Endangered Elephants

In every election cycle a point arrives when political strategists begin to perceive the shape of things to come. At first it’s just a will-o-the-wisp, a distant rumble, a scent on the wind. Gradually it begins to take on form and substance and become something that can be recognized, labelled, and turned to advantage.

We are just at the cusp of that process right now…and the emerging impression is not good for the Republican party. A lot of straws in the wind are not blowing their way right now. First, we have the outright facts about Republican performance since the “tsunami” of 2010, and what all those new lawmakers have done with the power given them by voters. They campaigned on bringing jobs to Americans, but there is no public impression that they have been governing with jobs as a goal. Instead the country sees the GOP preoccupied at the state level with things like preventing the sinister threat of Sharia law in the South and the Midwest, passing “birther laws” requiring candidates for public office to produce birth certificates (or proof of circumcision), and introducing multiple bills making it more difficult for women to obtain legal abortions.

This preoccupation with social and religious issues has not escaped notice from a public that presently cares far more about pocketbook issues than anything else. And that public disenchantment has in turn not escaped potential GOP presidential candidates, who are showing a notable reluctance to get into the race. By this time in the past cycle, 17 Republican candidates had formally declared. (The only major undeclared candidate was Fred Thompson, but even he had formed an exploratory committee.) Their hesitation is understandable, since a recent NYT/CBS poll shows that when Republicans are asked which of the potential candidates they find most exciting, 56% choose “No One.” Next highest is Mitt Romney with 9%. Those numbers do not bode well for Republicans in 2012.

They are also being badly damaged by the long-simmering “birther” issue, which has finally been dragged out into the open by Donald Trump’s much-publicized flirtation with a presidential run. This issue (and its widespread support within the GOP rank-and-file) threatens to paint the party as extreme and non-serious, at precisely the time when they need to appear like “grown-ups” who can handle huge fiscal problems and make wise decisions on foreign policy. Unless Republicans can woo independents and some Democrats, they cannot do well in 2012. But the polls show the birther meme turns both those groups off and overall repels far more voters than it attracts…a fatal statistic for the GOP, whose manic hatred of Barack Obama makes it all but impossible for them to leave the issue alone, even when urged to do so by party strategists.

Most serious of all for Republicans is their disastrously rigid positioning on the most important fiscal issues facing the nation. The party has gone all-in for Paul Ryan’s budget, voting 235–4 in favor. This vote is going to cost many of them dearly, and a large number of Republican legislators are already struggling to explain it to their constituents. Democratic strategists are universally baffled over this, and keep asking each other, “Why did they do it? Are they nuts? It was crazy for them to cast that vote.” But ideology can be a powerful drug.

The Ryan plan contains two widely unpopular provisions. One is a complete retooling of Medicare, a proposal that is opposed by even 70% of Tea Party members. And the Tea Partiers are not alone in their rejection of Ryan’s plan. Ninety-two percent of Democrats opposed cutting Medicare and Medicaid, as did 73% of Republicans and 75% of independents. The survey only broke down the age of respondents into two categories—above or below 45 years-old—and found that both groups opposed the proposed cuts by a similar margin. Respondents under 45 years old opposed the cuts by an 82/17% split, while older respondents opposed them by an 80/18% split.  These are truly scary numbers for Republicans.

Even more sobering for Republican lawmakers, who supported the Ryan plan almost unanimously, is the widespread, furious opposition to the other major provision in the Ryan budget…further tax cuts for the rich. The public is not only opposed to such tax cuts; they overwhelmingly support raising taxes on the upper income brackets. In a recent Washington Post/AP poll, a majority of all demographics and political adherents supported such a policy. 54% of Republicans favored increased taxes for upper-income earners, along with 68% of independents and 72% of Democrats. As for the high-earners themselves…they supported an increase in their own taxes by a margin of 61% to 34%.

Perhaps there is still time for the GOP to turn things around somehow and create a more favorable political climate for themselves going into the heat of the election. But none of the political indications look good for them at the moment. The fervor of the Tea Party has dissipated and nothing has emerged to replace it. Their presidential candidate field looks weak, with every possible choice having serious, possibly mortal flaws. Their record on jobs is not impressive. An uneasy, impatient public is clamoring for them to back down on their most cherished ideological principles: cutting taxes and entitlements. And the birther madness is making them look scary and extreme to most voters.

It’s just not a very good time to be an elephant.


About filistro

Filistro is a Canadian writer and prairie dog who maintains burrows on both sides of the 49th parallel. Like all prairie dogs, she is keenly interested in politics and language. (Prairie dogs have been known to build organized towns the size of Maryland, and are the only furry mammal with a documented language.)
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185 Responses to Endangered Elephants

  1. parksie555 says:

    Keep dreaming Filly. As long as gas prices keep going up, unemployment stays close to 10%, and economic confidence indices continue to hover in the low 30s range nobody really cares about birthers, gay marriage, or Sharia law.

    The bottom line is your party and president have staked out their debt reduction plan as… KEEP SPENDING AND RAISE TAXES. Mine has staked it’s out as REDUCE SPENDING AND LOWER TAXES.

    Guess which will be more popular in a struggling economy.

    Nearly everything you took so much pain to point out in your little dream sequence above just won’t matter.

    And you mysteriously failed to mention the most sobering issue that Dems face in 2012 – just 10 R Senate seats are up for grabs vs 23 D seats. You can spin pretty and clever word pictures all day long but there will be no escaping that fact in 2012.

    Noted Dem cheerleader Larry Sabato has seven Senate races ranked as toss-ups – and six feature an incumbent Dem vs just one R. And Look where the nominal toss-ups are for the Dem Senate seats… Missouri… Montana… Nebraska… Ohio… How do you like your chances there? I know you libs like to be touchy-feely about everything, but sometimes you’ve just go to do the math…

  2. Mule Rider says:

    Glad to know this site has gone “all-in” and doubled down on the sensationalism rather than make a reasonable attempt at fact-based analysis…

  3. GROG says:

    Okay, okay. I get it. These are dark, dreary, dismal, gloomy, grim, depressing times to be an elephant. The brand is so badly damaged that they cannot possibly win elections anymore. We’ve been hearing that incessantly for the past 3 years and they’ve been winning elections ever since.

    I’m interested in knowing what kind of days you think these are for Democrats. (My wild guess is that you think these are GREAT days to be a donkey, but I’m interested to see why you think that and what polling data you have to back it up.)

    I’m also interested in knowing if you think our dire economic and fiscal situations will be solved by politicians who moisten their finger and stick it up in the air to see which way the political winds are blowing. Or if you think they will be solved by politicians who are willing to make difficult decisions, even though they may not be popular with everyone, and may even cost them elections in the future.

  4. rgbact says:

    Parskie-

    Yep, alot of distractions but at the end of the day….GOP looks solid to win presidency, they likely gain 6 seats in House in redistricting , and the Dems have to defend 15 vulnerable Senate seats to 5 for the GOP.

    I’m not saying people are jumping for joy at the prospect of Soc Sec/Medicare cuts, but at this point I don’t see how Dems make the above realities work in their favor.

  5. mclever says:

    Oh, come on, Mule Rider. Must you say something like that after every single one of filistro’s posts? By now you should know that filistro always talks to the heart and emotion of things. If you want cool reason and fact based analysis, then read Michael’s or Monotreme’s columns. If you want partisanship, then read Mr. Universe. No one has ever hidden the political lean of the writers on this site.

    The articles are about starting the conversation. If you disagree with filistro’s “finger to the wind” assessment of where the Republicans stand right now, then tell us all why your opinion differs.

  6. Brian says:

    Mule, you’ve been saying this site is a left wing echo chamber for months now. Everyone is well aware of your feelings. Repeating it on every thread doesn’t do anything.

    Yes, the Democrats are probably going to lose the Senate, but they won’t go below 40 seats, which is all you need to control it nowadays. We’ll just be as deadlocked as we are now, even if Romney or someone else takes the White House.

    Also, people care about things like Sharia or birtherism when that’s what you’re party is focused on instead of jobs. That’s one of the reasons the GOP took the House a few months ago, Democrats weren’t focusing on jobs as much as they were focusing on things like healthcare. Now it’s the Republicans turn to focus on jobs or they’re going to meet the wrath of the public. 3 months into the new Congress, they’re not doing that.

  7. parksie555 says:

    Hate to say it rgbact, but if I had to bet the house at this point on Obama ’12 I think he hangs on. I think the economy will improve just enough to keep his coalition of non-taxpayers and rich liberals on board. And as Filly points out in the one relevant piece of her fantasy scenario we just don’t have a real strong candidate at this point.

    Of course a foreign crisis of some type could brew up but those tend to strengthen the incumbent unless it is a Jimmah Carter Iran ’79 scenario and I don’t see that in the cards in Libya, Iraq, or Afghanistan.

    But Senate prospects look good, and if we win there and hang on to the House Obama is effectively neutered – and a lot of liberals will become hopelessly disillusioned with their great savior as he runs to the center to get anything done.

    I love the gnashing of liberal teeth in the morning – they are just so darn entertaining when they are pissed off.

  8. Brian says:

    rgbact,

    I don’t see how you say the GOP looks solid to take the Presidency when Obama is favored 47% to 37% over a generic Republican (http://pewresearch.org/databank/dailynumber/?NumberID=1221). Especially since generic candidates always do better than actual ones.

  9. rgbact says:

    Brian-

    47+37=84….where’s the other 16%? Usually not with the incumbent.

    Again, alot of distraction, but the only numbers that matter are polls in Ohio and Florida. If Obama loses them–he almost certainly can’t win reelection. National polls don’t really matter. Can he win Florida?

  10. parksie555 says:

    Brian, I would guess 95 of 100 likely 2012 voters will give you a blank stare if you ask them what they think about “Sharia law” or “birthers”. It’s really only dorks like us on fringy websites like this that care about stuff like that.

    But I guarantee that 95 out of 100 voters will be able to tell you the price of a gallon of gas, will tell you that the housing market sucks, and will have an opinion on the state of the economy. And right now every survey or poll I have seen on the economy for the last three months says most people think the economy is in bad shape.

  11. Mule Rider says:

    “By now you should know that filistro always talks to the heart and emotion of things.”

    And I don’t have a problem with that per se; but what I do have a problem with – and dcpetterson is guilty of this is well, which was pointed out just recently by rgbact and has been mentioned by other conservatives – is that every aspect of the political climate is described by those two as being “heads, Dems/libs win; tails Reps/cons lose” and that’s just fantasy-land ridiculousness….admittedly, filistro wasn’t explicit with that sentiment in this article but there was definitely a strong undertone of it in her writing.

    I think I just get tired of hearing that kind of crap and then being told I’m a partisan hater who can’t look at things objectively. I feel I, at least, have the wherewithal to see when something will play well for liberals even if it’s something I disagree with, but some of you in here never seem to have that switch in your head flipped and always draw the same ultimate conclusion, “If it’s good, liberals will be rewarded; if it’s bad, conservatives will be punished.”

    And that’s just hogwash…

  12. Brian says:

    Actually, if we’re going to look at 2008 and add/subtract the likely places he’ll lose, he can lose Ohio, Indiana, North Carolina, and Florida and still have 292 electoral votes. The first three I’d say are going to get flipped, but Florida is always tough to predict. If Obama raises the $1 billion he hopes to, then yeah, I’d say he can win Florida.

  13. Mule Rider says:

    I tend to agree with Parksie that Obama should be considered the favorite to hold the presidency next year against pretty much anyone the Republicans will throw at him….but I don’t mind it so much as long as he’s battling a mostly Republican Congress. That’ll keep a lot of his left-wing pipe dreams in check.

  14. Mule Rider says:

    “If Obama raises the $1 billion he hopes to…”

    Which makes all the crowing on the Left about the Citizens United ruling seem absolutely silly.

  15. parksie555 says:

    Mule – Republicans get their donations from big, bad corporations – Dems get theirs from the PEOPLE – dontcha’ know?

    Get with the program 🙂

  16. rgbact says:

    MR-

    Ha, I lol when libs talk about the awful money in politics…..then crow about Obama and his $1B warchest. But I’m sure he got it all from impressionable young donors off the internets. Silly indeed. Wonder if Richard Trumka still visits the White House weekly?

  17. rgbact says:

    Brian-

    I think you may be working off the old electoral map-cuz I get lower than 292?

