Dubious. Do you think that the price-setting, EPA-starting Nixon is to the right of tax-cutting, government
Those graphs are dubious. I know you specifically picked "total government" instead of "Federal government."
And yet state and local governments are part of "the government" often criticized for being too big and intrusive (and they're the ones that interfere more with day to day actions). Even though Obama isn't responsible for it (and rather wanted more aid to fill budget shortfalls that resulted in state and local layoffs), the fact of the matter is that "the government" employs fewer people than it did before Obama took office.
State government employment has certainly dropped by a pretty steep margin, however Obama has significantly increased
the size of the Federal
government. As for spending, that's increased by a lot too and I'm almost certain that you know it.
But the story behind the raw number is considerably different than what Romney suggested.
"Just about all of the increases are at the Defense Department, Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security and the Department of Justice," Palguta says.
So while Federal employment has increased under Obama, it's not for the things he is usually criticized for. And while spending has increased, it has been slower than during other recent administrations
, enough so that spending as a percent of GDP has gone down
. Look at that
But to answer your question, Yes, Nixon was, and is, to the Right of Obama. No doubt about it.
But by what yardstick? Policies as implemented? The direction he steered things? How have you reached that conclusion?
Or that dictatorial, society-overthrowing Lincoln should be over there?
Are you suggesting that it was a bad thing for Lincoln to have abolished slavery and freed the slaves?
Answer: Of course not. So then, what are you trying to imply by calling him that?
I'm suggesting that it was a liberal
thing for Lincoln to have abolished slavery and freed the slaves, seeing as it overthrew a long-standing cultural institution to correct a perceived wrong. The conservatives of the day wanted to maintain the status quo.
[Side note: Lincoln
is dictatorial and Obama isn't?
Lincoln suspended habeas corpus (and did not reinstate it after a court ordered him to do so) and incarcerated thousands of US citizens without trial. He also spent money independently of Congress. Despite that article's judgement that "Obama and his Marxist illegal presidency will now make all of the laws and rules that the American people will obey…or else. ... We have almost completely lost our country to the Marxist/Islamic ruler currently ensconced in OUR White House, folks.
" Obama has so far displayed fewer dictatorial tendencies. What does the article actually have? A secondhand statement that Obama's campaign manager proposed a Constitutional amendment to "stifle any and all free speech that challenges Obama" when what he actually proposed was an amendment to overturn the Citizens United verdict (Democrats have their own superPACs which would be outlawed too). Interestingly, Obama's actually-dictatorial actions like drone strikes on US citizens haven't gotten a lot of criticism from "conservatives", probably because they are similar in principle to Bush's counter-terrorism policies while being more effective. Instead the article focuses on the "amnesty" work permits as unconstitutional when Executive-branch gymnastics like that have long been a part of US politics. If Congress and the President disagree, the executive branch has historically had leeway in implementation, which Congress can override if it really wants to with its control of the budget. With a deadlocked congress, such things are a way to get things done, and if things work out well enough, Obama will get a pass as Lincoln did.
How do you consider Bush to be Progressive
? Consider how the Progressive Caucus's budget
contrasts with Bush's policies.
Many of their policies and actions are similar to Bush's, tho.
They're "similar" in the context of historical political ideologies because they both favor representative democracies with mixed economies, some degree of progressive taxation, and some kind of social safety net. That still leaves room for distinction, especially in the direction to make changes.
Bush was a Republican, but he was also a Progressive. One thing about Progressives is that they almost always seem to think government can do a better job than the private sector in every way given the chance,
You're describing Communists, not Progressives. Do you think that George "Let's privatize Social Security" Bush meets your definition there? Did you read what I linked earlier
so when they see a problem, their first inclination is to create a new government program or increase funding in a specific area to address it.
Which is a tendency of... all bureaucracies forever. Remove "government" and you describe private organizations too.
Even so, he was still a Progressive.
