Weekly discussion 24 (1/13/13-1/20/13): $1 trillion coin

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Re: Weekly discussion (4/28-5/5): Birtherism and politics

Postby Valhallen » Wed May 11, 2011 8:20 pm

Weekly discussion 17 (5/11-5/18): The debt ceiling

The debt ceiling is a legal cap on how big the US federal debt can get, so if it is reached while running a deficit, various things will find themselves without sufficient funds, such as payment of interest on the national debt. It's getting pretty close now. There is some controversy over whether or not it should be raised. Not raising it would be bad.

So, thoughts from Spam?
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Re: Weekly discussion (5/11-5/18): The debt ceiling

Postby Icha » Wed May 11, 2011 9:38 pm

Wait, so if we don't raise the debt cap things get messed up? Then what are we waiting for?
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Re: Weekly discussion (5/11-5/18): The debt ceiling

Postby Littlisk » Wed May 11, 2011 9:55 pm

I suppose it would revolve around what needs to be paid in full and what can be paid at minimum interest. A higher debt cap could help stimulate parts of the economy thats struggling.
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Re: Weekly discussion (5/11-5/18): The debt ceiling

Postby Valhallen » Wed May 11, 2011 10:51 pm

icha_icha_paradise wrote:Wait, so if we don't raise the debt cap things get messed up? Then what are we waiting for?
It seems that some people in Congress are looking to hold the country hostage to get political concessions.

Littlisk wrote:A higher debt cap could help stimulate parts of the economy thats struggling.
The debt ceiling has never been met. It has never served to limit government spending. Raising the ceiling represents continuing the status quo. That said, running into the debt ceiling would result in a sudden drop in government spending, which would be bad for the economy on its own. It's just that the fallout from defaulting on the debt would be so much worse that it's more in the focus.
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Re: Weekly discussion (5/11-5/18): The debt ceiling

Postby Valhallen » Tue May 17, 2011 1:28 am

UPDATE: Apparently the debt ceiling was reached some time on Monday. "Emergency actions" like raiding pension funds are keeping things going for now, but unless something is done, supposedly loans will start defaulting in early August.



Also, apparently the debt ceiling was reached in 2004, and such emergency measures were taken then, so we're not in uncharted territory yet. It's just that this time around, it's not a given that it will be raised in time.
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Re: Weekly discussion (5/11-5/18): The debt ceiling

Postby Icha » Tue May 17, 2011 6:16 pm

Why did we need a debt cap in the first place?
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Re: Weekly discussion (5/11-5/18): The debt ceiling

Postby Q.U. » Tue May 17, 2011 6:44 pm

Let's discuss the public option the GOP added to insurance companies, the one which does in fact work retroactively.
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Re: Weekly discussion (5/11-5/18): The debt ceiling

Postby Valhallen » Wed May 18, 2011 2:22 am

icha_icha_paradise wrote:Why did we need a debt cap in the first place?
It's not really needed, but it's there for a reason. Originally, Congress directly authorized acquisition of debt, but World War I needed a lot of stuff to be done, so Congress delegated authority on specifics while constraining total debt to a certain amount. It's supposed to be a check on the Executive branch, though it hasn't really been useful for that.

Q.U. wrote:Let's discuss the public option the GOP added to insurance companies, the one which does in fact work retroactively.
As in property insurance rather than health insurance?
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Re: Weekly discussion (5/11-5/18): The debt ceiling

Postby Q.U. » Wed May 18, 2011 4:09 am

As in property insurance rather than health insurance?

Exactly.

Though I'd expected that some ignorant Rep would come out yelling that the GOP doesn't support public option at all, because it's socialism/Nazism/islamofacism etc.
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Re: Weekly discussion (5/11-5/18): The debt ceiling

Postby Rough Giraffe » Fri May 20, 2011 4:34 pm

Right, so, Debt Ceiling. (I'm still underway right now so I can't do the heavy research required for, say, that monster of a post in the WTFrick thread, but I can at least look at a few Googled links.)

There are pros and cons to having a debt ceiling--on the one hand, it attempts to restrict government spending and power, and impose fiscal responsibility. On the other hand, if the debt becomes high enough that no more debt can be added on legally, certain government agencies (CIA, FBI, Military, etc.) either shut down, or else basically have unpaid employees, at least until they figure out what to do. I've always held that proverbs hold the best messages; however, they also seem to be very forgettable, which is another problem: no one teaches proverbs in school anymore. What's with that? Proverbs like "A fool and his money are soon parted," or "Pay beforehand was never well served" are as essential to today's thinking as they have been in the past. And yet no one passes this wisdom on to their children. I wonder why?