  18. filistro says:

    It’s generally agreed by Dem strategists that the Ryan budget was the stupidest political blunder of modern times. In a single document… the GOP’s singular, much-touted economic initiative… He combines gutting Medicare with a demand for further tax cuts to the wealthy. It’s an ideological statement so stark and over-the-top, so “in-your-face” to the middle class… so ridiculously Ayn-Rand-like in its extremity… that it will be impossible for them to overcome in the current election cycle. Especially when they are now on record as voting for it in the House by a margin of 253-4.

    If anybody had the slightest doubt about whose side the Republicans are on, that doubt is now erased.

    It is pure electoral gold for the Dems. Now they can spend the next 18 months hammering it home.

    Unbelievably tin-eared and suicidal. Why did they do something so stupid? Maybe they really believe the rich need to get richer and everybody else needs to give in. Who knows? As I said, ideology is a powerful drug. Apparently it’s hallucogenic.

  19. parksie555 says:

    Filly, TPM? Really?

    Now there’s a nice unbiased source of opinion…

    Ya don’t think a few of those House Republicans read the tea leaves before making this vote?

    Like I stated earlier, your president and party have come out and said, in a nutshell, their solution to our current economic problems is TO RAISE TAXES.

    Sound like a winning platform to you? Ask Walt Mondale how it worked out for him.

  20. filistro says:

    @parksie.. Sound like a winning platform to you?

    Read the big printed words along with me, okay? You can mouth the words and follow along with your finger if you have trouble keeping up.

    54% of Republicans favored increased taxes for upper-income earners, along with 68% of independents and 72% of Democrats. As for the high-earners themselves…they supported an increase in their own taxes by a margin of 61% to 34%.

    Your guys blew it big-time on that vote. I don’t know why they did it. But they did. And I can see why you all are squealing your heads off already when confronted by the reality of it. 18 months of those ads are really going to HURT. Poor ol’ elephants.

  21. parksie555 says:

    Source of poll: Let me guess – New York Times/CBS? OK, good.

    Let me know when you find a successful political campaign based around a message of “WE ARE GOING TO RAISE YOUR TAXES”.

    Go right ahead, let me know when you find it. I’ll be waiting.

  22. filistro says:

    Rule #3 of political messaging… When the other side attacks the source of the poll, it means you are winning the issue.

  23. filistro says:

    But parksie, the message here is “We are going to raise THEIR taxes.”

    That one’s a winner 🙂

  24. parksie555 says:

    And in all seriousness, the vote represents a starting point for budget negotiations, that’s all. You never start with your best offer.

    Marginal rates probably will go up for top earners. This will be exchanged for spending reductions. They will meet somewhere in the middle.

    Hopefully Obama will take the advice of his debt reduction task force and not engage in further class warfare.

  25. rgbact says:

    Fili-

    With raising taxes being so popular…you’d think the Dems could’ve acoomplished it during their 2 years.

    Parksie-

    Yep, its been 20 years since the GOP has gotten the Dems to be for raising taxes. I look forward to Mondale/Dukakis Redux. The Dems have left the “New Democrat/Blue Dog” shoes behind and are now “all-in” on liberalism. We’re back to the pre-Clinton battles.

  26. parksie555 says:

    And what are rules #1 and #2 of political messaging?

  27. filistro says:

    @parksie… And what are rules #1 and #2 of political messaging?

    Your party is going to find out between now and August. I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise 😉

  28. Mule Rider says:

    “It’s generally agreed by Dem strategists that the Ryan budget was the stupidest political blunder of modern times.”

    Were these the same Dem strategists that were saying that the GOP would pick up few, if any, seats, last November?

  29. dcpetterson says:

    parksie, yes indeed the Democrats want to raise taxes. If your income doesn’t cover your expenses, the solution is NOT to ask for a pay cut.

    But you know what? filistro quoted polls that show a big majority of the public also wants to raise taxers. And you are quite conveniently leaving out the second half of that sentence — “… on the 1% – 5% who make over $250,000 per year.” Are you trying to imply that there are proposals on the table to raise middle-class taxes? (Well, there are, but those are Republican proposals.)

    You talk about “raising taxes” as if it was a program to rape babies. It’s not. It’s a suggestion to put America back on sound economic footing, like we were during the Clinton years. Or, better, in the 1950’s and 1960’s when we paid off the WW2 debt, paid for the Korean war, went to the moon, sent millions of people to college, and built the Interstate highway system.

  30. Brian says:

    You’re right, I was, my bad. I’m just going to assume you’ve got the right numbers because I’ve got a 40 page paper I need to get out for revisions. (Anyone want to read a candidacy exam paper?)

    And I hate the idea of a $1 billion campaign. I hated Obama’s refusal to take public funding in ’08 and I hate it just as much now.

  31. parksie555 says:

    Filly, rgb – In all honesty I think the last really successful national politician to run on a platform of soaking the rich was FDR, in the depths of the Great Depression. I thought one of his most powerful speeches was when he “invited the hatred of bankers and Wall Street”, or something along those lines.

    But this ain’t 1932, as much as Obama likes to whine about the economy he inherited, and Obama sure as hell is no FDR. He’s too much in the sack with the Goldman Sachs crowd to make such a bold statement.

  32. Mule Rider says:

    “Marginal rates probably will go up for top earners. This will be exchanged for spending reductions. They will meet somewhere in the middle”

    I agree with this too….ultimately, the Republicans will wind up caving on tax cuts for the wealthy and will allow a modest increase in marginal rates on the top bracket….but they sure weren’t going to use that as a starting point.

  33. filistro says:

    @Muley… Were these the same Dem strategists that were saying that the GOP would pick up few, if any, seats, last November?

    There were no Dem strategists in America saying that… at least none that I can recall. In fact, about half of them thought the Senate was also at risk.

    @Brian.. (Anyone want to read a candidacy exam paper?)

    Mclever has expressed a willingness to read that paper for you. I think it’s an offer you should jump at 🙂

  34. mostlyilurk says:

    The people who voted in favor of the Ryan budget didn’t vote to gut Medicare, they voted to eliminate it – nothing more, nothing less. Those legislators need to own up to that fact and the voters can decide what they think of it.

  35. parksie555 says:

    dc – I actually agree the top marginal rates should go up. Clearly that is a proper part of the deficit reduction strategy. I would rather have Dems suggest it though :).

  36. Mule Rider says:

    And the problem for Democrats, methematically speaking, is that with the level of spending they wish to continue, soaking the rich via higher taxes won’t be enough….taxes on the middle class will have to go up to cover their spendthrift ways. So either we balance the budget by cutting spending and increasing taxes on the wealthiest individuals or by raising taxes significantly on everybody. The Democrats’ current plan makes the latter necessary, but the problem is they’re too chicken shit to admit that fact to the middle/working class people of this country.

  37. Mule Rider says:

    “Those legislators need to own up to that fact and the voters can decide what they think of it.”

    And Democratic legislators need to own up to the fact that their fiscal plan – or, arguably, lack thereof – will necessitate tax hikes on all income earners, not just the wealthy.

  38. filistro says:

    @mil… they voted to eliminate it – nothing more, nothing less.

    BINGO!

    And the thing is, they told voters… “We want to eliminate Medicare for everybody because we can’t afford it, while lowering taxes for the wealthy.”

    Stark, single, bite-size, easily grasped, readily disseminated, lethal soundbite.

    How do you spell s-u-i-c-i-d-e?

  39. Mule Rider says:

    “There were no Dem strategists in America saying that… at least none that I can recall. In fact, about half of them thought the Senate was also at risk.”

    You can’t be this thick….seriously? Even Speaker Pelosi said on the eve of the election that she didn’t expect to lose the House and, if I’m not mistaken, thought the Dems might actually pick up a few seats. Granted, she’s not a “strategist” but she was the House’s Democratic leader for the last Congress….

  40. Mule Rider says:

    http://www.thedemocraticstrategist.org/strategist/2010/11/last-minute_polls_somebodys_go.php

    Ed Kilgore sure seems to be in denial in this piece right before the election…

  41. rgbact says:

    MR-

    Only way taxes get raised on rich is with a massive concession on entitlements (raise Soc Sec age TODAY, or block grant Medicaid). Else, GOP should just keep status quo and start running for 2012 and the voters can decide on 2 very differnt visions.

    Btw, I’d rather they phase out the interest decuction and leave rates alone. There seems to me some agreement. on this.

  42. dcpetterson says:

    @parksie
    dc – I actually agree the top marginal rates should go up. Clearly that is a proper part of the deficit reduction strategy. I would rather have Dems suggest it though

    LOL. Understandable. If this was not such a partisan age, things would be different, under the “Only Nixon could go to China” idea. When Party A has been demonizing a thing for decades, if a member of Party A says, “Conditions have changed, and it is time to reconsider that idea,” then it carries even more weight, and there is a chance to get the whole country behind it.

    But I don’t see any courageous Republican statesmen out there, wiling to put the good of the country before partisan ideology. In fact, I see damn few Democratic statesmen out there either — the sole shining exception is Barack Obama, who has shown such a willingness to cut deals with the Republicans that he’s driving the far-left wingnuts crazy.

    I think there eventually will be a deal struck, with tax increases for the wealthy (or at least, letting the Bush-era cuts expire at the end of 2012) coupled with some spending cuts. And this deal will be led by Obama and by the “Gang of Six” in the Senate. And then messaging will be everything — because this deal will contain neither of the most important aspects of Ryan’s plan. It won’t dismantle Medicare, and it won’t reduce taxes for the rich. Which will mean, if the Republicans aren’t careful, it’ll look like a total defeat for them, with President Obama and the Six Gang looking like the true statesmen.

    That sets up an interesting dynamic for 2012 — do the Republicans run for the deal that saved the nation by preventing a default on America’s obligations? Or do they, in their reflexive hatred of all things Obama and all things Democratic, oppose it? Do they run on the need to slash taxes for the wealthy and deny medical care to America’s elderly? Or do they say, “We weren’t serious about that — it was just a negotiation ploy?”

    I agree with filistro. The Ryan plan was a monumental blunder.

  43. filistro says:

    @Muley… Even Speaker Pelosi said on the eve of the election that she didn’t expect to lose the House

    LOL. Muley, that’s just so cute. 🙂

    I suppose you also believe the cheerleaders are the ones who call the plays, analyze the weakness in the opposing team’s offensive line and make the decision to go for the onside kick?

  44. rgbact,

    Yep, its been 20 years since the GOP has gotten the Dems to be for raising taxes. I look forward to Mondale/Dukakis Redux.

    I seem to recall Bill Clinton as the last Democrat who was publicly in favor of raising taxes. That’s how we ended up with the 39.5% bracket. I further recall that same Democrat being reelected. Why go back as far as Mondale or Dukakis? And why are you choosing the Democrats who were running against incumbents (Bush being a “sort of” incumbent)?

  45. rgbact says:

    Fili-

    Who exactly is a cheerleader vs.a strategist? James Carville? Paul Begala? John Podesta? Are these cheerleaders or “strategists”?

  46. Mule Rider says:

    “I suppose you also believe the cheerleaders are the ones who call the plays, analyze the weakness in the opposing team’s offensive line and make the decision to go for the onside kick?”

    Again, seriously? I know you trend more towards the qualitative and emotional side of things but I didn’t think you were this thick or disconnected from reality….

    There is absolutely no reasonable comparison between Pelosi and Democratic leadership circa fall 2010 and cheerleaders and football other than the gender equivalence….so were you subconsciously sharing a sexist remark in making that equivalence?

    Let me spell it out for you very clearly. Nancy Pelosi was S-P-E-A-K-E-R O-F T-H-E H-O-U-S-E O-F R-E-P-R-E-S-E-N-T-A-T-I-V-E-S , which is the highest ranking member in the House and second in the line of succession to the Presidency behind the VP. She was no cheerleader; along with Obama and Harry Reid, she was the face of the Democratic Party for much of 2008-2010….

    Or are you now saying Democratic leadership is on par with a bunch of airhead cheerleaders? Come to think of it, that explanation actually makes a little more sense. Thanks for owning up to it and admitting Democratic leadership is nothing but a bunch of know-nothing jokes.

  47. dcpetterson says:

    @rgbact
    Only way taxes get raised on rich is with a massive concession on entitlements (raise Soc Sec age TODAY, or block grant Medicaid).

    The odd thing about your entitlement proposals is that neither of them does anything to help the deficit. Social Security contributes not one dime to the deficit, and unless you’re going to slash Medicaid, switching the same amount of dollars to block grants doesn’t help, either. These are clearly ideological proposals, not economic ones. And suggesting them is going to absolutely destroy the Republicans’ chances in 2012, by angering their most numerous and loyal voters — the over-55 crowd.

    But the tin-ear-edness of recent Republican actions makes it all too likely they’ll suggest something like this.

