephew is running for Barney Frank's seat.

Ignatz

--I certainly agree that redistribution is going strong, but how is Social Security "free money?"--

If you get more out than you put in, including whatever interest the disappearing surplus supposedly earned, then that portion of it is certainly "free" in the sense that someone else is paying for it.
The only people for whom it won't be free are the poor dumb youngsters with a negative rate of return.

Old Lurker

Sue I think Chavez has been the role model all along. Ayers has been the go between.

Jane

It's not the least bit true. Non-citizen on a green card who never worked here collect social security.

NK

Old Lurker-- the moral argument you make regarding future workers paying to the current profligate generation, is besides the point. SS was a flim flam scheme from the beginning. In 1937 the sysytem promised payments to 65yo retirees when life expectency was 61. SS was political snake oil from day one. In post WWII America, as life expectency rocketed past 61, (up to 80 now), the scheme was bailed out by the Baby Boom worker numbers, then tax increases. The Baby Boomers are now entitled SS beneficiaries. The Ponzi Scheme music has stopped and the house of cards is collapsing. It's like the day in November 2008, when Madoff couldn't make good on customer demands for account funds. There is nothing there to pay them off. This isn't about morality, this is straight arithmatic. There is NO MONEY to make good on the promises.

Sue

My brother in law left Venezuela in the late 90s but his brother, sister and extended family is still there. He is scared to death of Obama.

Frau Unterrock

Weich: 'Please do hesitate' as a slip instead of 'Please do not hesitate'.

Kim, it *may* be a typo as there is another:
"We regret that we have been unable to assist you with your request. Please do hesitate to contact this office it (sic) we may provide further information on this this, or any other matter."

Then again, the lack Of "not" may have been subconscious writing. (cross dresser Freud's underwear)

rse

OL-

Remember the way BO beamed at him when they met at an OAS conference or something in the first few months.

sue-Heaven on Earth profiles Tanganika I think where the leaders were willing to impose poverty on all rather than have an independent, aspiring, hustling middle class. Actual planned policy.

Not dependent unless public sector. Not rent seekers. Therefore intolerable.

daddy

Well since Obama isn't obeying the Law, why the heck should the Chinese?

Top China airlines to ignore EU Carbon Tax:

"China's biggest airlines will not pay a new European Union tax aimed at cutting carbon emissions, their trade body has said...
the China Air Transport Association said that its members would not co-operate with the ETS (Emissions Trading Scheme)."

"China has warned that it may implement retaliatory measures against the levy."

Frau Federhalter

Another feather for the Kennedy family!

“Pretty amazing,” Senate President Therese Murray said after the speech. “I think we have a new Kennedy. He hit that one right out of the ballpark. ... Another historic speech from another Kennedy.”

Beats working, doesn't it?

Appalled

narciso:

No, he's Henry Wallace, the second coming of.

Wallace, before he entered government, was a pretty impressive figure. Obama, not so much. Obama is Obama, and that's unfortunate enough.

Captain Hate

"China has warned that it may implement retaliatory measures against the levy."

I don't think that's an accurate translation: I think they really said "Suck it, round-eyed Eurotrash bitchezz".

pagar

Sue, every person in America should be. His treatment of Congress is just one of the ways that they are very much alike.

Old Lurker

I know, NK, I know.

Making the moral argument that a future worker is somehow obligated to make payments to their parents (who spent their own contribution on themselves and their friends)is like passing a law requiring all investors in Madoff to continue sending him new money.

In my book, all payments to FICA were simply taxes, and all payments out of FICA are welfare. If we still had a Congress that debated and passed budgets which then bound the President, then we could each year re-debate the size of the tax and the welfare and then arrive at answers the way the Founders intended.

But if one had any idea that we operate by some written charter or law, Obama's actions this week should pop that bubble.

daddy

And you thought the new compact fluorescent lightbulbs took a long time to come on.

David Brooks on Obama:

“He’s certainly more liberal than I thought he was."

Ignatz

--Another feather for the Kennedy family!--

They never shut up, feather or no.

NK

OL Said: "Making the moral argument that a future worker is somehow obligated to make payments to their parents (who spent their own contribution on themselves and their friends)is like passing a law requiring all investors in Madoff to continue sending him new money." BINGO-- you have succinctly summarized american FICA and the Euro cradle to grave welfare state. It is a Ponzi Scheme; the only reason it isn't a crime, is because, well, the Government is doing it. As more people understand this, it will go one of two ways-- disgust and politicians will be tarred and feathered, or... the american people WON'T CARE, and they'll demand their share (like in Greece and Italy). Time will tell.