I think what you're doing here is identifying problems with Bush, labeling those problems as "Progressive" to identify Bush as one, and using that identification to judge "Progressive" policies as bad (and conversely, "Conservative" policies as good). What actually happened was that Bush and most of his supporters identified themselves as conservatives while some of their political opponents identified themselves as progressives. If you want to use your definitions, you should first specify that they are different from how the terms are used in modern politics.
Progressives seem to believe staunchly in Keynesian economics and/or tend to advocate spending more than we take in over a longer period of time.
I mentioned this before, but the supply-side policies of Reagan and Bush rely on Keynsian-based models. They just disagree with more traditional demand-led Keynsian ideas (and economic data) because they posit that the aggregate demand and supply curves cross in a manner that signifies insufficient supply to meet demand rather than insufficient demand to fully utilize supply. In either case, the Keynsian response is for the government to apply targeted stimuli to address the market imbalance. Then (in the part ignored by most real-world policy), once the imbalance is corrected, the government should raise taxes, end the stimuli, and run a surplus to do two things: maintain its fiscal soundness, and prevent the extra money injected by the stimulus from triggering a bubble as people speculate beyond what the fundamentals of the market can bear out.
Bush's policies initially seemed to be leading to an increase
of tax revenues, but unfortunately, the War On Terror, in combination with all the other good-intentioned efforts domestically, caused spending to increase dramatically and add significantly to our national debt.
Can we agree that we are on the low side of the Laffer Curve? Do I have to bring out that regression that shows the best economic growth at a 60%-70% top rate?
Also, Bush was a good friend of Tony Blair, who is one of leading Progressive figures in the UK. I don't think they'd associate with one another unless they had a common goal. I realize that this, in and of itself, does not mean Bush was a very strong Progressive, but it does mean they shared ideologies.
FDR palled around with his major ally Stalin. They clearly had a common goal. Stalin was a Progressive! Political allies don't have to be ideological allies. Remember where al-Qaeda came from?
So they're upset at the insufficiency of regulation in the financial system? I could see some of them acknowledging its usefulness, like Hamilton, but the present economy and regulatory system is very different from what any of them actually dealt with. And they had just racked up a huge debt to pay for what they considered to be a worthy cause (the Revolution) and resolved to pay it off with government revenue.
I'm talking about excessive
regulation. That's why the Constitution is a list of things the government CANNOT restrict, and not what the government can DO. The Founding Fathers wanted to avoid
The Constitution CONTAINS a list of thing the government cannot do, but it also has a bunch of stuff explaining what the government can do and the means it should use to go about doing them. Like, say:
All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.
And just before that, the Preamble outlines a bunch of stuff that the new Constitutional government is supposed to achieve. The Founding Fathers wanted the right amount
of laws and regulation.
The Founding Fathers were all worried about excessive government; things like the Proclamation of 1763, the Currency Act, Quartering Act, Stamp Act, Townshend Act, etc. were viewed as offensive encroachments on their personal liberties. They started to be regulated on far too much, and were really pissed that the government would support a monopoly on tea trade (the Tea Act). All of these things were a large part of why we decolonized from the British in the first place.
There's a rather large difference between taxation without representation and taxation with representation. And also between regulation to establish a monopoly and regulation to prevent the formation of and abuse by monopolies. But you are correct, the Founding Fathers were worried about giving the government too much power. The part often omitted in rhetoric is that they were also worried about giving the federal government too little power, which was why they replaced the Articles of Confederation with the Constitution, which gave the federal government a lot more power than it had before. The Founding Fathers wanted the federal government to have the right amount
of power so that it could promote the general welfare without inhibiting protected rights. And so they gave Congress rather broad authority to say how things are to be run while setting up checks and balances to make abuse and excess harder. Do you think that the right size
for the government to be is what the Founding Fathers worked with, or some other size to reflect the different jobs demanded of it today?
Also, the Founding Fathers were against an income tax ["To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical." -Thomas Jefferson].