  48. dcpetterson says:

    @parksie
    Hopefully Obama will take the advice of his debt reduction task force and not engage in further class warfare.

    I was gonna let this slide, but I just can’t.

    Conservatives complaining about “class warfare” is like a KKK member whining that opposition to lynchings encourages racial unrest.

    Seriously, we’ll stop as soon as they do.

  49. filistro says:

    Okay, here’s the problem with you right-wingers. You all are adorable (well, to me, anyhow) but you tend to be “numbers guys,” not “people guys”, which makes it hard for you to read the moods and emotions of the electorate who are, after all, just people. You simply can’t see that the Ryan budget, with its “gut Medicare, lower taxes for the rich” serves, for all of America’s voters, as a clarifying moment.

    There is no way to bluff or waffle or tap dance around a clarifying moment. It needs to be confronted and dealt with, and the fallout is often substantial because it means the cards are on the table.

    Let me give you an example. A wife is in the laundry room, getting a load of wash ready. She cleans out the pockets of her husband’s jacket and finds some small change, a gym schedule, one of the baby’s socks, a memo from work about parking allotments, a coupon for a free burger at McDonalds, and a pair of lacy bikini panties, somewhat used.

    This is a clarifying moment. Do you really think she will somehow overlook the panties? Will she be concerned about any of the other stuff in his pocket? Can he dismiss them as a “negotiating ploy?”

    This guy is immediately endangered. In fact, he is probably toast. Issues will be aired. Positions will be taken. Things will be said. All that has been hidden will be dragged out and examined. The one thing he can’t do is pretend there’s nothing to see here, let’s just move along. If he does that, he is REALLY toast.

  50. rgbact says:

    Fili-

    I agree its clarifying. I don’t expect spending cuts to be popular. Ryan has even said as much. The good news is that the GOP is not fighting a blank slate. Voters know that Pelosi is right back in charge if they fire Boehner—so its doubtful just demonizing Ryan will have raging success.

    In many ways, it was Dems taking the plunge on PPACA that has led to this. Now, the GOP doesn’t fear taking their own plunge—as they know that they always have “repeal PPACA” as a fallback strategy. As long as they have that….they asumme there’s no real fear for of voters flocking to the Dems.

  51. dcpetterson says:

    rgbact –

    It’s not a matter of “demonizing Ryan,” my friend. It is a matter of pointing out that all Republican representatives (except for 4) voted to dismantle Medicare in order to pay for tax cuts to the wealthy. It’s not “Ryan” that’s the problem. He’s just a symptom. The disease has spread throughout the Party.

  52. rgbact says:

    DC-

    As mentioned, the Dems already “took the plunge” on dismantling Medicare with PPACA. So Ryan + co feel safe. Your team has a record…..you can’t run away from it now and just pull the old “we’re not Bush” routine. Not when Pelosi is still leader.

    So I encourage you to debate “why are Obama’s Medicare cuts better than Ryan’s Medicare cuts”. Thats a fair argument.

  53. rgbact says:

    MW-

    Clinton for for cutting taxes in ’92 campaign. I remember the ads. Course, he flipped soon after election night.

  54. dcpetterson says:

    rgbact –
    As mentioned, the Dems already “took the plunge” on dismantling Medicare with PPACA.

    I’m afraid I don’t understand this statement. PPACA does not “dismantle” Medicare, nor cut the benefits paid in any way.

    As for “why are Obama’s Medicare cuts better than Ryan’s Medicare cuts”, the answer is pretty obvious. Obama didn’t cut any benefits. Ryan is dismantling it. I’d love to have that discussion.

  55. mostlyilurk says:

    rgbact,

    Ryan didn’t propose “cutting Medicare” – he proposed its elimination. Nothing in the PPCA eliminates Medicare.

    You should educate yourself about exactly what it is that you’re supporting – that is, if you agree with Ryan and his ilk.

  56. rgbact says:

    DC-

    When the govt says you get all your benefits….but then chops how much it pays doctors/hospitals…..good luck finding someone to treat you and your “un-cut” benefits.

  57. dcpetterson says:

    By the time the 2012 elections roll around, it will have been two and a half years since PPACA was enacted. No seniors will have seen their Medicare benefits cut (because PPACA doesn’t cut anyone’s benefits). Seniors aren’t going to buy the argument that PPACA is somehow comparable to the elimination of Medicare under Republican proposals.

  58. Mainer says:

    Awh lads what the hell are you all thinking? Filli’s analogy is more than apt. One can bamboozel the public on many things and get away with it up and until the moment the public sees some thing that is to them so over the top that it awakens them then an odd thing can occur. People will ignore much, hell people will forgive much but once they find some thing they don’t like or don’t trust they tend to think back.

    This Ryan plan is a classic case and could and maybe even will play out as follows. The Ryan plan gets voted on and one side goes all in. Ok check that has happened. The individuals that did said act go home to the folks that sent them to DC and they get an ear full. Ok check that is happening maybe more than we realize but polling would seem to support that position and while I think the media is going to be slow or even reticent to cover it they may well be forced to and an attitude will grow that one side is talking out its collective asses and not being completly honest with the folks back home. Once you get very many folks wondering if you are being fair or honest with them on one issue they start questioning other items you have been selling them. So opening certain doors can have direct connections to the law of unintended consequences and all your caterwailing isn’t going to change the fact that your heroes in congress most likely screwed the pooch and now no one wants the puppies.

    Certain times of the year I get out and about a bunch for business. The one thing I can tell you is that the discussion in a number of areas of the country is changing. I know, I know no data just my observations so if you don’t like them stop reading but it is how I function and in my present line of work reading people helps keep people alive so I work quite hard at it. Going all SoCon isn’t sitting well and the dialogue isn’t supportive. The Ryan plan is a disaster only slightly worse than the Obama plan but right now the Obama plan isn’t the one taking heat from all but the hyper partisan (that would seem to be most of you lads) and the dialogue isn’t supporting it. Most telling is the discussions where some one will rise health care reform as a rebuttal and semingly safe fall back and get taken off at the knees by one or more in the group admitting that they are not so sure about their previous opposition to the act because they or theirs can now get coverage or their kids have a chance to be covered or their (hearing a bunch of this) business just might now be able to actually offer insurance to their small business employees. No one can seem to find negtive horror stories so any positive ones go in folks mind banks so when the Ryanites try to go back to it as a fall back all they are doing is raising another (did you lie to me on that too flag).

    The old saying of when you are in a hole and want to get out first stop digging is apt here. One can manipulate the media just about so long and right this moment the Republican message control machine is sputtering and in all honest your presidential wanna bees are not helping. How the Republicans could pull off a very masterfull win last time round and boot the opportunity to reassert themselves as actually being able to govern will be the stuff of books for the rest of my life and quite possibly of the lives of some of you young folks. Yes it may not play out as I see it but at this point I would bet my entire retirement income that this will be looked back on as the moment when what I have been saying for better than the last 2 years begins to come to pass. The Republican party as we have known it is dead, the void will be filled in such a manner to defame the conservative movement in this country for a generation. Now hear this, that is not good for this country we need fiscal conservatives but we need for them to be progressive not social regressives. I want to see this nation go forward and lead the world and use our resources well. Nothing the right is offering at this moment is going to do it………me seeing it doesn’t amount to squat………..many others now seeing it is going to screw you to the wall like wording out of tie me kangroo down sport.

  59. parksie555 says:

    Filly – Sure, Ryan’s budget proposal is a clarifying moment – for the 2 or 3% of the electorate that actually knows who Paul Ryan is, or that he even has a budget proposal.

    When it come to the fall of 2012 and people are actually thinking about their vote (for most of the electorate this will occur as they are standing in line at the polling location), it just doesn’t matter that much what Paul Ryan says, or how the House voted on a preliminary budget proposal in the spring of 2011, or what “birther” or “Sharia law” actually mean.

    What will matter if the person is underemployed or unemployed, has a family member or close friend who is underemployed or unemployed. What will matter is how the person perceives their economic situation and the general prospects for the economy. What will matter is how much of their last paycheck went into food, gas, and other necessities.

    Currently all of these indicators are in a bad place for incumbents, and have been for the last two electoral cycles. For the average voter, this translates to the following: Throw the bums out.

    In the 2008 cycle the bums that were thrown out were Republicans, mostly because they had been in charge for a while. In 2010, Democrats, because nothing really improved on their watch.

    Unfortunately for the Dems more of their bums are in a position to be thrown out in 2012.

    So we can argue back on forth on this silly blog about birthers and truthers and tax rates and cutting Medicare and…

    But for you to argue that a preliminary House budget vote, birthers, Sharia law, and abortion laws indicate the end of the Republican party is just plain silly.

  60. dcpetterson says:

    Mainer, you raise a great point. None of the Republican horror stories about PPACA have come to pass.

    No death panels.

    No jackbooted gubmint thug standing in the exam room between you and your doctor.

    You can still see your same doctor.

    No one has pulled the plug on Gramma.

    The Republicans lied. No horror stories.

    And, in the other direction – Your kids are now covered by your insurance, until they’re 26 years old.

    Kids cannot be turned down because of pre-existing conditions.

    You’re not going to run out of coverage because of annual limits. Or lifetime limits.

    You can’t be dropped when you get sick.

    The Medicare “doughnut hole” is closing.

    The Republicans lied again. PPACA is a Good Thing.

    And the Republican fallback plan is to repeal it?

    It makes you wonder who’s doing strategy for them these days.

  61. Mule Rider says:

    “By the time the 2012 elections roll around, it will have been two and a half years since PPACA was enacted. No seniors will have seen their Medicare benefits cut (because PPACA doesn’t cut anyone’s benefits).”

    Are you being willfully dishonest? You do realize/remember that the bulk of the PPACA’s provisions won’t go into effect until 2014, right? Of course the bulk of the carnage from PPACA won’t happen by the 2012 elections….it’s because the Democrats postponed that carnage to a later date….but, rest assured, it will eventually get here and our medical system will wind up a disaster as a result.

  62. Mule Rider says:

    “None of the Republican horror stories about PPACA have come to pass.”

    I don’t know how many times this has to be repeated….the bulk of the provisions of the PPACA doesn’t kick in until 2014…let me say it again, 2014!

    I’ll repeat it so you’ll get it through your thick skull….

    2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014 2014

    Got that???

    Geez, now I know you’re being willfully dishonest…

  63. dcpetterson says:

    Mule, I was talking about perceptions going into the 2012 elections. You can say that there will be a disaster later. My point is that 2012 voters will be aware that no one’s Medicare benefits have been cut, and that the Republicans propose to eliminate Medicare.

    As for “future carnage” — good luck getting anyone to buy into that. As I pointed out above, none of the other Republican disaster fantasies have happened. Why should we believe in this one?

  64. filistro says:

    parksie But for you to argue that a preliminary House budget vote, birthers, Sharia law, and abortion laws indicate the end of the Republican party is just plain silly.

    Where did I say anything about “the end of the Republican party?” I’m talking about this election cycle.

    I believe there will be a Republican party (or at least a strongly conservative party) as long as there is a republic. If the conservative party is gone, the republic will be gone as well, because one-party rule (even by folks as wise and wonderful as my fellow lefties ;-)) just never seems to work for very long without falling victim to all kinds of abuse and corruption.

    I do believe we are witnessing the death of the Tea Party. And… since polls increasingly show us the Tea Partiers are just the old socons trying on a new outfit to see if they can fool voters one more time… I think we are also seeing the beginning of the end of social conservatism, which is looking increasingly less like an elephant and more like a dinosaur.

    I am waiting with genuine eagerness for the emergence of the new, smart, fiscally conservative and socially libertarian Republican party that is going to rise to dominance in the United States by 2030. It will be a great, transformative thing not just for America, but for the whole world.

  65. Mule Rider says:

    “It will be a great, transformative thing not just for America, but for the whole world.”

    This country will be in ashes by 2030….we are on an unsustainable path right now and no one in a position of power/leadership seems to have the cojones to take us off that path.

    We will be mostly irrelevant to the rest of the world by then, if we haven’t already had the End Times. By 2030, I’m betting anywhere from 25%-50% of this country is living in extreme poverty…..and this plunge into the abyss will coincide with perepetual Democratic governance.

  66. mostlyilurk says:

    Actually, if it is a “throw the bums out” mentality, the Republicans in the House have much to worry about. BTW, it’s not actually the Ryan budget proposal at this point. Since it’s been voted on, it’s the Republican budget proposal – and if the people who support it are going to talk about how wonderful and brave it is because it supposedly reduces the deficit, they have to accept the fact that they are supporting everything that it does, which, of course, includes the elimination of Medicare. I could be wrong but I actually think that people will consider health care and the Republicans approach to and view of it when they vote.