Ignatz

--In 1937 the sysytem promised payments to 65yo retirees when life expectency was 61.--

NK, the large majority of the lower life expectancy back then was infant and childhood mortality. Once you made it past those a whole lot of people lived to 75 and 80.
Now, some of course is due to life extending medicine, but most is not.

NK

Daddy-- Brooks seems like a nice man; certainly he would be a delight to be with at a round of golf, or a couple of sets of squash. But he is a fool.

Sue

pagar,

I know. I not only have my own fears of him, but my b-i-l feeds his fears to me and damn, it's enough to believe in conspiracies.

Charlie (Colorado)

t's not the least bit true. Non-citizen on a green card who never worked here collect social security.

Huh? how?

I'm going through all sorts of Social Security stuff because of my mother, and they must have asked us for her qualifying working time at least a thousand times.

NK

Ignatz--

SORRY-- just not true. Go check mortality charts for WORKING MEN in 1937. Few men would ever get retirement benefits, and if they did, it would not be for long. No FICA was consciously designed as welfare for surving widows -- not the retiring men workers -- they would be dead before or shortly after 65yo. the surviving widows got a pittance, but they never paid in in the first place. FICA as "retirement money" is a post-WWII urban legend that was fostered by our politician robber barons. They patched it up with tax increases, but simple arithmatic showed FICA would collapse when Boomers retired. And it has.

NK

Ignatz-- just to make sure I made my point, FICA retirement benefits cost the taxpayers orders of magnitude more than survivor benefits. The New Dealers plan was to pay current widows with current workers FICA taxes. The current workers' future widows would be paid by future workers. The New dealers didn't expect workers to reach 65 routinely-- workplace accidents, heart attacks, etc would take care of that. It was a demographic bet-- and for many complex demographic reasons, the bet has exploded in our faces like a trick cigar.

Clarice

who writes the speeches for the semi literate Kennedy scions now that Sorenson is dead?

Old Lurker

Iggy, I'm not sure about that. I believe that when SS was finally passed something like 5% of the population was 65 or older. Today I think that group is over 12% and even that is probably skewed by the age distribution of the new arrivals from south of the border. I think the >70, >80, >90 figures are similar, but I have not seen those in a long time.

Ranger

Brooks seems like a nice man; certainly he would be a delight to be with at a round of golf, or a couple of sets of squash. But he is a fool.

Kind of describes the vast majority of the crednetialed moronotocracy I would say. Nicest people in the world, but fools, because they believe they know so much more than they really do, because they have degrees from the right schools.

NK

OL-- and the vast majority of the 1937 65+ were surviving widows, who did not get "retirement" benefits, as they never paid in. The 'lowest" ssn # 001-01-0001" was issued to a farmer's wife who never paid in, but got survivor's benefits. The first worker to die after paying in, got no retirement benefits as he left this world at age 61 (his wife got survivor benefits); the first WORKER to receive RETIREMENT benefits paid in like $20+, and was paid $22,000+ in retirement benefits. Well, there's your acturarial problem right there! here's a cool little link: http://people.howstuffworks.com/social-security-number6.htm

NK

Ranger-- in my experience the problem with the morontocracy you describe is that they -- DON'T KNOW, what they DON'T KNOW.

Ranger

NK, exactly. They think their degrees equate knowledge.

Clarice

I doubt my grandfather paid much in as SS started rather late in this work life but he lived to be 88--*bingo* a SS winnah.

NK

Ranger-- they may have some knowledge-- wisdom to learn what they don't know? no way

Clarice-- congrats on your grandfather's long life. But him being a winnah shows the vagueries of SS RETIREMENT benefits. Read any history of SS and you'll see that this trainwreck was bound to happen given post WWII longevity, the Boomer bulge and women entering the workforce and becoming retirement benefit elgible.

Ranger

I would argue they don't even have much knowledge. We've seen first hand the kind of simplistic Marxist tripe that passes for "political studies" posted here by a guy with a Yale PhD.

NK

Ranger-- as British soccer fans say-- harsh but fair.

Jim Miller

Ignatz - Volokh is a libertarian site, not a conservative site.

daddy

"in my experience the problem with the morontocracy you describe is that they -- DON'T KNOW, what they DON'T KNOW."

I bye that. I think that going to the right School they take it as a given that they are the best and the brightest. Worse, once they see flaws in the arguments proposed by their teachers, (the best of the best and the brightest), they then decide, not that they are surrounded and taught by incompetent boobs, but rather that they are even smarter than they originally thought because they can see some flaws in what they are being taught by their credentialed geniuses.

It seems to me to be a self perpetuating cycle of "I'm brilliant because I'm here, and if you're not here you're not brilliant."

Back to Founding Father Ben Franklin: He described Harvard College as a temple where wealth rather than merit guaranteed admittance to “dunces and blockheads” who graduated “as great blockheads as ever, only more proud and self-conceited .”

