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 Post subject: Re: Congress
PostPosted: Tue December 19, 2017 9:07 pm 
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Looking forward to Susan Collins' book on why fucking over the poor is a feminist act, "Everybody Else is Doing it So Why Can't We"

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 Post subject: Re: Congress
PostPosted: Tue December 19, 2017 10:55 pm 
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So literally one voter decided which party controls Virginia.

Huh.

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 Post subject: Re: Congress
PostPosted: Wed December 20, 2017 4:51 am 
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I just watched two back to back Republican senators say it's fine because most of the tax increase happens to people in "New York and San Francisco."

Added one of the two: "and they deserve it."

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 Post subject: Re: Congress
PostPosted: Wed December 20, 2017 5:02 am 
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Schumer repeatedly having to ask for order as he talks, mostly just repeating stats about how bad the bill is but being talked over constantly by republicans.

"You can pay attention for a few minutes."

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 Post subject: Re: Congress
PostPosted: Wed December 20, 2017 5:37 am 
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Protestors break in on a senate vote, screaming, after midnight.

Just another night in 2017.

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 Post subject: Re: Congress
PostPosted: Wed December 20, 2017 5:39 am 
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That feeling when you are passing a bill after midnight for the low optics and they still storm the gates

Repeatedly

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 Post subject: Re: Congress
PostPosted: Wed December 20, 2017 5:42 am 
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This is the most dramatic senate vote I've ever seen. And the previous record was also this year.

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 Post subject: Re: Congress
PostPosted: Wed December 20, 2017 5:46 am 
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Well they done it

Quote of the year, from a protestor: "Jeff Flake, have you no decency? Have you no shame?"

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 Post subject: Re: Congress
PostPosted: Wed December 20, 2017 6:39 am 
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People only care about deficits when the other team is in power. Such has it always been, and probably always will be.

It would have been a super unsexy bill to drop the corporate tax to 25??? percent or so, eliminate deductions and remain close to revenue neutral, but what lobbyists would have been happy with that?


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 Post subject: Re: Congress
PostPosted: Wed December 20, 2017 1:58 pm 
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simple schoolboy wrote:
People only care about deficits when the other team is in power. Such has it always been, and probably always will be.

I would not say that a bulging deficit is among the 5 worst things about this bill.

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 Post subject: Re: Congress
PostPosted: Wed December 20, 2017 3:09 pm 
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McParadigm wrote:
simple schoolboy wrote:
People only care about deficits when the other team is in power. Such has it always been, and probably always will be.

I would not say that a bulging deficit is among the 5 worst things about this bill.


Rank 'em.

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 Post subject: Re: Congress
PostPosted: Wed December 20, 2017 5:45 pm 
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Bi_3 wrote:
McParadigm wrote:
simple schoolboy wrote:
People only care about deficits when the other team is in power. Such has it always been, and probably always will be.

I would not say that a bulging deficit is among the 5 worst things about this bill.


Rank 'em.

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 Post subject: Re: Congress
PostPosted: Wed December 20, 2017 8:01 pm 
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So, in general I'm inclined to agree with the concept that deficits matter less than the combination of gains that accumulate from productivity, technological innovation, a robust internal economy, and trade influence. Maybe that's wrong, but it's where I'm starting from here.

So with that in mind, I would say that the biggest failures of this bill come not from its flagrant budget busting, but from not maximizing that deficit expansion's effective use.

Specifically, the failure to prioritize things that deliver on the topics listed above. Instead, protecting idle or non-job producing wealth transfer to remarkable extremes, producing or exacerbating conditions that are contrary to American economic self-interest (see: taxing affiliates of American companies on Puerto Rico as if the island were a foreign country), and taking reckless rather than measured approaches to industry-sized decisions (ie ACA mandate repeal). I also think they underestimate how important a sizable, spend-eager lower-to-middle class has been to America's technological innovation successes.

Lastly, I would say that structuring your bill so that a disproportionate amount of the pain falls on areas that are the major players in the nation's economy, and figuring that's a win-win because those people don't vote for you anyway, is a pretty clear sign that economic growth is not the priority of the package.

Beyond that, there are a number of components to the bill that I find morally repugnant. Some are listed above. The enhanced promotion of what is already stunning economic inequality is another. The obvious intention to stripmine social programs to pay for all this is a doozy. And there's also the fact that (as I've said before) I increasingly suspect they wrote it without economic results as a real priority. Give the donors everything they want (some of which will overlap with economic growth principles, so that's free messaging!), because you're getting voted out this year anyway. Then, if the economy collapses, you can just blame the Democrats. If it does well, you can say that you handed them that economy. Meanwhile, giving those donors the absolute maximum has really opened up your own job market. Everyone who matters wins. Economic growth or collapse is less of a concern than making sure that you win either way.

The last thing is, I do think that having a functional and intellectually honest conservative party is a major positive for the nation, so the failure to reassert that here, on what should have been their best return to sanity topic (tax reform, and you don't have to work with democrats?)...and the absolute glee that was taken in forcing a broken process and delivering negative consequences for others...were among the hardest failures for me to take.

I don't expect the party that just tried to elect Roy Moore to do a 180 overnight, but it would've been nice to see some signs that anybody...anybody…was treating this as legislation rather than a looting. I think it's actually understated right now, just how expensive this bill will end up being to the GOP brand. In effect, I think they just sat down with the hard question of "rebuild? Or blow it up and walk away," and they did the most Trumpian thing of all: abandoned the building and let somebody else pay for it.