Their opinions varied. Thomas Jefferson was against cities, banking, and government intervention to protect rights. Alexander Hamilton wanted a powerful federal government that steered the economy to achieve prosperity and power. It's pretty clear which side won out.
They saw it as an invasion of property rights ["The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence." -John Adams].Adams was referring to
nationalization and redistribution of all real estate and private property in a Communist-style overthrowing of society.
Until the early 1900s it was unconstitutional to have a federal income tax; that's why they needed an amendment to implement one. Prior to that, the government consisted on tariffs and sales taxes on a lot of popular goods such as alcohol, sugar, tobacco, and so on. But later on they did away with those sales taxes and funded the government almost entirely on tariffs.
Taxation of property and transactions was widespread in the colonial era and continued through the Revolution to the present. The main problem with a national income tax was the requirement to divide revenue from certain kinds of income proportionately among the states (rather than just having a national tax code as today). This requirement was in place due to concerns that certain national taxes could be abused, but it did not cover all types of income (hence the constitutionality of a corporate income tax enacted before the Sixteenth Amendment). But that's rather moot apart from its historical significance, since we have the Sixteenth Amendment today, and there is no (serious) question about the constitutionality of federal income taxes.
I think that proves a national Sales Tax, along with already-existing taxes on imports and exports, could work by them to fund a slightly smaller government as long as we put more power back into the hands of the people. I'm not talking about creating a civilian military; that's dumb. I'm talking about making education more privatized instead of relying almost exclusively on the government to provide a good education; things like that.
Can you describe a single example for each where, in the world, a modern government of the kind you would want for the US covers its expenses without an income tax and where a sufficiently privatized (for whatever standard you are getting at there) education system produces results comparable to modern socialized education? The main reasons for the near-universality of income taxes and public education are their economic incentives. People usually want more money regardless of how much they have, so (well-planned) income taxes introduce very little distortion of economic incentives for different behavior, letting market forces steer things to maximum efficiency despite bites that would wreck markets if implemented with different methods of taxation. They can also be made to target those who can most easily afford it better than other taxes, which helps the economy run better (poorer people spend more of their income, so a tax that hits richer people harder results in less lost economic activity). Education is a textbook case of large positive externalities resulting in private markets supplying less than is optimal for society as a whole. Education has enormous benefits for the entire economy, but few immediate benefits for students and their families. Private education has long been too expensive for the poor even though the expense pays off well over time. Since this payoff can't be captured well enough to be profitable by a single private company unless it sets up company towns or such, it falls to governments to make the socially-optimal level of investment of education.
Each dollar on the ground has its own note which says something of the painter's ideas relating to monetary and fiscal policy.
And yet I can't really find any general fault with anything he writes about them.
That was more to point out the difference in interpretation than to disagree. But if you want to look for fault, let's have a look:
1. The US is quite a ways form bankruptcy. The national debt is close to GDP, but that's not what matters for bankruptcy. US net worth and wealth are both quite a bit more. Also, most of the national debt is owed to US citizens. Also, interest on the debt was less than 5% of the budget last year, so the outlined scenario is not going to happen any time soon.
3.IF such an unprecedented panic happens, it would indeed cause trouble, but it would be moderated by the large wealth of the US and countries that use the dollar or currencies pegged to the dollar and by the Federal Reserve acting to reduce the money supply. Another difference with Weimar Germany is that the Treaty of Versailles forced Germany to try to pay war reparations that it could not, economics be damned, and the resulting printing of money caused hyperinflation
. The US faces no comparable issue today.
4. This is accurate, but comparable to the situation after World War Two, which was handled easily by reasonable fiscal and economic policies.
7. And what happened in the early eighties to cause that? Reagan began the era of "trickle-down" supply-side economics and high-income tax cuts where "deficits don't matter" except as an excuse to push policy. Do you think that reversing this trend could be accomplished by a return to preceding conditions like a high top marginal tax rate and demand-side stimulus? What do you think those policies did to the debt
8. Except that the Founding Fathers understood that such a debt could be paid down by increasing taxes, which they did. The debt was paid off in ~fifty years despite other wars over that period.