Jim Miller

Charlie (Colorado) Non-citizens who are here legally can collect Supplemental Security Income benefits.

The program isn't social security, but it is administered by the Social Security bureaucracy.

(Some years ago, there was a minor scandal because elderly folks from Taiwan were coming here to stay with their kids, and then telling authorities that the kids wouldn't support them any more. There were actually entrepeneurs in Taiwan (and probably other places) selling booklets explaining how to work the system.)

NK

Daddy-- you cover the elites issue fabulously. Back in the day, we just had rich idiot legacies going to these places, now with massive endowments and massive tuition for the merit admitees, the elite schools have created an new class of entitlement affirmative action morons. one of those is the POTUS.

daddy

OT, since it's a State thing,

But just to advise that non-US Citizen residents of Alaska receive PFD checks.

Frau Bauchrednerin

Clarice, there are no *new* speeches. Sorensen speaks on across the ages as those semi literate Kennedy lips move.

Clarice

Ah so, Honorable frau,

narciso

Oratory has taken a nose dive, since 1960 though.

Threadkiller

The Self-Evident Truth of Self-Defense

"Today the House will consider HR 822, a long-overdue measure to assure that states recognize the concealed weapons permits issued by other states.

This very simple measure has unleashed a firestorm of protests from the political left. I noted one polemicist, who obviously has not read the Constitution, fumed that this is a Constitutional violation of states’ rights enshrined in the tenth amendment.

What nonsense. Article IV of the Constitution could not possibly be more clear: “Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records, and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.”

It is precisely this article that requires one state to recognize driver’s licenses, birth certificates or arrest warrants issued by another state. Without it we are not a union but a loose confederation...."

http://mcclintock.house.gov/2011/11/hr-822.shtml

The video is great!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DZYMVIkjgo

JM Hanes

Old Lurker:

I don't know if others have covered this ground in my absence, but while Social Security may be a disaster, there are no I.O.U.s when Congress spends your "taxes," and I don't think it's fairly framed as just another handout either. When the working public, who could otherwise invest their money in entities from which they could expect a 1+ return (and/or in life insurance), are forced to "invest" in a government sink hole, the deferred income they eventually receive is hardly "free." Aren't those the very constraints which have generated the specific alternatives Republicans have been advancing?

JM Hanes

Old Lurker, Part Deux (c/o Typepad):

That said, however, I have clipped your entire 12:36 post to my Foundational Talking Points File!

It seems like the only way out of the debt swamp is to slash spending and grow the economy, or, rather let the economy grow, doesn't it? One of the biggest stumbling blocks for Republicans is that the lower taxes=increased revenues argument is a lot harder to make to the average voter, than the argument that you can just pay off $X of debt by raising $X of taxes (from the folks with money to spare, of course).

There is a time lag of uncertain length before the benefits of lower taxes are realized, which makes the association hard to convey in a compelling, concrete way. Nor is there any algorithm which the CBO could use to calculate that effect, even if they weren't constrained to assuming a persistent status quo.

Unless, and until, economic growth kicks in, weaning the public wholesale from subsidies is a political impossibility. This is something that Paul Ryan seems to understand, if a lot of would be reformers do not. "Some" (:-) are convinced that we can, or must, just rip the bandaid off and stoically suffer the consequences, but I see no surer way of getting booted out of office before being able to cement the structural changes that altering our long term trajectory requires.

Even if Republicans take Washington by storm, we're still going to have to find a politically feasible sweet spot between minor surgeries and mass amputations going forward, and we're going to need a lot of the "establishment" Republicans already in office, whose heads are so regularly demanded here, to do it. We certainly need new folks to light a fire under them, but freshmen in Congress don't know enough about how government actually works to turn anything around on their own. Some of them won't even have cut their teeth on Robert's Rules of Order.

Ignatz

--Ignatz--

SORRY-- just not true. Go check mortality charts for WORKING MEN in 1937.--.

OL and NK,

I did.
This chart should settle things, I hope.
In the mid thirties a guy aged 60 could expect to live about 15 more years.
Now he can expect to live about 20 more years.
This one only goes back to 1950, but its numbers for males 65 years old are 13 years and 17 years for 1950 and 2007 respectively which is very close percentage-wise to the one above.
This one says 12 years in 1940 and 16 in 2003. BTW women were only 2 or 3 years ahead of men.

Of course there were fewer people aged 65 and older back then. Mainly, as I said, because when you die in childhood it's extremely difficult to make it into the 65 year old cohort, not because guys were working on Henry Ford's assembly line until their coworkers brought out their birthday cake with 65 candles on it and they automatically keeled over and were carried out to the slag heap.

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