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The Myth of the Clinton Surplus - An oldie but a goodie

Discussion in 'Economics, Business, and Taxes' started by resident_evil, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. Arkady

    Arkady President

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    I'm all for paying it down significantly during good times. But that means ignoring people like Bush. When debt was falling like a rock, as a share of GDP, in 2000, he campaigned on the idea we needed his tax cut (structured, of course, to give the vast majority of its benefit to the rich), because people had overpayed. Basically, in bad times Republicans think we need tax cuts for stimulus, and in good times they think we need tax cuts because surpluses are a sign that government is collecting too much revenue, and so debt is always rising fast. Republicans also think, for some weird reason, that we need to spend more on our military than all our potential adversaries combined, and four or five times more than the next-closest country. And they think that new government spending should be structured so as to make it as profitable for corporations as possible, even if that means much higher prices for taxpayers (see the no-bid rebuilding contracts in Iraq, or the Bush drug program, which expressly blocked the government from negotiating prices for those drugs). That's why they've routinely been so bad for our fiscal situation.
     
  2. resident_evil

    resident_evil Senator

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    You got it half right. The fact is that BOTH parties are fiscally irresponsible. If you think Democrats are better in any way you're fooling yourself.
     
  3. Arkady

    Arkady President

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    Check out the following:

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2014/assets/hist07z1.xls

    Check out the consistent decline in debt as a share of GDP from the end of WWII through the Carter years, then again starting in the mid 1990s (after the Clinton tax hikes took effect). Other than the era started by the Reagan tax cuts and the era started by the Bush tax cuts, the general post-WWII trend has been for debt to become more and more manageable over time (down to just a third of GDP before Reagan took office -- which is a bit like an individual with a $100,000 income only owing $33,000 on his mortgage and having no other debt). It's just that the era following those two big upper class tax cuts (and savage military spending hikes) did so much harm that they more than undid all those decades of improvement.

    If you want to attack the Democrats too, feel free, but if you think the Democrats are just as bad as the Republicans, you're fooling yourself. The only one you can argue was bad on the scale of Reagan and Bush, fom the perspective of implementing policy changes causing a drastic increase in deficits, was FDR. In his defense, he was responding to a massive sneak-attack that forced us into a global war against fellow superpowers, so we had little choice but to borrow and spend big on military mobilization. By comparison, the Reagan and Bush plunges into giant deficits were entirely at their discretion.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2013
  4. EatTheRich

    EatTheRich President

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    So you're mad that the Social Security Administration ran a record surplus, invested it in treasury bonds, thus shoring up their own fiscal health, and thereby provided the treasury with a big influx of capital that could be used to pay down the external debt? Because Social Security will one day have to be paid back, yet Bush ran record deficits that will make it hard for the treasury to do so?
     
  5. EatTheRich

    EatTheRich President

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    The U.S. saved a lot of money by eliminating AFDC, the primary social spending program after Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Enough that overall spending declined in FY1999-2000 even as the military budget increased. Clinton did indeed achieve surpluses for the first time in years, but he did so at the expense of the poor.
     
  6. EatTheRich

    EatTheRich President

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    Wonder why American rule of Puerto Rico is described as colonialist? Maybe because Puerto Rico is not seen as part of the U.S., but rather as a nation the U.S. owns.
     
  7. resident_evil

    resident_evil Senator

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    What is it with bringing up Bush? I half hate Bush. I think he should be half heading to prison for war crimes. The remainder of that hate is directed at people who assume me or my kind are pro Bush. Shut up already. Fiscally I hate Republicans and Democrats equally. They are virtually equally guilty of malfeasance (roughly 55-45% blame).

    Social Security is a ponzi scheme and those 'investments' may well not deliver. Maybe our Social Security should have been treated more fully like a sovereign fund. Maybe those UAW bums could be retired off of funding generated from Chinese workers than Treasury printing presses.
     
  8. EatTheRich

    EatTheRich President

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    I say it's not up to us how the ruling class, which controls the government, decides how to manage their debt. Our concern should be that they don't try to deal with it at our expense by doing something like cutting our social security.
     
  9. resident_evil

    resident_evil Senator

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    Every year of Clinton's presidency the national debt increased. None of that debt was ever paid down. In other words, the national credit card balance kept increasing.
     
  10. resident_evil

    resident_evil Senator

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    Have you asked the Puerto Ricans what they think? They've run referendums.
     
  11. resident_evil

    resident_evil Senator

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    Its going to means tested and you know it. All pretense to virtue in the program is going to collapse.
     
  12. EatTheRich

    EatTheRich President

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    The UN has a process for self-determination, and it does not recognize referenda organized under military occupation as valid.
     
  13. EatTheRich

    EatTheRich President

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    Or the income tax could be raised slightly to cover the cost of paying the Social Security Administration back the money it is owed.
     
  14. resident_evil

    resident_evil Senator

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    Who are they going to raise the taxes on? Evidently not the 50% who currently don't pay any income taxes. The top 1%?
     
  15. resident_evil

    resident_evil Senator

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    My Puerto Rican friends do see it as valid. I ask Manny from time to time. He seems an honest broker on the subject. The larger majority are happy with the system as it is now.

    We gave up the Canal and Subic bay easily enough. No war. No reparations or tribute to the Empire.
     
  16. EatTheRich

    EatTheRich President

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    How about the less than 2% in the top bracket?
     
  17. EatTheRich

    EatTheRich President

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martyrs'_Day_(Panama) <---the U.S. killed unarmed civilians in its effort to hold on to the canal zone
    Just as they murdered civilians in Puerto Rico http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ponce_massacre and the Philippines
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moro_Crater_massacre

    No, the U.S. did not launch a full-scale invasion of Panama and watch Panama and the rest of Central America ally itself with the Soviet Union and Cuba. Yes, the U.S. did give up its installation at Subic Bay after it was destroyed by a volcano http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Pinatubo#Aftermath_of_the_1991_eruption

    It's hard to know what the majority thinks in Puerto Rico since people who express pro-independence views are given some of the longest prison sentences in the world

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oscar_López_Rivera

    or gunned down by the FBI

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filiberto_Ojeda_Ríos

    The French used to claim, with the support of referenda, polls, and an imposed silence, that the majority of Algerians supported Algeria's being part of France. Turned out, next to no Algerian Moors or Berbers did so.
     
  18. middleview

    middleview President Supporting Member

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    Really? So people on Social Security had nothing to do with running up the debt?
     
  19. JackDallas

    JackDallas Senator Supporting Member

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  20. JackDallas

    JackDallas Senator Supporting Member

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    Too late
     

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