9. A couple of things here. Though China COULD cause trouble by calling its debt and pulling investments, it would cause trouble for them as well, since the Chinese economy relies on exports, about a third of which go to the US. If we assume that China does try to cut off its economic nose to spite the US, China can't foreclose on the US because the US is a sovereign entity. If a sovereign entity doesn't pay its debts, its credit rating falls, and that's about it unless someone wants to start a war. And if we want to propose that China is suicidal too, they could to that now.
10. If no policy changes are made over that time, given certain assumptions about the economy.
11. In a healthy economy, what the Fed did would be problematic. However, in a financial meltdown and housing market crash, what it did countered deflation and acted to stabilize the economy. Inflation has been low to normal since the recession ended, and low but nonzero is in fact the intentional target for inflation (among other things, it incentivizes investment over saving). Also keep the LIBOR scandal in mind. Private banks wanted low interest rates too.
13. That depends on how it comes about. Besides, there is currently plenty of domestic capital. The problem is that the holders don't want to spend it because of lack of demand to justify investment. If the time comes that this is a problem, the economy will probably be doing pretty well otherwise. Besides, demand can create its own supply (If the demand exists, people have money to spend. That money can be borrowed to pay for investments to meet the demand.)
14. This seems to confuse the exchange rate of the dollar with its strength as a currency. Look at the higher-valued Pound and the lower-valued Yen. The strength of a currency (especially a fiat currency) is based on the governments and economies backing it, and while the Dollar is declining as a percentage of world currency, it is growing in absolute terms.
15. This is out of date
Most of the Constitution, at least. A number of Amendments are scattered about. Also, Washington had high regard for Congressional laws, using them to guide his actions in the Whiskey Rebellion, for example.
Certainly. Even if that Cherry Tree story is false, Washington was known to be a man of remarkable wisdom and virtue.
Except for the slaves thing. Anyway, what I was getting at is that Washington was a real person who popular culture has mythologized (including the cherry tree bit
). Sure, he did an admirable job setting precedent and running things, but he wasn't perfect, and his actions don't support all the causes that his idea has been invoked to support. For example, in the Whiskey Rebellion, the debt-ridden federal government decided to raise taxes, so it taxed whiskey (an unprecedented move intended to exercise the federal government's new power). Western distillers didn't like it for various socioeconomic reasons and because they didn't like taxes in general. Adding tensions on the border, they didn't think that the federal government was representing their interests. After protests and skirmishes, Washington arrived with an army and put a stop to things. So while Washington's government was very different from today's, Washington respected Congress's authority to decide what the government should be doing. So it's not very appropriate to invoke Washington to protest Congressional laws on ideological grounds like that.
This shows that Obama does not care about the Rule Of Law in America, which IS the Constitution, or it should be, as it is the first written law of the nation.
What about the Articles of Confederation? Also, the Constitution doesn't say much about the day to day actions of the government, which is mostly covered by acts of Congress.
Ah, yes, I did forget about the Articles of Confederation. But my main point stands. Obama took an oath to uphold the Constitution and he has been blatantly trodding on it with his actions.
The Constitution may be supreme, but there are other written laws in force which constitute the Rule of Law in America, as decided by Congress and the States as outlined in the Constitution. Which actions have blatantly trod upon which parts of the Constitution?
Are you suggesting that it was a bad thing for Lincoln to have abolished slavery and freed the slaves?
Answer: Of course not. So then, what are you trying to imply by calling him that?
[Side note: Lincoln is dictatorial and Obama isn't? Yikes.]
I think Val means the fact that Lincoln tried to reduce the freedom of the press at one point.
Spoken by nobody else but your fellow right wing conservative:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CwkG2C5sAc
That guy's kind of wonky. More in interpretation of motives than facts of record, but he's off there too. For one, the Union didn't invent war crimes.