  67. parksie555 says:

    OK Filly, replace the last sentence of my previous post with the following:

    “But for you to argue that a preliminary House budget vote, birthers, Sharia law, and abortion laws indicate a Republican disaster in the 2012 election cycle is just plain silly”

    Rest of the post still holds 🙂

    I guess I had just gotten too used to your apocalyptic predictions about the future of the Republican party. Guess even you had to change your tune after the 2010 shellacking the Dems took…

    Oh, and BTW – look who has the best record in the major leagues after Doc notches his third win of the season…

    Hint: It is a team not named after a bird species

  68. rgbact,
    “Spending cuts” in a vacuum can be quite popular. But the devil is always in the details. Most Americans don’t realize that very little is spent on things like foreign aid, NEA, and PBS. And they don’t realize how much is spent on things like Medicare. So they figure that the cuts can happen in a nice, painless way that doesn’t negatively impact them.

  69. filistro says:

    @parksie… Hint: It is a team not named after a bird species

    Rule #7 of political messaging… When they start insulting your ball team, you know you’re hurting them.

    😉

  70. rgbact says:

    Fili-

    Donald Trump is the leading vote getter among the Tea Partiers. That hardly seems like bible thumper types. For someone thats supposedly wishing for a fiscal conservative faction to emerge…..why do you seem so overly hopeful for the Tea Party’s death? Lets be real, you know your beloved Democrats have absolutely no fiscally conservative voices at all…and you’re pissed that the Tea Party has won the fiscally conservative mantle.

  71. Mainer says:

    Mule man come on lad you are much sharper than this. You deal in futures all the time that I understand. It must be hard to sell futures based solely on what the future might be against what the present actually is. As each piece of the reform kicks in and nothing bad happens and might even be helping increasing numbers of people the whole kill health care reform position will be harder to sell especially when the kill it crowd has now shown they not only do not have better answers but want to make many of the population wost off.

    Dude it is about perception as much as it is about reality and right now because of one vote your side has put itself into a horrible position and as much as you would wish it not so it is there and they are not handling it well. You or some one bemoned Carville and Begaglia (SP) and from your view point right fully so. But if you don’t want the likes of them sharpening spears then rule one should probabbly be don’t give them spears to sharpen because this is after all politics and as many of us have warned over reach can kill any movement. The Ryan plan is classic over reach that has now potentially caused a large chunk of the electorate to question the whole conservative game plan. Don’t get mad at us for pointing it our because we haven’t done any thing to cause this. A friend of mine in Georgia loaned his knife to a man last week and warned him to be carefull because the knife was very sharp. Rather than being carefully he cut himself badly requiring 10 stitches………the guy was pissed at him. Dudes don’t be pissed at us on the left for pointing out that your side probably screwed up……….we didn’t do it. Having some experience in the field self inflicted wounds hurt more than the ones inflicted by others.

  72. filistro says:

    @ rgb.. Donald Trump is the leading vote getter among the Tea Partiers. That hardly seems like bible thumper types.

    That’s what’s so fascinating about this… and what indicates to me most strongly of all that their race is done, and their downfall is imminent. These people claim to be “pro-life, “pro-family” “Christian values” types… but they are so totally bent out of shape in their seething hatred of Barack Obama, they are willing to hitch their hopes to a shallow, immoral charlatan whose only appeal is his willingness to bad-mouth the president in the most ugly and scurrilous ways imaginable.

    They’re PHONIES… and are being exposed as such. Like roaches, they can’t tolerate the brightness of the light that has been shone upon them. They’re over.

    It’s a beautiful thing to watch.

  73. dcpetterson says:

    Mainer, another good point.

    Blaming Obama for the economic mess the country is in is like blaming your hangover on the guy cooking breakfast.

  74. shiloh says:

    Just (1) bullet pt.

    Truman in ’48 ran on the meme of the do nothing Rep congress. Reps in 2010 ran on the economy and indeed the mid-terms were all about the economy as the result showed, except for some imploding, clueless TP’ers the Reps foolishly nominated in the primaries.

    And now Reps control the House and are either promoting inane social policies etc. which have absolutely nothing to do w/the economy or would be detrimental to the economy ie not raising the debt ceiling, etc.

    Soooo, in 2012 what do you think Obama and the Dems will be running on as Reps are not focused on the BIG picture!

    >

    It’s interesting wingers are still engaged in Obama scorched earth, boogeyman tactics ie he’s a Communist, Socialist, Marxist, Islamo-Fascist, wealth-distributer, Satan, anti-christ, devil incarnate Muslim born in Kenya who wakes up every morning hating America and Americans yada yada yada …

    as it worked so well for them in 2008 😛

    >

    Re: Mule, the obvious:

    He has a fili fetish, more to the point, a 538 fetish ie how many times has he said he was gone for good and yet he’s still here 😀 ~ apparently he loves echo chambers lol and when he mentions it ad nauseam, he’s just crying out to be noticed as most trolls do.

    538 is Mule’s enabler as “we” show our empathy daily …

  75. rgbact says:

    MW-

    I agree. So its no shock that the public gets angry that Medicare will have to be cut, whether its under PPACA or Ryan’s plan. But most serious politicians agree that Medicare reforms need to be made else we’re off the cliff soon. This will require alot of good communication by politicians….but “wait till next year” is no longer an option.

    I appreciate the Dems courage in going first with their cuts to Medicare. We just think our option is better.

  76. rgbact says:

    Fili-

    You really are left with fantasies. I know its depressing knowing your side is so fiscally irresponsible that even moderate New Yorkers with long histories of supporting Democrats, are finding Obama/Pelosi to be absolutely a trainwreck and jumping to the GOP—warts and all.

    I encourage you to support fiscal conservative Democrats–as I think the current crop is leading you guys to even further ruin than in 2010 and back to Mondaleville

  77. mostlyilurk says:

    The Republicans in the House are not “proposing” to “cut” Medicare – they have voted to eliminate it.

    If it wasn’t so sad, it would be funny that people like rgbact cannot bring themselves to admit this and instead insist on repeating the lie that this is a debate about “cuts” when it clearly and obviously is not. The fact that he and others cannot and will not own up to this is so very telling. It’s as if they’re living in fantasyland – which is confirmed by the fact that these people are now talking about Donald Trump – Donald Trump! – as if he’s a serious presidential candidate. It boggles the mind, it truly does.

  78. dcpetterson says:

    rgbact, the Democratic reforms to Medicare were done in a way that left the program intact, and reduced no one’s benefits. They got at the reasons for the rising costs — overcharging suppliers, insurance company middlemen, things like that. The PPACA cut some of the costs of Medicare, while protecting the program and the benefits.

    The Republican proposal eliminates Medicare. The voters will see the difference, and will see past the silly meme that the Democratic “cuts” are just a lite version of the Republican proposal.

  79. GROG says:

    DC said: You talk about “raising taxes” as if it was a program to rape babies. It’s not. It’s a suggestion to put America back on sound economic footing, like we were during the Clinton years. Or, better, in the 1950′s and 1960′s when we paid off the WW2 debt, paid for the Korean war, went to the moon, sent millions of people to college, and built the Interstate highway system.

    I really don’t want to rehash the 3 day long thread from last week, but…….

    When talking about tax rates, you have to compare revenue from those tax rates to GDP. Since 1950, regardless of what tax rates have been, revenue has kept pace with the increase in GDP.

    The following are the average rates of revenue as a percentage of GDP by decade.

    1950’s – 17.19%
    1960’s – 17.86%
    1970’s – 17.93%
    1980’s – 18.28%
    1990’s – 18.49%
    2000’s – 17.64%

    Spending as a percent of GDP, on the other hand, has stayed ahead of revenue as % of GDP just about every year since 1950. But some still claim we have a revenue problem and not a spending problem.

  80. shiloh says:

    Re: rgbacts fantasies and hyperbole jumping to the GOP—warts and all.

    It’s time for another installment of election reality re: a normal, low turn out mid-term where generically, Reps defeated Dems nationwide by (5) million votes. As their Citizens United billionaire donors helped immensely w/24/7 negativity.

    Obama’s No-Shows: 29 Million

    November 03, 2010 4:32 PM

    One way to look at yesterday’s election is to say that about 29 million Obama voters from 2008 simply didn’t show up this time around.

    Here’s how: Current estimate is that 90 million people voted. Exit poll says 45 percent were Obama voters in 2008. That’s 40.5 million voters.

    In 2008, Obama won 69.5 million votes. So about 29 million Obama voters did not show up in 2010.

    Exit poll also says 45 percent of people who voted yesterday were McCain voters in 2008, again 40.5 million. That, vs. his nearly 60 million in 2008, means about 19.5 million McCain voters did not show up.

    So Obama had nearly 10 million more no-shows.
    ~~~~~

    Did I mention you can’t beat an incumbent something, w/an incoherent, nonsensical, laughable nothing …

    Politics 101

  81. dcpetterson says:

    Grog,

    As you say, there is little sense in rehashing the previous discussion. We disagree on the data as well as on the analysis of the data. That will, naturally, lead us to a disagreement as to the proper solution.

    At any rate, even you say, “Since 1950, regardless of what tax rates have been, revenue has kept pace with the increase in GDP. ” Of course, you may have the causality backwards –raising the tax rates may spur growth, thus cause the GDP to increase — lowering taxes may impede growth, and the GDP doesn’t rise so fast. In either case, revenue keeps pace with GDP. Further, you have not taken into account any differences in which income quintiles are taxed more or less. But none of that is the point. At least you agree that higher taxes are not “bad” for the economy, since “regardless of what tax rates have been, revenue has kept pace with the increase in GDP.”

    In any case, I think we can agree then that the problem is neither spending, nor tax rates, but GDP growth. A big part of our current deficit is because of the recession, which shrunk revenues, even while costs rose. Since “regardless of what tax rates have been, revenue has kept pace with the increase in GDP,” increasing GDP will increase revenues. We need to increase GDP so the increased revenues will cover our debt. We should talk about the best ways to do that. And about the best ways to pay for the obligations we have.

  82. Mr. Universe says:

    Which makes all the crowing on the Left about the Citizens United ruling seem absolutely silly.

    To whom? I’m saving this argument for another day but after three decades of ramping up, Citizens United was the opening salvo, the Fort Sumter, the Pearl Harbour, the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, the day Skynet became self aware of the corporate war on the US Government and the American middle class.

    Once again, a sleeping giant has been awakened.

  83. GROG says:

    Of course, you may have the causality backwards…

    I never gave a causality. I just pointed out there is no correlation between tax rates and revenue as a % of GDP.

    raising the tax rates may spur growth, thus cause the GDP to increase

    Can you point to any economic theory that says raising taxes rates spur economic growth?

  84. Mule Rider says:

    “Once again, a sleeping giant has been awakened.”

    I wish you realized how ridiculous you sound.

    Oh, and I must’ve missed the memo because I consider myself part of the American middle class and hardly feel there is a war/attack on me, at least not from the entities you think. The liberal Democrat elites maybe but not the folks you assign blame to….

    You’re a joke…

  85. Mule Rider says:

    Evidently Mr. Universe gets his rocks off stoking the flames of class warfare….just a page out of the union thug’s playbook….ratchet up the oppressionist/victimist rhetoric and beat people over the heads with the idea that they’re being taken advantage of and the “big bad corporate machine” is holding them down. Always play the victim card and scapegoat. Never accept responsibility for one’s one failures. Whipe the electorate into a near-riotous frenzy trying to get them to take back what they “deserve.” I hope you’re freakin’ proud of yourself….you speak like a true liberal loser who has always fallen short in life and never lived up to expectations. Rather than accept that you just ain’t “all that” and leave the rest of us the #$%@ alone, you have to stir up a &^%-damn hornet’s nest talking shit, probably because you’ve got nothing better to do. Hey, why work harder to get ahead when you can just rally an unruly and impressionable mob into thinking just like yourself – that they too could get ahead not by accepting responsbility for their own failures but by physically intimidating people and flat-out taking what they want.

    You and the rest of the scum that inhabit this filth-ridden shit-hole have hit a new low, I hope you realize that….

  86. Mule Rider says:

    I grew up dirt poor in the South and made something of myself with hard work and perseverence, always working harder in school and my career and never deflecting responsibility for my own actions….basically, I’ve wiped my ass with people like you my whole life who want do nothing but roll over and cry “Victim!” every time someone looks at you the wrong way….sad thing is that you and your fellow goons have convinced about 40% of the electorate to think the same twisted, perverse things…

  87. dcpetterson says:

    @GROG
    Can you point to any economic theory that says raising taxes rates spur economic growth?