@Q.U.: Why should the government not subsidize insurance companies? Explain, in detail, what is wrong with it, because I'm not sure I understand your concern.

@Val: In that first link you posted, it reads "They might want to spend so much money deliberately, to cause a collapse and then pretend to be the saviors of society, as the late Richard A. Cloward and his widow, Frances Fox Piven, told them to do 46 years ago."

I assume that if you are linking it you fully support it as credible. That said, do you believe that those in power are trying to do that? It would certainly make sense, the way things have been going.

Also, when I say "Those In Power" I'm not talking about the ones "we think" are in power. The ones who really run it.

Valhallen wrote:The debt ceiling has never been met. It has never served to limit government spending. Raising the ceiling represents continuing the status quo. That said, running into the debt ceiling would result in a sudden drop in government spending, which would be bad for the economy on its own. It's just that the fallout from defaulting on the debt would be so much worse that it's more in the focus.

So what's stopping us from cutting spending? And please don't say "the Republicans," the Democrats are just as guilty of it as they are.
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Re: Weekly discussion (5/11-5/18): The debt ceiling

Postby Q.U. » Fri May 20, 2011 5:12 pm

@Q.U.: Why should the government not subsidize insurance companies? Explain, in detail, what is wrong with it, because I'm not sure I understand your concern.

How is this suddenly about subsidies? Read again, I'll write slowly. GOP. ADDED. PUBLIC OPTION. TO INSURANCE. OF PROPERTY. AND IT CAN. BE APPLIED. RETROACTIVELY. SO THAT. ONE GOP SENATOR. CAN GET HIS. INSURANCE CLAIM. WHICH WAS DENIED. BY THE PRIVATE COMPANY. BY WHICH. HIS HOUSE. WAS INSURED.

THIS MEANS. PRIVATE INSURANCE COMPANY. DENIES TO PAY. A REPUBLICAN. SO HE. MAKES IT. SO THAT. THE COUNTRY. WILL PAY HIM. FOR IT. ANYWAY.

YOU. READ. NOW.
http://ontd-political.livejournal.com/4170066.html

The subsidy built into that bill was one thing. Another thing was actually them admitting that they think the public option is good, but still denying to allow it in healthcare. Additionally, the retroactive part. Democrats see people lose their homes and not getting insurance claims, so they felt bad and wanted to support them. And of course, the only reason GOP helped, was because they would get paid too.
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Re: Weekly discussion (5/11-5/18): The debt ceiling

Postby Rough Giraffe » Mon May 23, 2011 9:24 pm

Why are you getting angry at me? I didn't do anything. "Retroactive insurance" is a dumbass idea. I'm not the one who suggested it. And you still haven't explained why *subsidies* to insurance companies offend you. And I don't really appreciate the idea of a "Public Option," either. Giving the government more power usually leads to someone abusing that power for their own gain. It's much better to keep government relatively small, with just enough control to keep things from deteriorating to chaos.

If you don't like what someone in congress is doing, why don't you stage a protest? The first amendment gives any US Citizen the right to--oh, right, you're in that OTHER country. I forgot.
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Re: Weekly discussion (5/11-5/18): The debt ceiling

Postby NeoWarrior7 » Mon May 23, 2011 9:31 pm

Ruff, giving anybody more power typically leads to them abusing it for personal gain.
Corporations, being profit based, quite simply tend to do this faster.
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Re: Weekly discussion (5/11-5/18): The debt ceiling

Postby Rough Giraffe » Tue May 24, 2011 2:17 am

And that means, what, exactly? Humans--and by extension, Corporations--are susceptible to corruption, therefore...? Are you trying to say that corporate corruption is worse than government corruption? I would argue the inverse: that government corruption is worse. The government makes the laws; the corporations do not. The fact that corporations--or rather, businesses in general--are profit -oriented means nothing. A simple understanding of economics shows that, with a few exceptions, businesses need to make a profit in order to stay in business.

Just because a corporation becomes successful--even to the point of making billions of dollars per year--does not mean they are corrupt. Dole Foods is a multi-billion-dollar corporation, and I don't hear anyone saying the founder or any of its CEOs are corrupt.

Does anyone have anything to say about the Debt Ceiling?
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Re: Weekly discussion (5/11-5/18): The debt ceiling

Postby Q.U. » Tue May 24, 2011 6:36 am

No debt ceiling. You wouldn't be in this deep debt if SOMEBODY didn't spend all the money Clinton saved up by the end of his presidency on some cowboy poetry benefits and tax cuts for all.

Oh, and to give you a good clue about public option in healthcare.