"Ah ha!" You might say. "But that's exactly what a deficit is!" But as a deficit doesn't have to be an abandonment, or a major payout to coconspirators, this bill couldn't look much worse to my mind.

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 Post subject: Re: Congress
PostPosted: Wed December 20, 2017 11:23 pm 
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I really do :heartbeat: McP, even if we don’t see eye-to-eye on many things.

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 Post subject: Re: Congress
PostPosted: Wed December 20, 2017 11:48 pm 
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We have a mutual appreciation society built largely on repeated disagreement.

Wait that sounds like my brother's marriage.

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 Post subject: Re: Congress
PostPosted: Thu December 21, 2017 1:25 pm 
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Devin Nunes has done more than any living human being to argue the realism of Starscream.

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 Post subject: Re: Congress
PostPosted: Thu December 21, 2017 8:25 pm 
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This year has been pretty good to the Onion.

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 Post subject: Re: Congress
PostPosted: Thu December 21, 2017 8:46 pm 
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McParadigm wrote:
So, in general I'm inclined to agree with the concept that deficits matter less than the combination of gains that accumulate from productivity, technological innovation, a robust internal economy, and trade influence. Maybe that's wrong, but it's where I'm starting from here.

So with that in mind, I would say that the biggest failures of this bill come not from its flagrant budget busting, but from not maximizing that deficit expansion's effective use.

Specifically, the failure to prioritize things that deliver on the topics listed above. Instead, protecting idle or non-job producing wealth transfer to remarkable extremes, producing or exacerbating conditions that are contrary to American economic self-interest (see: taxing affiliates of American companies on Puerto Rico as if the island were a foreign country), and taking reckless rather than measured approaches to industry-sized decisions (ie ACA mandate repeal). I also think they underestimate how important a sizable, spend-eager lower-to-middle class has been to America's technological innovation successes.

Lastly, I would say that structuring your bill so that a disproportionate amount of the pain falls on areas that are the major players in the nation's economy, and figuring that's a win-win because those people don't vote for you anyway, is a pretty clear sign that economic growth is not the priority of the package.

Beyond that, there are a number of components to the bill that I find morally repugnant. Some are listed above. The enhanced promotion of what is already stunning economic inequality is another. The obvious intention to stripmine social programs to pay for all this is a doozy. And there's also the fact that (as I've said before) I increasingly suspect they wrote it without economic results as a real priority. Give the donors everything they want (some of which will overlap with economic growth principles, so that's free messaging!), because you're getting voted out this year anyway. Then, if the economy collapses, you can just blame the Democrats. If it does well, you can say that you handed them that economy. Meanwhile, giving those donors the absolute maximum has really opened up your own job market. Everyone who matters wins. Economic growth or collapse is less of a concern than making sure that you win either way.

The last thing is, I do think that having a functional and intellectually honest conservative party is a major positive for the nation, so the failure to reassert that here, on what should have been their best return to sanity topic (tax reform, and you don't have to work with democrats?)...and the absolute glee that was taken in forcing a broken process and delivering negative consequences for others...were among the hardest failures for me to take.

I don't expect the party that just tried to elect Roy Moore to do a 180 overnight, but it would've been nice to see some signs that anybody...anybody…was treating this as legislation rather than a looting. I think it's actually understated right now, just how expensive this bill will end up being to the GOP brand. In effect, I think they just sat down with the hard question of "rebuild? Or blow it up and walk away," and they did the most Trumpian thing of all: abandoned the building and let somebody else pay for it.

"Ah ha!" You might say. "But that's exactly what a deficit is!" But as a deficit doesn't have to be an abandonment, or a major payout to coconspirators, this bill couldn't look much worse to my mind.

This is fair. I obviously have different complaints about the bill itself, but I agree with most of what you said about the process.

I don't think the deficit portion of the bill reflects malice as much as it simply reveals how disingenuous the deficit hawks were throughout Obama's term really were. I've probably said it here before, but that's one of the things that bothers me the most. I actually believed that some of the deficit hardliners truly felt that deficit spending was unacceptable, the national debt was out of control, etc., and so they were acting in good faith when they decried and voted against Obama's spendthrift ways. Fool me once, I guess.

Personally, I think the government deficit and debt did expand by too much under Obama, but at least in 2009 there were reasonable arguments for why right then deficit spending might be necessary as our economy careened toward the worst recession in 7 decades. If there ever would be an acceptable non-war reason to have a budget deficit it would have been then. Today unemployment is 4.1%, the lowest its been since January 2001, or if you prefer the employment rate is higher than its been since before the great recession. Either way, the economy is not in need of expansionary policies at the moment, and certainly not ones that add $1.5 trillion to the debt (oh btw, studies have shown that the CBO estimates are on average 40% too optimistic when it comes to the federal budget).

I'm all for lower taxes, but to do it without reducing spending is irresponsible. I think McP is right that the next step is major entitlement reform, but it'll probably mostly be the anti-poor type of reform as opposed to the type of changes that are needed to avoid the looming entitlement catastrophe.

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 Post subject: Re: Congress
PostPosted: Thu December 21, 2017 9:28 pm 
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McParadigm wrote:
So literally one voter decided which party controls Virginia.

Huh.

They decided that that one vote was invalid so it's a tie. The results will be decided by a coin toss.

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStor ... e-51906316

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 Post subject: Re: Congress
PostPosted: Fri December 22, 2017 2:45 am 
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what a bunch of d*cks

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