    No, I can’t. I merely suggested one possible explanation for the numbers you presented. (I’ll address them a bit more below.) My point merely was that you haven’t made an argument against raising taxes to pay for our current obligations.

    I’m not as interested in “% of GDP” as I am in “$ revenues”. If you raise the tax rate on the richest 5%, government revenues go up. We need sufficient revenues to pay for our current obligations.

    As for your “evidence” — I am uninterested in an arbitrary division of economic data into artificial decades. There is no proven economic cycle that starts and ends in years ending with “0”, so it is meaningless to present them that way. The sort of regression analysis that Michael runs is far more convincing than random 10-year intervals. Getting all the data for a 10-year slice tends to average out the actual useful data that lies underneath those long time periods. You might try re-running your study with 3-year intervals rather than 10-year. Take the tax rate for year ‘X’ and the tax revenues for year “X+1” or even “X+1 through X+3”. That might be more informative, because it will be less likely to average out the random variations than your method uses. A rigorous regression analysis would work even better.

    In short — you have not proven your argument (or even provided meaningful evidence) that “regardless of what tax rates have been, revenue has kept pace with the increase in GDP. ” You have only proven that 10-year averages, starting arbitrarily in years ending in zero, do not furnish useful data.

  88. rgbact says:

    DC-

    Medicare already pays less than market. Can you guarantee that doctors won’t just stop accepting Medicare once the “overpaying” stops? According to this article….likely not:

    http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2010/06/21/More-doctors-refusing-Medicare-patients/UPI-20241277133043/

    Looks like the number of doctors not serving Medicare has doubled in last 5 years….and thats before PPACA.

  89. dcpetterson says:

    rgbact,

    No, I can’t guarantee anything, either way. Can you? (It’s a trick question.) If you want “guarantees,” buy carpeting.

    But you make a great argument in favor of a national universal single-payer health care system.

  90. rgbact says:

    DC-

    By “national universal” you mean, “no doctor can opt out and take private insurance/payments”, correct?

    I may be interested if the Ryan plan doesn’t work. Probably better than the current system?

  91. GROG,

    I just pointed out there is no correlation between tax rates and revenue as a % of GDP.

    Oh really? Then why, when I run a regression with the input of top income tax rate (since 1916), and an output of revenue as a percent of GDP, do I get the following:
    P-value: 0.003 (99.7% chance of correlation)
    Coefficient: 0.05 (most likely correlation indicates that an increase of 1% in tax rate results in an increase of 0.05 revenue as % of GDP)
    95% range: 0.02-0.09 (95% chance that the coefficient is between 0.02 and 0.09)

    In other words, there’s a 99.7% chance that you’re wrong.

  92. Mule,
    I caution you that a single data point does not a causal relationship make. Many people (myself included at times) confuse success with the actions they took that occurred in advance of that success. I’m not saying that you weren’t at all responsible for your success. For one thing, I know waaaay too little about you to be able to even begin to draw such a conclusion. But I’ve seen that false causal puffery an awful lot, so all I’m suggesting is that you consider that there may have been some significant factors beyond your control, without which you wouldn’t have had such success.

    In my experience, success is a combination of opportunities presenting themselves, and recognizing and taking advantage of them. Someone who has the latter, but not the former, will not have that success. Someone who has the former, but not the latter, might accidentally have that success, and will substantially increase the likelihood of success by intentionally taking advantage of it.

  93. Mule Rider says:

    @Michael,

    Regardless of how I got to where I am today, I’ve never been one to play the “victim card” and scapegoat others and I’ve always been willing to accept responsibility for my actions and occasional failures.

  94. Mule,
    Fair enough. It’s commendable that you don’t play the victim and scapegoat others. But in the same way that some paranoids actually have people who are out to get them, some people who claim victimhood are actually victims. It takes effort to step back and look dispassionately at a situation to see if the victimhood is real or not; most people don’t bother.

  95. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Mule,

    You sling more snot than a rodeo bull!

    parksie, rg, GROG, I’ll bet all y’all are awfully proud to be in the same camp as he!

  96. rgbact,
    I’m not sure what DC meant by “national universal,” but I’d be uncomfortable with outlawing supplemental private insurance and/or payments. And I don’t see that national universal health insurance necessarily precludes supplementals. The big unanswered question is whether a doctor could opt out of accepting patients covered solely by the national plan. The implications are complex either way.

  97. rgbact says:

    MW-

    So you’re uncomfortable with the concept of govt being the only payor? Because thats what “single payor” implies. Else, why would DC mention it as a way to get around doctors not accepting Medicare? Presumably, under “single payor” a doctor would have to accept Medicare….unlike today.

  98. rgbact,
    Government can mandate acceptance of the insurance without precluding supplemental policies. But the devil’s in the details, as in so many things.

  99. GROG says:

    DC said: I am uninterested in an arbitrary division of economic data into artificial decades.

    I broke it down in decades because you mentioned the 1950’s and 1960’s in your earlier comment and it’s a bit tidier than listing all percantages since 1950.
    1950 – 14.4
    16.1
    19.0
    18.7
    18.5
    16.5
    17.5
    17.7
    17.3
    16.2
    17.8
    17.8
    17.6
    17.8
    17.6
    17.0
    17.3
    18.4
    17.6
    19.7
    19.0
    17.3
    17.6
    17.6
    18.3
    17.9
    17.1
    17.7
    18.0
    18.0
    18.5
    19.0
    19.6
    19.2
    17.5
    17.3
    17.7
    17.5
    18.4
    18.2
    18.4
    18.0
    17.8
    17.5
    17.5
    18.0
    18.4
    18.8
    19.2
    19.9
    19.8
    20.6
    19.5
    17.6
    16.2
    16.1
    17.3
    18.2
    18.5
    17.5
    14.9
    2010 – 14.9

    This link shows a much better illustration:

    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/09/graph_of_the_day_for_september_9.html

  100. dcpetterson says:

    rgbact –

    I personally think for-profit medical insurance should be outlawed, as it was before about 1960. For-profit hospitals, too. And for-profit prisons. And mercenary organizations like Blackwater. (In WW2, war profiteers went to Federal prison. Under Bush they made off with billions.) But that’s just me.

    A universal single-payer system, is one in which all Americans are covered if they get sick or injured, their medical bills paid, period. You don’t have to “buy insurance.” It’s just there. Also, prenatal care, regular checkups, dental and vision, diagnostics, prescription drugs. Covered. If you want elective surgery that is not medically needed (boob implants without having a mastectomy for cancer treatment, for instance), you pay yourself — or buy supplemental insurance to cover it.

    Insurance companies already negotiate prices. Whenever I get a bill from my doctor, the doctor’s normal prices are on there, then the prices the insurance company is wiling to pay. A public universal single-payer plan would do the same. Doctors would not opt out; if 98% of the available patients are on the national single-payer plan, doctors and hospitals would accept patients or have to get out of the business. (Hospitals are already required to accept anyone who shows up. Same principle, except it’s already planned for, and it includes everyone, not just poor people.)

    We should also lower the prices doctors need to be paid. Education for doctors should be 100% by scholarships. Without 6-figure college loans to pay off, they wouldn’t need to charge as much to stay afloat. Diagnostic equipment should be paid for by the plan.

    Yeah, there’s a lot of details that would have to be worked out. And there are other ways to lower costs — but this isn’t the forum to go deeply into it. Maybe I’ll put up a new thread for that soon. In any case, it’s all pie-in-the-sky, since as long as Republicans have significant numbers of people in Congress, the likelihood of getting any sort of single payer system are about zero. So it’s not worth spending much time on. Ain’t gonna happen in the next 20 years.

    Anyway, the Republican plan to eliminate Medicare is going nowhere. Republicans are already running away from it. It’s going to be a millstone on their necks up till the next election. Harry Reid is talking about bringing it up for a vote in the Senate, to force Republican senators either to break with their party, or to go on record in favor of dismantling Medicare in order to give tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires. I think that’s a good idea.

  101. dcpetterson says:

    Grog, you’re repeating yourself. We already agreed there was no point in rehashing the discussion from the previous thread a couple of days ago. Call me when you’ve done a regression analysis such as Michael suggested.

  102. shortchain says:

    GROG,

    I’ll echo that. The problem with throwing up a graph without statistical analysis is that people see things in graphs that are not born out by proper analysis.

    For example, when I look at that graph, what I see is that the rate of increase of federal revenue was increasing faster until something happened in the 1980’s, and has continued to flatten as time has passed.

    Which is a problem, because the population has not flattened out in proportion.

    Not that I’m claiming anything here. I’m just saying you can draw pictures and claim they show something, but it’s fallacious, just as bogus as picking arbitrary years over which to measure increases or decreases of revenue or tax rates.

  103. dcpetterson says:

    What we see in the graph that Grog linked is that, until about 1955, there was an excellent correlation between the top marginal tax rate, and federal revenue as a % of GDP. After that, the correlation is far weaker.

    However, the chart shows us nothing about the other tax rates below the top marginal rate. Did they go up or down? Was the burden of paying for the Federal government shifted more onto everyone else? (Answer: Yes, it was.)

    Also, the chart does not show the continued shift of wealth from the middle class to the top 5% of wealthholders. Federal revenue as % of GDP stayed relatively constant because the wealth (and income) of the richest Americans skyrocketed even as the tax rate fell. Unfortunately, this didn’t trickle down to the rest of us. During the Bush years, for example, the wealthy got immensely more wealthy, while the rest of the nation stagnated, or even fell back.

    Grog’s chart is a great way to lie with statistics. As the wealth and income of the wealthiest went up, it was possible to lower the rates they paid, while still maintaining federal revenue as a fairly constant % of GDP. As I said, the direction of causality is hidden amid the spin.

  104. GROG says:

    Michael,

    Are you saying that revenue as a % of GDP should be 3% higher when marginal rates were 94% vs. when they were were 35%?

  105. dcpetterson says:

    By the way, I also note the chart shows “total Federal revenue.” That is, this includes FICA, Medicare taxes, gasoline excise taxes, fees at state parks, etc. etc.

    Let's have a similar chart that shows revenue from Federal income taxes alone, shall we?

  106. dcpetterson says:

    @shortchain
    For example, when I look at that graph, what I see is that the rate of increase of federal revenue was increasing faster until something happened in the 1980′s, and has continued to flatten as time has passed.

    What happened about 1980 is that the FICA tax was significantly increased to build up a surplus for the Baby Boomers. This shifted a huge amount of Federal revenue from income taxes to payroll taxes. Since Reagan (and every president since) borrow that money for other purposes, it means the burden of paying for Federal expenses has shifted onto the people who make less than the FICA ceiling. This made it possible to lower the top marginal rate while maintaining Federal revenue at about the same % of GDP.

    Grog’s chart shows that the cost of maintaining the Federal budget has shifted onto the middle class and blue-collar wage-earners.

  107. shortchain says:

    It’s obvious that, when GROG said “I really don’t want to rehash the 3 day long thread from last week”

    — he lied.

  108. drfunguy says:

    dcpetterson says:
    “A universal single-payer system, is one in which all Americans are covered if they get sick or injured, their medical bills paid, period. You don’t have to “buy insurance.”
    This is not how it works here in Canada. Everyone who is able pays about $66 per month (in BC, varies by Province/Territory) and they (or their employer) can purchase ‘extended’ coverage that helps with dental, vision, prescription meds, alternative care, etc. Not to say you couldn’t have such a system but don’t confuse it with a Canadian style single payer system.

  109. filistro says:

    Wow… from National Journal today… Republicans getting hammered over Ryan vote at townhalls.

    My favorite quote from the article… House Republican leaders plan to hold a conference call with members Tuesday. Republicans with knowledge of the call say that it has long been scheduled, but that part of the call will be spent discussing ways to discuss the vote with constituents. One source says it’s intended to help swing-district members “who have been getting the crap kicked out of them.”

    Is it permissible to indulge in just a wee spot of schadenfraude? 🙂

  110. dcpetterson says:

    drfunguy,

    As I understand it, the monthly payment is the buy-in for the Canadian single-payer system. People don’t go out and shop around for basic insurance. The ‘extended’ coverage is what’s optional.

    Can you tell me what is not covered by the basic monthly payment? What sort of things are usually included in the ‘extended’ coverages? (I’m a victim of the American system; I can always use education in other systems.)

    But yes, there are many different types of single-payer systems in the world. I gave my preferred concept.