You ever heard of OECD countries? It's the country club of the UN, the richest, most developed, most influential countries of all. Currently 34 countries belong. And guess what. Only 3 don't have public health insurance or public option in health insurance. Out of those 3, 2 don't have it only because they couldn't afford it (Mexico and Turkey). And I think by now you guessed who the 3rd one is, hmm? It's hilarious how Americans are so afraid of a powerful government, and of letting the government run anything substantial. And whenever confronted by such an idea they scream to the full capacity of their lungs "SOCIALISM!!! COMMUNISM!!! NAZISM!!! ISLAMOFACISM!!!" etc. It's funny to see a fresh new little country get such preconceived ideas and so much prejudice against things they never truly came in contact with within their 235 year long life as an independent country. And will instead mock the economic and political solutions of their "elders" including their mother country.
Not to mention the hypocrisy of the states complaining about the federal government's power, and then later whining to it for relief aid in times of a cataclysm, or bailout money in times of recession.

The American fixation on personal freedom and low government control or regulation will become your downfall one day.
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Re: Weekly discussion (5/11-5/18): The debt ceiling

Postby Rough Giraffe » Tue May 24, 2011 10:46 am

Q.U. wrote:The American fixation on personal freedom and low government control or regulation will become your downfall one day.
...is this based on the fact that America was founded on the idea of personal freedoms and moderate government?

There is a huge difference between a government gaining more and more power to restrict things it doesn't want us to do (smoke marijuana, drink alcohol, use coal power) and using taxpayer money to assist taxpayers in their time of need. Some people might call that Socialism, just like I might call a tsunami a killing spree from the All-Powerful Earth God. But wasn't it you yourself who said (or was it DaCrum, I forget) that taxes are for "services rendered?" What is disaster relief from the government if not "services rendered?"
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Re: Weekly discussion (5/11-5/18): The debt ceiling

Postby Q.U. » Tue May 24, 2011 1:22 pm

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Now ran by Glen Beck.
This just in!

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Finally, after 10 years, we finally discovered who did 9/11! (Thanks to Beck)

It was the secret plot of America's worst, and oldest enemy, perpetuated in a way to make it look like done by terrorists. It was Russia all along!

And today, we're getting concerning reports that the Russians are finally ready to invade with their army of War Dogs. That's right, the years of experiments have paid off for the Russian military! Their army of СОБАКАs is up and ready to exterminate all Americans, and that for just a small bag of dog food.

We acquired shocking pictures that glen Beck believes will persuade everyone that he isn't a crazy mofo conspiracy theorist.

Warning, the following images might be graphic.

Image


Tonight Beck had only this to say: "God save us all!".
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Re: Weekly discussion (5/11-5/18): The debt ceiling

Postby Rough Giraffe » Tue May 24, 2011 5:55 pm

Mm. Yes. Wonderful collage.

I forgot to talk about this earlier:

Q.U. wrote:No debt ceiling. You wouldn't be in this deep debt if SOMEBODY didn't spend all the money Clinton saved up by the end of his presidency on some cowboy poetry benefits and tax cuts for all.
First of all, what money did Clinton save up? All he did was lower the national debt by a little bit. And, yeah, okay, sure, he did good in that regard. But that's not "saving up" money. Debt that you lower is still debt. And fine, Bush increased the deficit. Sure. Also, are you seriously blaming Bush for the National Endowment for the Arts? I was just talking about that because Harry Reid championed it, for whatever reason. The National Endowment for the Arts has existed since about 1965. Jesus, man!

Second, I thought you were in favor of helping the poor? Now you're telling me it's a bad thing to help the poor? Make up your damn mind.

Lastly, if there's no debt ceiling, what will stop that money from being spent? What will stop greedy bureaucrats from borrowing more money that WE will have to pay back?
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Re: Weekly discussion (5/11-5/18): The debt ceiling

Postby NeoWarrior7 » Tue May 24, 2011 6:06 pm

I mean.
It literally hasn't done that ever, as far as I've heard it. It just gets moved up. It's happened since forever, since hitting it would fuck us good.
I'm slightly biased against it since it's another thing the Conservatives want to hold us ransom with, but it seems we'd save the time officially raising it each time by not having it.
Not sure how it makes them greedy, as the only money they see is their own, totally too high paychecks; bribes from the suits from corporations and interest groups; or political goodwill from pumping that money into their own state with earmarks and pork spendings. It's not like we're a supposed to be a UNITED group of states or anything, rather then a bickering bunch of self interested bastards....
Or fourth, the occasional project that just puts it back into their pockets, but we can all agree those shouldn't exist.
Not that I'm saying their not greedy, they are, just that spending federal dollars on federal issues typically isn't one of the reasons. Unless there's something else the debt ceiling applies to that hasn't been said.
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Re: Weekly discussion (5/11-5/18): The debt ceiling

Postby Q.U. » Tue May 24, 2011 6:42 pm

Clinton generated more money by the end of his presidency than there was at the beginning. Whether US was all that time in 50000trillion debt doesn't make a difference. He did make the country stop losing money. And it's not just about that, it's about the TREND the president pushes the country into. Under Clinton the trend for debt was a decrease. Meaning that if US had 8 more years of Clinton it would most likely continue as the same trend. The problem I have with Bush is not that he added more debt. Just like I don't blame Obama for the currently increasing debt. Problem is, Bush inherited the country when there was practically no deficit. The country was making PROFITS! If he'd continued the same policies the country would have gotten out of debts easily. But he fucked it up entirely, by unnecessary tax cuts and spending. What I look at when judging the president's actions is not how many dollars of debt they add. But how much they change the trend in which way. Clinton left a positive trend, Bush managed to make it negative, and by the end of his presidency US had an increasing deficit. Meaning that without government action the deficit would continue increasing at the rate at which it was when Bush left office. Now draw that in excel and make a straight line with steady deficit increase after Bush left office and extend it towards Obama presidency. See, that's the deficit I won't blame Obama for. Crazy, huh? Looking at it like that, Obama contributed so very little to the situation, that it's hard to even notice. You have every right to complain he didn't "fix" the trend back to decreasing deficit, but hey, that takes time.

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Look, how the damn deficit was increasing in the last 2 years under Bush. That's his damn legacy.

Then again, I'm only referring you to W. Bush all the time because you seem to be blaming Obama for everything. But I'm not being very fair either. Majority of Bush's debt was a leftover and interests from the debts from Regan and Bush senior. Namely like this, Regan + H. Bush debt amounted to total of $8.2 Trillion by the end of W. Bush's presidency. Again, I won't blame Bush for that one either. What I will blame him for is the $3.8 Trillion that he added himself.

You see me now, Ruff? You become president, your country has a trend of increasing debt. You must put work and effort to change that trend in either way (country doesn't fix itself), by changes in policies and whatever else you can. That's how I rate the failures or not of the presidents in the US. Not by how many dollars they added to the debt, but how well or poorly they managed the trend as a comparison of what they got when they started, and what they left when they finished. Why can't you understand such a simple concept? Bush had a decreasing debt when he came in, he left a quickly growing debt as he left. Now Obama got the quickly growing debt as he came in, if he leaves it as the same growth rate I will rate him as "useless president". But I will not blame him for the dollars of debt accumulated though his lack of action, because the trend for that was the effect of the previous president's policies. He simply failed to manage them. As much of a failure it is for a president, getting a bad situation and leaving it as bad as it was is one thing, getting a good and improving situation and screwing it over is what ticks me off as a failure in managing the economy.

Finally, I advise you this read: http://zfacts.com/p/318.html
I don't entirely agree with the judgement on this one, but it gives some straight facts that are worth looking into.
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Re: Weekly discussion (5/11-5/18): The debt ceiling

Postby Rough Giraffe » Wed May 25, 2011 4:31 am

I pretty much completely ignored that whole post because nobody is arguing that.

Your link? I read it. Not impressed.

You didn't really answer my questions above. If you have time, please address them.
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Re: Weekly discussion (5/11-5/18): The debt ceiling

Postby Rough Giraffe » Wed May 25, 2011 4:58 am

Sorry for the double-post.

NeoWarrior7 wrote:I mean.
It literally hasn't done that ever, as far as I've heard it. It just gets moved up. It's happened since forever, since hitting it would fuck us good.
So in order to avoid that outcome, we should probably not hit the debt ceiling, huh? Why is the ONLY solution to this problem to increase the amount we can legally borrow?

NeoWarrior7 wrote:I'm slightly biased against it since it's another thing the Conservatives want to hold us ransom with, but it seems we'd save the time officially raising it each time by not having it.
You think Conservatives are using it to hold us ransom? So I guess that means that the ransom is $14T dollars and the Liberals have to figure out how to pay it?

NeoWarrior7 wrote:Not sure how it makes them greedy, as the only money they see is their own, totally too high paychecks; bribes from the suits from corporations and interest groups; or political goodwill from pumping that money into their own state with earmarks and pork spendings. It's not like we're a supposed to be a UNITED group of states or anything, rather then a bickering bunch of self interested bastards....
Good point, I totally agree.