  111. shiloh says:

    “who have been getting the crap kicked out of them.”

    Again, when you find yourself in the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect! so as not to awaken a sleepin’ giant ie the (29) million Obama voters who stayed home in 2010 …

  112. filistro says:

    @ shiloh… when you find yourself in the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect! so as not to awaken a sleepin’ giant

    No kidding. When we add the seniors and almost-seniors who are furious about the gutting of Medicare to all those enraged union workers, it’s getting to be a pretty substantial chunk of people who would crawl over broken glass to vote against you.

    And really,…. that can’t be good.

  113. drfunguy says:

    dc
    You are right that it is a buy in for single payer with the only alternative being moving to a province/territory with different coverage or costs. E.g. Yukon Territory covers its resident without direct cost to them. While I reside in Canada, I am not yet insured here so I can’t answer the question about what is covered (yet). My impression (Fili please correct me if I’m wrong) is that basic medical care, excluding optometry and dentistry, seem to be covered. I am not clear on the prescription drug coverage; it seems limited or only by extended coverage.
    I just today received my permanent residence visa so I will apply for coverage this week and will qualify in three months. Ask me again then 😉
    Or look around here http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hcs-sss/index-eng.php
    I just haven’t had time.

  114. GROG,
    I’m saying that, all else kept the same, that would be the average expected outcome. In looking at the residuals, a better fit would be trimodal, with peaks at about 45%, 60%, and 90%. So it’s not quite a perfect linear fit. Within those modes, the coefficient is about double that of the linear fit.

    But most of the variation in the revenue in the sample data was something other than the top rate.

  115. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    rg,

    We touched on this before and at the time you admited you knew little about the Canadian political system. Obviously, you know little about the Canadian Medicare system. (Not being critical or belittling!) I strongly suggest, particularly in the case of healthcare, that you spend an hour or two on Google doing some research. On the costs and on the application.

    Or give fili or drfun your email and correspond with them over the next day or so.

    Factually, here in South Texas we have a LOT of winter Texans from Canada. I see and talk to MANY here at the course. NOT A ONE (Repeat: NONE) would trade what they have there for what we have here. They spend about a quarter of the year here, and have to buy temporary health insurance here, they see and read the news here, so the average Canadian winter Texan is MUCH better versed on the healthcare situation in the two countries. That alone ought to give you a clue.

    And Canadian healthcare costs per capita is about 60% of what it is in the US.

    I know, being retired and with a large deductible policy, that my doctor gives a 20% cash discount, just so they don’t deal with the insurance company. That’s HALF of the difference between CA and the US.

    Check it out and let us know your informed opinion then.

    Thanks

  116. GROG says:

    GROG said:

    Michael,

    Are you saying that revenue as a % of GDP should be 3% higher when marginal rates were 94% vs. when they were were 35%?

    Can any other statistics people answer this question, based on Michael’s regression analysis?

    94-35=59
    59 x .05 = 2.95

    I’m not being snarky. I’m just asking.

  117. filistro says:

    Re Canadian health care… everything is covered except cosmetic and experimental procedures. For example if you are injured in an accident and require extensive oral surgery, that would be fully covered… but not if you want new bridgework so your teeth will look nicer. If you need reconstructive breast surgery after cancer, it’s fully covered. If you want bigger boobs, you pay. If you have cancer, everything you need is covered…. from surgery to radiation to chemo to specialists to meds… but if you want to go to Mexico for experimental peyote-and-sweat-lodge cleansing treatments, Health Canada will not cover the expense.

    All drugs are covered while you’re in hospital or undergoing treatment as an outpatient. Apart from that drug plans are pretty readily available… drugs cost much less in Canada, and when people are only paying $6o a month for their health care, the cost for a good dental and drug plan just doesn’t seem that onerous. Most get them through group plans where they work.

  118. GROG,
    I believe you. An oversimplified answer is “yes.”

  119. rgbact says:

    Fili-

    I checked out the video. One deranged liberal getting shouted down and escorted out….in a swing district. Ugh, no wonder there’s not been any good video shown…..there isn’t any! I hope you guys can do better. Need to get some people from WI to come storm the place.

    Max-

    I am reading up on Canada. Initially, Wiki says only 70% of costs are paid by govt. That sure doesn’t square with the “everything” that Fili just quoted. Not much higher than us really.

  120. filistro says:

    rgb… it’s everything. Trust me. Canadians do not see medical bills.

  121. drfunguy says:

    @rg from the wiki
    “Health care in Canada is delivered through a publicly-funded health care system, which is mostly free at the point of use and has most services provided by private entities”
    This seems to be the paragrah which you partially quote:
    “In 2009, the government funded about 70% of Canadians’ health care costs.[22] This covered most hospital and physician cost while the dental and pharmaceutical costs were primarily paid for by individuals.[22] This is slightly below the OECD average. Under the terms of the Canada Health Act, public funding is required to pay for medically necessary care, but only if it is delivered in hospitals or by physicians. There is considerable variation across the provinces/territories as to the extent to which such costs as out of hospital prescription medications, physical therapy, long-term care, dental care and ambulance services are covered.[23]”
    So the 30% not covered are primarily pharmaceutecal and dental.
    I don’t know where you come up with “Not much higher than us really.”
    As a US resident I never had _any_ goverment payment of health care once I was no longer qualified for military benefits. Can you explain in what way you think the US Gov. pays 70% of peoples healthcare costs?

  122. rgbact says:

    Dr-

    “Close to” 70%. Wiki says 46%. If you add the cost of the tax deduction for group coverage….its up to 60%. Not sure if that even includes costs of local govt employees, like teachers.

  123. Pingback: The Congressional Progressive Caucus Budget; The People’s Choice | 538 Refugees

  124. GROG says:

    MW said: An oversimplified answer is “yes.”

    Did you consider a long term affect that a tax rate has on revenue as % of GDP? Or did you match up the year of the tax rate with the year of the revenue as % of GDP?

    It seems that it would make sense to take year “X” and then add a couple years before seeing what the revenue was as a result of that particular tax rate. Was that factored into your regression analysis?

    That’s why there is value in breaking down rates and revenues over longer periods of time.

    Between 1944 and 1964 the average high marginal tax rate was 89.2%. The average revenue as a % of GDP between those years was 17.41%.

    Between 1987 and 2007 the average high marginal tax rate was 35.95%. The average revenue as a % of GDP between those years was 18.28%.

    Over two 21 year periods of drastically different tax rates:

    Tax rate = 89.25 – R as % of GDP = 17.41
    Tax rate = 35.95 – R as % of GDP = 18.28

  125. shortchain says:

    GROG,

    The data we have is the data we have. You cannot expect a regression based on a 20-year period to be guaranteed to be valid for a 100-year period.

    You have this tendency, shown clearly here, where you make an assertion, and, as soon as it is challenged and you are asked to provide data, you turn it around and insist the other person (or people) provide “proof” that it is not true. And then you obstinately refuse to admit what the available data clearly shows. Or, in many cases, you simply pretend that no evidence overturning your theory was presented, and you just repeat it, supporting it with more cherry-picked data.

    You are just taking noise, pretending it’s meaningful, and reasoning on it. That’s unsound, and you would be laughed at by anyone who knows any statistics.

    For the record, assuming Michael has performed the analysis as he says (I, for one, trust him on this), yes, his analysis shows that raising the marginal tax rate would increase revenue. It might not do so for more than 20 years, but meanwhile we could (assuming a fiscally responsible government — a big if) reduce our public debt and invest in infrastructure.

  126. Gator says:

    Fili
    This is from todays USA Today. Seems to directly contradict everything in your “article”. So who is correct and who is absolutely incorrect? I’m going with USAToday/Gallup being correct which would mean that everything you wrote is wrong.

    WASHINGTON — A new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds that House Republicans, who took a political risk in passing a controversial budget blueprint last week, have survived so far with some key advantages intact as Congress moves toward the debate on raising the debt ceiling, passing the 2012 budget and enacting a long-term deficit plan.

    Americans are evenly divided between the deficit plan proposed by President Obama and the one drafted by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, and those surveyed put more trust in Republicans than Democrats to handle the federal budget and the economy.

    Pessimistic about the economy and the nation’s course, they overwhelmingly blame too much spending for soaring federal deficits and want to rely more on spending cuts than tax hikes to get it under control.

    “The bad news for the Democrats is that even after the Ryan budget comes out and has been attacked for a little while, the Republicans have an advantage,” says Joseph White, a political scientist at Case Western Reserve University who studies budget politics and policy.

    Republicans have held their political base intact, he says, but the nation is still polarized along partisan lines, and spending cuts are easier when they’re discussed in the abstract. “Everybody can find something they don’t like,” he says, “but that doesn’t mean there’s a majority to cut anything in particular.”

    When it comes to a plan to curb the deficit, Americans have qualms about both parties:

    •Nearly three-fourths of those surveyed, 71%, worry that the Democrats’ plan “won’t go far enough to fix the problem”; 62% fear they might use the deficit as an excuse to raise taxes.

    •Nearly two-thirds, 64%, fear the Republicans’ deficit plan will take away needed protections for the poor and the disadvantaged and will “protect the rich at the expense of everyone else.”

    By more than 3-to-1, those surveyed say the deficit stems from too much spending, rather than too little tax revenue.

    When it comes to solving the deficit problem, about half of Americans, 48%, want to do it entirely or mostly with spending cuts. Some 37% support an equal mix of spending cuts and tax increases; 11% prefer mostly tax hikes.

    Republicans hold a 12-percentage-point edge over Democrats as the party better able to handle the budget, and a 5-point edge on the economy in general. On a list of six issues, Democrats hold a narrow advantage only in handling health care.

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2011-04-25-Poll-Republicans-budget-deficit-trust.htm

  127. filistro says:

    Gator… you seem to have skipped two paragraphs. (I’m sure it was some kind of technical glitch. ;-)) Just to correct the record, since I KNOW you would choose to be fair and accurate, these paragraphs appear in the original article between the third and fourth paragraphs in your “quote.”:

    The poll also shows the perils ahead for the GOP in moving from general principles to specific actions. Two-thirds of Americans worry the Republican plan for reducing the budget deficit would cut Medicare and Social Security too much.

    Ryan and other Republican House members already have faced hostile questions at town-hall-style meetings in their home districts from seniors and others about the GOP proposal to turn the nation’s health care program for the elderly into what would essentially be a voucher system. The GOP budget blueprint would overhaul Medicare, turn Medicaid into block grants for the states and trim trillions of dollars in spending on discretionary programs. It would lower tax rates for top earners and corporations.

  128. GROG says:

    Shortchain: You have this tendency, shown clearly here, where you make an assertion, and, as soon as it is challenged and you are asked to provide data, you turn it around and insist the other person (or people) provide “proof” that it is not true.

    You have a serious reading comprehension problem then. DC and Michael and others have made the assertion that increasing tax rates will increase revenue. That is what I question.

    Since it has been “shown clearly here”, point out where I made an assertion and then asked someone to provide “proof” that it is not true. Thank you.

  129. drfunguy says:

    @rg thanks for pointing me to the wiki article
    For me the salient points are:
    Per capita (and % of GDP) expenditures are much higher in the US ($6714 vs $3678 in 2006; 15 vs 10% of GDP).
    Health outcomes are not appreciably different
    In Canada everyone is covered while in the US 16% of the population has no insurance and recieves care only on an emergency basis (one reason that costs are so high in the US).
    Note that the Canadian system is still more expensive than most of the european single-payer plans; it is often compared to the US because the populations are similar and, like the US, it is relatively high-cost.

  130. shortchain says:

    GROG,

    So are you now pretending that you don’t hold dear the theory that lowering taxes increases revenue? Because you’ve stated exactly that multiple times, and you keep insisting on yet more and more proof that it’s false.

    From the previous thread, where you said, approvingly: “Conservatives argue that lowering taxes will stimulate the economy. ”

    Let’s have a little honesty in place of your sniping and nit-picking of Michael’s analysis.

    He did a regression, found a relationship. You have done nothing but ask if he specifically considered this or that, or whatever. Regressions, by their nature, take all the available data and come up with a relationship. You apparently cannot understand that.

    If you want to do a multiple regression, taking into account other variables, you could do that. (Note: as a warning, introducing more variables into a noisy data set may not be the path of wisdom.) Since you have not even attempted it, one presumes that you are going to keep asking questions until you get an answer you like.

  131. Gator says:

    I did skip those because they were not germaine to the CONTRADICTORY DATA in the article. The gist of your “article” was that the GOP was in DEEP trouble and the voters were outraged. I posted the info that was germaine to demonstrating the fallacy and error in your ‘article’… which I notice you ignore completely. Understandable because what it indicates is that your treatise and it’s entire premise is a load of crap.