NeoWarrior7 wrote:Not that I'm saying their not greedy, they are, just that spending federal dollars on federal issues typically isn't one of the reasons. Unless there's something else the debt ceiling applies to that hasn't been said.
National Debt is money borrowed against the government to fund Federal spending. The Debt Ceiling is supposed to prevent us from gaining so much debt that we have trouble paying for things. Simply raising the ceiling defeats the purpose.

This is happening because the government has too much power, and too many conflicts of interest. It would be nice to see, come the next presidential election cycle, for someone with some real clout to step up and actually change things, not just sweet-talk it.
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Re: Weekly discussion (5/11-5/18): The debt ceiling

Postby Q.U. » Wed May 25, 2011 7:14 am

So in order to avoid that outcome, we should probably not hit the debt ceiling, huh? Why is the ONLY solution to this problem to increase the amount we can legally borrow?

It's not the only way. But generally hitting a boundary would force a sudden change in budget and spending. Abrupt actions tend to have more destructive effects than smooth changes over longer periods of time.

And to answer your questions (most have been answered in my previous post but you chose not to acknowledge them).
First of all, what money did Clinton save up?

He entered presidency with debt X, he left with debt Y (where Y < X) as well as paying off the WWII loans. In his frame of reference, he saved up money. The fact that this money got thrown down the huge gaping debt hole left by the previous president is a different issue entirely.

Also, are you seriously blaming Bush for the National Endowment for the Arts? I was just talking about that because Harry Reid championed it, for whatever reason. The National Endowment for the Arts has existed since about 1965. Jesus, man!

I'm not blaming him for it. I mentioned it along the lines as one of the things that COULD or SHOULD have been changed in response to the growing debt in Bush times.

Second, I thought you were in favor of helping the poor? Now you're telling me it's a bad thing to help the poor? Make up your damn mind.

Can you quote exactly where do I state that? If you pinpoint it in my posts then I'll explain.

Lastly, if there's no debt ceiling, what will stop that money from being spent?

Hopefully, the president and the congress.

What will stop greedy bureaucrats from borrowing more money that WE will have to pay back?

Really? You're worried about that happening NOW? After you're over 90% GDP in debt? That seems awfully late to wake up with your hand in the crapper, you know.
Oh, but to answer the question: regulation, hopefully. Of course, the ceiling is one of the regulations. And I'm not against it as an idea to limit spending. But I'd reconsider it's usefulness in the given situation. See first paragraph.


Edit

Oh, wait, I think I understand. Here:

I'm guessing that:
Second, I thought you were in favor of helping the poor? Now you're telling me it's a bad thing to help the poor? Make up your damn mind.

Came from me saying:
GOP. ADDED. PUBLIC OPTION. TO INSURANCE. OF PROPERTY. AND IT CAN. BE APPLIED. RETROACTIVELY. SO THAT. ONE GOP SENATOR. CAN GET HIS. INSURANCE CLAIM. WHICH WAS DENIED. BY THE PRIVATE COMPANY. BY WHICH. HIS HOUSE. WAS INSURED.

Sure, the public option there helped many people hit by the hurricane. But the fact that GOP helped some people as a by-product of trying to help themselves, is not a good thing. Read:
And of course, the only reason GOP helped, was because they would get paid too.


What is disaster relief from the government if not "services rendered?"

It is, that's why it's paid for from the federal funds. But that's not the issue, nor my point. You just keep avoiding my point and tip-toeing all around to nitpick the details through which by comparing my replies from two entirely different cases and contexts makes them seem contradictory.

Again:
Not to mention the hypocrisy of the states complaining about the federal government's power, and then later whining to it for relief aid in times of a cataclysm, or bailout money in times of recession.

Some states complain they have to pay the federal government, like if a man complained he has to pay insurance bills to keep his insurance running. But they have no shame or problem coming to federal funds and asking for money when they need it. Simple answer, you don't want the "big federal government in Washington" to tell you to pay them up, stop paying. But then don't cry when you don't get any disaster relief funds or vaccines when you ask for them.
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Re: Weekly discussion (5/11-5/18): The debt ceiling

Postby Valhallen » Sat Aug 06, 2011 12:48 am

Weekly discussion 18 (8/6-8/13): US credit rating downgraded

Standard & Poor's (but not the other two major agencies) has downgraded the US credit rating.

Discuss.
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Re: Weekly discussion 18 (8/6-8/13): US credit rating downgraded

Postby DaCrum » Sat Aug 06, 2011 1:23 am

We're doing very poorly as a country. We're degrading our governmental services because we're rather greedy. Of course we deserve this rating. Eisenhower and Roosevelt are rolling in their graves as to the affairs of our government right now.
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