    Let’s take another look at what you wrote and what they wrote shall we…

    First the title of the USA Today piece…

    “GOP’s gamble on the budget pays off, so far”

    you said:
    “They campaigned on bringing jobs to Americans, but there is no public impression that they have been governing with jobs as a goal. ”
    and
    “Most serious of all for Republicans is their disastrously rigid positioning on the most important fiscal issues facing the nation. The party has gone all-in for Paul Ryan’s budget, voting 235–4 in favor. This vote is going to cost many of them dearly, and a large number of Republican legislators are already struggling to explain it to their constituents. ”

    USA Today/Gallup said:
    ” A new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds that House Republicans, who took a political risk in passing a controversial budget blueprint last week, have survived so far with some key advantages intact as Congress moves toward the debate on raising the debt ceiling, passing the 2012 budget and enacting a long-term deficit plan.”
    and
    “By more than 3-to-1, those surveyed say the deficit stems from too much spending, rather than too little tax revenue.”

    you said:
    “This preoccupation with social and religious issues has not escaped notice from a public that presently cares far more about pocketbook issues than anything else.”

    USA/Gallup said:
    “Republicans hold a 12-percentage-point edge over Democrats as the party better able to handle the budget, and a 5-point edge on the economy in general. On a list of six issues, Democrats hold a narrow advantage only in handling health care.”

    Instead of addressing the two paragraphs that tangentally offer minor support to a single statement in your piece, why don’t you address the 10 paragraphs and the overarching thrust of the USA/Gallup poll and article which puts the lie to your assertions?

    Basically everything you stated in your piece is contradicted here.

    And BTW, a few Dem operatives at townhall meetings stirring the pot is not indicative of anything. Both parties play dirty pool and do as much as possible to be a thorn in the side of the opposition.

    And bolding stuff and using larger fonts to try and prove your point is retarded. Logic and facts prove points, not font size.

  132. filistro says:

    @Gator… And bolding stuff and using larger fonts to try and prove your point is retarded.

    I always bold passages taken directly from someone else, as a courtesy to the writer and in order to leave no doubt that it’s a quote and not my original work. I don’t even know how to make larger fonts.

    And calling somebody “retarded” because they point out your speciousness is juvenile.

  133. Gator says:

    What, you didn’t realize I had some juvenile tendencies? Seriously? I enjoy f…ing with people and my preferred method of dealing with people that irritate me is to knock them on their asses and you didn’t realize I might be a touch juvenile? Not terribly perceptive on your part.

    As far as giving credit to the writer, how about quotation marks and attribution? Or you can just bold stuff and look like your yelling. Whatever.

    And you STILL haven’t addressed why you posted an article that was patently false and incorrect. All you’ve done is point out things that I did that you don’t like. Ahh, but I imagine it is easier to attack the messenger than to defend the drivel that is your message.

  134. GROG says:

    Come on shortchain. You accused me of making an assertion and asking someone else to provide “proof” that it’s true. You said it was “shown clearly”.

    You show me exactly where (1) I made that assertion you’re talking about and (2)where I asked anyone to provide “proof” that it’s not true.

    I’ll wait for your answer.

  135. Gator says:

    Fili

    Sorry if I offended you, but I tried being a nice guy and some a-hole had the temerity to try to silence my voice and delete my comments. Comments that were neither profane or incendiary. If someone tried to quiet me or told me to shut up to my face I would put them in the hospital. I have before on more than one occasion. The gall of someone to try and silence me makes me furious. And being treated in a way that would NEVER occur if I were standing in front of someone pisses me off. I assure you that no one on here would have the balls to tell me to shut up if they were looking me in the face. And if you wouldn’t say it or do it face to face, then by God don’t do it on here.

  136. Mule Rider says:

    “I assure you that no one on here would have the balls to tell me to shut up if they were looking me in the face. And if you wouldn’t say it or do it face to face, then by God don’t do it on here.”

    A-freaking-men!

    This EXACT sentiment is how I got my start 3 years ago on the old 538 and led to my prolific and contrarian posting with such brazen responses to Nate and all of the far-left commenters….my raison d’etre, if you will….people always accused me of putting on this “internet tough guy” act but all I was doing with my “challenges” was putting things in context….that being that all the shit they talked and demeaning things they would say about conservatives, none of them had the balls to actually say it to their face….I just wanted to give them that opportunity to actually say those things to one in person (that being me!)….maybe I took it too far at times and said some rather incendiary and hateful things, which is regretful, but that was always my point…..anyway, I think I’m understanding more and more why liberals infest/inhabit the blogosphere and do their “thing” on here in much greater numbers and at a higher frequency than conservatives; they need to have a place to vent and spew bile but they’re too chicken shit to say that same bullshit to people’s faces….talk shit all day long but know you ultimately never have to meet the people face to face that you spend so much time denigrating…..what a way to avoid personal responsibility, which shouldn’t be surprising given how typical it is for the liberal mindset….

  137. shortchain says:

    GROG,

    If you do not believe that raising taxes will increase revenue, then Michael has shown you that you are incorrect, based on statistical analysis of the only data we’ve got.

    If you believe that lowering taxes will increase revenue, then ditto.

    If you don’t believe that this has been demonstrated, statistically, then go take a statistics course — and this time, try to learn something from it.

    If you claim you didn’t intend to argue either way, what did you mean, then, when you said, approvingly: “Conservatives argue that lowering taxes will stimulate the economy. ”?

    Go back and read your comment. If you don’t believe it anymore, say so. Otherwise, be a man and state what you believe.

    Or is this one of those subterfuges so popular on the right, where someone says “some say …”?

    Look, you may pretend not to remember what you said a few days ago, but I remember, and I’m not impressed by playing the “I never said that” card.

  138. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    sc,

    you’re fighting a shadow. May as well stop before you tire yourself out. This ain’t even the right thread!

  139. Justsayin' says:

    Rightie dudes… the proof is in the pudding. If I was putting money down between Filie’s thoughtful wisdom and your bombastic rants, I’d go with Filie everytime. I am in no hurry to see how this goes down, but as I said before time will tell.

  140. shortchain says:

    Max,

    According to Krugman, this idea that “tax cuts increase revenue” is more of a zombie than a shadow — and you have to fight zombies wherever they are, because otherwise they come and eat your brains, and you end up a zombie yourself.

  141. GROG says:

    shortchain,

    Before I deal with all the other garbage in your last comment to me, I’m going to ask you one last time.

    Where did I (1) make the assertion you’re talking about and (2) where did I ask anyone to provide “proof” that it’s not true?

    Why are you having so much difficulty anwering those simple questions?

    When you accuse somebody of something, you better be prepared to back it up.

  142. shortchain says:

    GROG,

    I’ve told you already. If you can’t understand the answer, stop asking the question.

  143. GROG says:

    I’ve told you already.

    No you haven’t. No where have you “told me already”.

    You can’t get away with making false accusations around here without getting called out on it.

    If it were so “clear” you would be able to point to direct quotes very easily. You can’t do it.

  144. shortchain says:

    GROG,

    So, when you said “I’m going to ask you one last time.”

    You lied.

    Look, I’ve tried to answer your question, and given you the only answer you are going to get. I’ll stand by what I’ve said, and, if you want more, you’ll just have to do without.

    Meanwhile, you haven’t even tried to answer my simple questions, which I am not going to ask again. It strikes me that you are trying to pretend that I haven’t answered you — when I have — while refusing to answer any questions in return.

    I conclude that you either cannot or will not answer these questions. And what does that say about you?

  145. GROG says:

    SC said: So, when you said “I’m going to ask you one last time.”

    You lied.

    No I didn’t lie. That was, in fact, the last time I asked.

    So are you now pretending that you don’t hold dear the theory that lowering taxes increases revenue?

    No, I’m not pretending. I don’t think raising taxes causes an increase in revenue and I don’t think lowering taxes causes an increase in revenue.

    Yesterday I said, “I just pointed out there is no correlation between tax rates and revenue as a % of GDP.”

    I’ve followed that up with real data to back it up. And I never asked anyone to prove an assertion I made is not true, as you accused me of doing.

    What other questions do you have?

    I just pointed out there is no correlation between tax rates and revenue as a % of GDP.

  146. GROG says:

    I just pointed out there is no correlation between tax rates and revenue as a % of GDP.

    I didn’t mean to say that at the end of the comment. I must have pasted twice.

  147. shortchain says:

    GROG,

    I’m sorry, but you cannot state that “there is no correlation between tax rates and revenue as a percentage of GDP” without actually, you know, doing the statistics. Without the statistics, you are simply talking through the back of your neck — and misusing a statistical term, which is worse, in my book.

    I note that, while you haven’t done a shred of analysis, Michael has, and he found a .997 probability of there being a correlation. Gosh, what a quandary! Who to believe? The guy who just says, with absolutely no statistical test, that there is no correlation (that would be you) or the guy who did the analysis and found a correlation?

    I’m going with Michael’s results, as a working hypothesis.

  148. GROG says:

    I’m sure then that you and Michael will have no problem explaining how over two seperate 21 year periods with drastically different tax rates, the period with low tax rates yielded more revenue as a % of GDP than the period with high tax rates.

    Tax rate = 89.25 and R as % of GDP = 17.41 (1944-1964)
    Tax rate = 35.95 and R as % of GDP = 18.28 (1987-2007)

    I’m confident all variables are present in the regression analysis and this 42 year anamoly will be explained very easily by you.

  149. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    GROG,

    just STOP! You’ve acted the ass too long. You have become simply tiring in your obtuse persistence.

    If this is the best you can do, although heretofore I’d hate to see you go, then just leave, as you’ve threatened to do, and go piss in someone else’s punchbowl.

    Thanks

  150. GROG says:

    OK Max. I will. I certainly didn’t mean to piss in anyone’s punch bowl. I’m sorry if that’s what I was doing. It’s a subject that interests me, that’s all.

  151. shortchain says:

    GROG,

    Let me apologize also, to both Max, for tiring him, and to you. I’m sure I’m a trial for your patience as well.

    You ask for an explanation of an anomaly. Sorry, statistics doesn’t explain anomalies, exactly. It simply allows them to exist without overturning the average. And if you are going to bet, you want to bet on the averages, not on what you perceive as a pattern, when the data you have is random.

    Let’s just agree to disagree here, and take it up at some future time when it is either apropos or we have new data.

  152. teevagirl says:

    What to add to this lively conversation? Just that everyone in this country pays taxes! Please don’t hand me the GOP canard about “income taxes”.. We ALL pay federal taxes. At the Pump.. If you choose to smoke. We all pay taxes. I get so tired of the Falsehood that the top 10% pay 90% of the tax burden in this country. I don’t see the very rich paying payroll taxes and that’s one big bite from our paycheck.

  153. Gator says:

    “shortchain says:
    April 26, 2011 at 17:54
    GROG,

    Let me apologize also, to both Max, for tiring him, and to you. I’m sure I’m a trial for your patience as well.”

    Extremely gracious SC. A tip of the hat to you.

  154. Gator says:

    Gallup: Seniors Most Favorable To Ryan Budget

    A new Gallup/USA Today poll contains a counterintuitive finding: the age group most receptive to House Budget Chair Paul Ryan’s plan to deal with the budget – seniors.

    The poll finds 48 percent of seniors (those 65 and over) support Ryan’s plan over President Obama’s plan, while 42 percent back the president.

    That’s the highest total among the age groups tested – a 47 percent plurality between the ages of 50 and 64 backed Ryan, and a 45 percent plurality of those between 30-49 backed Ryan. But young voters overwhelmingly sided with Obama by a 23-point margin, 53 to 30 percent.

    Overall, 44 percent back Obama’s plan, while 43 percent support Ryan.

    Republicans hold a double-digit lead over Democrats in public perception of which party would do a better job dealing with the federal budget, according to the survey. 48 percent prefer Republicans, while 36 percent prefer Democrats in Congress.

    The poll, conducted between April 20-23, surveyed 1,013 adults and has a four percent margin of error.

    http://hotlineoncall.nationaljournal.com/archives/2011/04/gallup-seniors.php

  155. GROG says:

    @Gator,

    That’s interesting in light of the following comment by a 538 refugee a few days ago on the “Channeling Your Inner Political Nerd” thread.

    “However, us “older voters” want our kids to have health care when they retire. Name me a retiree who says, “I get mine, screw the grandkids.”

    Privatizing Ryan counted on the over-55 crowd to be entirely selfish and stoopid, and the under-55′ers to be gullible and stoopid.

    55+ are supposed to not give a damn about their own kids and grandkids. It “doesn’t affect” us to know that our own kids will be unable to get healthcare when they retire? Really?

    54- are supposed to not notice that Ryan dismantles Medicare simply and only to give that money as tax cuts to the immensely wealthy.

    Ryan’s plan is a gift to the Democrats.”

  156. rgbact says:

    Gator-

    In fairness, Ryan lets current seniors off the hook, so not too suprising they like his plan better. Course, Obama takes from current seniors to give to the young, so not shocking the young like Obama’s plan. Both plans have their faults.

  157. shortchain says:

    Of course, as anybody who has been around may have noticed, the senior contingent is the slowest contingent to make up its mind on things or change its mind, even in the face of overwhelming evidence.

    And, of course, seniors are Republican by a significant majority.

    I wouldn’t take too much stock in this at this point in time. Let it get kicked around for a while, see which way it goes.

  158. dcpetterson says:

    The poll finds 48 percent of seniors (those 65 and over) support Ryan’s plan over President Obama’s plan, while 42 percent back the president.

    How did seniors vote in 2008? I don’t have the numbers, was it 48% for McCain, 42% for Obama?

  159. shortchain says:

    DC,

    53 percent of seniors voted for McCain in 2008, compared with 45 percent for Obama.

  160. rgbact says:

    Now if Obama can just get rid of Dems in Congress.

    Indies prefer GOP Congrees to Dem Congress on Budget=47 to 30. Ouch. Beware Senate Dems. Obama can’t save you.

  161. dcpetterson says:

    @shortchain
    53 percent of seniors voted for McCain in 2008, compared with 45 percent for Obama.

    So it sounds like the Republican plan to kill Medicare is not exactly making friends for the Republicans. But the gap is about the same. We’ll see how the messaging goes in the next few months.

  162. dcpetterson says:

    @rgbact
    Course, Obama takes from current seniors to give to the young,

    Can you explain this? What part of the benefits currently given to seniors would be “taken away” from them and “given to” the young?

  163. rgbact says:

    DC-

    I meant in financial terms. That’s how PPACA was funded. It was basically $1T in new PPACA benefits—paid for with $500B in Medicare cuts and $500B in taxes. Thats how it was deficit neutral.

    There were no literal benefits”taken away” but I think we’ve discussed this before.

  164. dcpetterson says:

    I see. So, since nothing is taken away from seniors by the PPACA, your statement to the contrary was rather meaningless propaganda, yes?

  165. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    rg,

    please, in small words and simple phrases for us that are not too bright out here, EXACTLY what this “$500 billion” in Medicare cuts is to be. Please, break it down as to EXACTLY what Medicare spending is effected (Eg: $200B – doctors’ billings, $175B – reduction in prescription benefit. THAT sort of breakdown)

    Thanks.

  166. rgbact says:

    DC-

    No propoganda. Half the cost of a new benefit plan is paid for with “savings’ from another benefit plan. Either those are real “savings” or they’re not? You can’t say they’re real for accounting purposes but not real in terms of benefits you get.

    Max-

    Everything is readily in Wiki. I can discuss those specifics—else I’ll assume people really don’t care about what I’m saying. Not big on assignments that go nowhere.

  167. Gator says:

    Obama Job Rating Hits New Low in Pennsylvania

    As President Obama gears up for his 2012 re-election bid, a new poll of voters in Pennsylvania presents some ominous warning signs for the president. A Quinnipac University poll of 1,366 registered Pennsylvania voters conducted last week shows Obama’s job approval rating slipping to just 42 percent, an all time low, while 53 percent disapprove of the way the president is handling his job.

    The finding represents a sharp decline in the president’s standing in the Keystone State. Quinnipiac’s last poll in Pennsylvania, taken just nine weeks ago in mid-February, showed 51 percent of voters approved of the job the President Obama is doing, while 44 percent disapproved.

    Perhaps even more concerning to Obama’s campaign team is that for the first time a majority of Pennsylvania voters say President Obama does not deserve another term in the White House. Fifity two percent of voters — including 56 percent of independents — say Obama does not deserve re-election, while just 42 percent believe he does.

    In 2008, Obama carried Pennsylvania by a comfortable 11-point margin over John McCain, 55 to 44.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2011/04/28/obama_job_rating_hits_new_low_in_pennsylvania_109689.html

  168. Gator says:

    Poll: Obama is losing public’s confidence on economy

    WASHINGTON — Public disapproval of President Barack Obama’s handling of the economy reached a new high in mid-April, according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll, as gasoline prices neared $4 a gallon and Washington lawmakers fought a bitter battle over the federal budget.

    Some 57 percent of registered voters said they disapproved of Obama’s economic management, while only 40 percent approved. That’s the lowest score of his presidency.

    “These numbers spell political trouble,” said Lee Miringoff, the director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion in New York, which conducted the survey. “To get re-elected with a 57 percent disapproval rating would be a very tall order.”

    Meanwhile, public pessimism is growing: Fifty-seven percent of U.S. adults said they thought the worst was yet to come for the U.S economy, up sharply from 39 percent in January. And 71 percent said the nation was still in a recession, even though the slump, which began in December 2007, officially ended in June 2009.

    The survey asked 1,084 registered voters about Obama on April 10-14. The error margin is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

    Read more: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/04/27/112900/poll-obama-is-losing-publics-confidence.html#ixzz1KpV2SqYT

    Read more: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/04/27/112900/poll-obama-is-losing-publics-confidence.html#ixzz1KpUoNeTa

  169. Gator says:

    GDP: Economic recovery stumbles

    NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Economic growth slowed to a crawl in the first three months of the year as a spike in gasoline, higher overall inflation and continued weakness in the housing market all took a toll on the recovery.

    Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of the nation’s economic health, rose at an annual rate of 1.8%, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. That’s a significant slowdown from the 3.1% growth rate in the final quarter of 2010.

    Most predictions for growth have fallen precipitously over the past several weeks as rising prices spooked forecasters. Economists surveyed by CNNMoney were predicting growth of 2.0% in the first quarter. But some estimates were as high as 4.3% just two months earlier.

    “Undoubtedly, consumers are cutting discretionary spending to compensate for rising food and energy prices,” said Jim Baird, chief investment strategist for Plante Moran Financial Advisors. “The risk of recession in the near-term remains slim, but an extended period of slow growth isn’t likely to encourage an enthusiastic mood any time soon.”

    http://money.cnn.com/2011/04/28/news/economy/1q_gdp_report/?section=money_latest

    And you think the Republicans are in trouble? And the Prez is hunky dory? Really?

  170. mclever says:

    Assuming that the voters are paying attention and actually understand what Ryan’s plan entails, then filistro may have a point about Republicans endangering themselves.

    However, Republicans long ago learned that they can rely on voter befuddlement to skate past with proposals that are actually directly counter to what voters say they want. As Nate points out, it’s way to early to be crowing “victory” on the budget plan for either side. We must wait to see how the voters actually digest the information after the ad blitzes are over.

    http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/27/beware-mission-accomplished-on-budget-debate/

  171. mclever says:

    to = too

    I hate typos…

  172. Gator says:

    This is great! Keynes v Hayek Round 2

    and mclever – Fili has no point anywhere in this ‘article’. I have posted Gallup data that puts a lie to all of her assertions. If you have contradictory data that would prove her point, please post it. If, on the other hand, you have merely your opinion, then guess what… you lose.

  173. mclever says:

    Gator,

    I’m not here to “prove” filistro’s point for her, especially when the whole point of my comment was to show why I think she is wrong (or at least very premature) in her prognostications.

    Asking me to prove an assertion that I’m not making is a unique twist on the strawman argument, I must admit.

  174. Gator says:

    mclever that isn’t a strawman argument. And you said that perhaps Fili had a point. I said that you are wrong. If you can demonstrate that she had a ‘point’ then you should. That was my ‘point’.

    Glad to see you acknowledge that she is wrong-headed in her positions in this piece of ‘journalism’.

  175. mclever says:

    No, Gator, you obviously misunderstood my original point. Apparently, you have a problem understanding caveats and conditionals? I prefaced my statement that filistro “may” have a point by stating an assumption. Then, my follow-up statements showed why I think that assumption was flawed. Then, you challenged me to prove what I’d already said was flawed!

  176. Gator says:

    I assumed you were throwing out the caveats and conditions as a CYA tactic. I assumed that you were making an attempt, however feeble and misguided, to defend Fili since no one else even tried. The crap she wrote being indefensible and all.

    My mistake for making assumptions. For some reason your original post didn’t really look like a refutation of the foolishness in her post. I must have missed that as a result of your subtle wording. My bad.

  177. mclever says:

    Gator,

    I can be too subtle sometimes, eh?

    I don’t want to leave you with the impression that I completely dismiss the possibility that filistro may eventually turn out to be right. I simply think it’s far too early to be declaring winners or losers in the framing of the ongoing budget debate and impossible to correctly predict the political fallout at this stage. Current indications are that despite the occasional kerfluffle at open meetings with Republican Representatives, the broader public opinion is unmoved. Most voters simply aren’t paying attention to DC right now. Political junkies like to think of specific individual votes as campaign fodder, but this far from an election it’s almost meaningless. It all comes down to how voters feel about how things are going as the election nears. Even with the most incisive campaign ads that belabor an allegedly “killer” vote, the electorate will interpret the ad based on preconceived opinions and either disbelieve or embrace the message accordingly.

    I can see multiple paths to “victory” for either side depending on message control and media reactions. Right now, that would suggest to me that Republicans have the edge even with a truly despicable, destructive bill, because they are far better at message manipulation than the current liberals/progressives. If voters are happy going into the summer of 2012, it won’t matter. If voters are pissed, then it all depends on who they blame, and any incumbent could be at risk regardless of specific votes like this one.

  178. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    rg, maybe the reason you don’t put up is because you haven’t anything to show.

    Googled $500 B medicare cuts and invariably I kept coming back to this point:

    The $500 billion figure is actually the projected savings achieved through reduced growth of future spending on Medicare over the next 10 years; the law does not cut $500 billion from the current Medicare budget, and there are no cuts to guaranteed Medicare benefits.
    Medicare spending will continue to grow over the next decade — just not as fast as it would without the PPACA.

    So, if you’ve got something else, you need to show it, else we shall doubt you’re doing more than spouting Luntz talking points that are over a year old. So far, no one has given specific answers to my original question to you, that would provide proof of that spurious statement.

  179. Gator says:

    mclever said: “I can be too subtle sometimes, eh?”

    Shockingly, not a problem that I suffer from. 😉

  180. rgbact says:

    Max-

    If I tell you I plan to increase my entertainment budget by $100/mo….you then ask me how I will fund it….I say I will “save” $50 on my food budget and work overtime for another $50. You say “oh, you will buy cheaper food then?”. I say “no, I’ll buy exactly the same food, just be a better shopper”. You say “what, are you a bad shopper now”. I say, “no, I’m a great shopper, but I’ll be an even better one”. You say “well than why are you currently paying $50 more for food that you claim you can get for cheaper?” I say, “I plan to really get agressive with the local grocer,trust me”.

    Does this example clear things up? Either the money you’ve saved to pay for new spending is real….or its not.You can’t say “oh, we’re not cutting anything”….then also be using money from cutting to pay for new spending.

  181. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    rb,

    If you’ve the time to provide such a nice little analogy, which you COULD have used REAL numbers (if you had proof), surely you’d’ve done the teensiest bit of research into the $500 B cut claim, and you could tell the specifics of where those cuts are.

    Since you can’t provide them, our assumption is that you don’t really know what you are talking about and just parroting talking points.

    But, thank you for playing.

  182. rgbact says:

    Max-

    The specifics are easily available in Wiki. The confusion seems to be more at what is a “cut” vs a “saving” vs. an “increase less than projected”. I tried to simplify the concept. Beyond that, I’m happy to discuss the specific cuts in PPACA on the Wiki page.

  183. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    rg,

    Well, sir, I see no need to keep repeating myself, as you don’t seem able to produce any specific evidence to prove your talking point.

    But I do find it more than a bit ironic and disingenuous for the folks that wish to do away with Medicare to be decrying so-called, and undemonstrated, “cuts” to the program!

    Best.

  184. mostlyilurk says:

    But I do find it more than a bit ironic and disingenuous for the folks that wish to do away with Medicare to be decrying so-called, and undemonstrated, “cuts” to the program!

    That’s for sure, Max. The elimination of a program would seem to be the biggest “cut” of all.

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