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Author Topic: Duh Debates
D.W.
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Man I haven't ben to the onion in ages. Time to change that I think. [Big Grin]
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by G3:
quote:
Following last night’s nationally televised presidential debate, President Barack Obama’s 11-year-old daughter Sasha reportedly asked her father why he was “acting like such a goddamned pussy up there.” “Daddy, how come you were being such a little bitch?” asked the sixth-grader, who told the president she was “genuinely worried” that maybe somebody had “cut Daddy’s balls off” right before he took the stage.
The Onion. [LOL]
I'm generally a fan of the onion, but I'm not big on mixing children and sadism. [Frown]

[ October 04, 2012, 04:49 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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hobsen
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My library computer seems to have been infected with something, as it keeps redirecting me to obscure sites and periodically wiping out my work. It would be nice to think a special place in hell is reserved for those who craft such programs.

Anyway Romney clearly won the first debate, and those who thought otherwise rank as delusional. But I agree with Nate Silver's football analogy: it was much like kicking a field goal in the 4th quarter when you need a touchdown. Certainly you can still win, but the odds remain against you.

[ October 04, 2012, 10:00 PM: Message edited by: hobsen ]

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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by hobsen:
Anyway Romney clearly won the first debate, and those who thought otherwise rank as delusional.

Yes, there's no doubt Romney won, it wasn't really close. Delusional may be a tad harsh, but they are certainly suffering from rose-colored glasses.

quote:
Originally posted by hobsen:
But I agree with Nate Silver's football analogy: it was much like kicking a field goal in the 4th quarter when you need a touchdown. Certainly you can still win, but the odds remain against you.

That's a valid point, but after last night Team Romney is a field goal closer to winning.
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AI Wessex
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Many experts who watched the debates with the sound turned off were polled and gave Romney a win by a high margin, which is why debates aren't what they seem. Romney had the henna washed off from his Univision appearance and seems to have pinked himself up for this TV audience. He smiled even when Obama was hitting him between the eyes with a 2 by 4 and kept up a tap dancing regimen that would have tired out a younger man.

Obama by contrast didn't whiten his skin, looked down a lot and smiled only when something seemed genuinely funny. The debate played more like a dull TV sitcom where Obama was the nerdy neighbor brought in to be abused with knowing irony.

So the question wasn't who has the better policies and would be the better President, but who got the higher ratings. If you think Obama did, you clearly are delusional.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
Still, the big bird thing was chilling. [Frown]

I wouldn't be surprised if that's the biggest thing that really carries forward from this debate. Everything else was pretty forgettable or only visible to people that have already been following closely, but by going after Big Bird, he opened up a really easy to exploit weakness not only for himself, but for every congressional Republican who is in a tight race.

It doesn't speak well for his business sense that he suggested that he'd cut a trivial expense that produces such a huge ROI, nevermind that he did so by going after one of the most iconic elements of its benefit.

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yossarian22c
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The real question is did Romney win any votes with his debate performance? The polls over the next few days will answer that question.
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AI Wessex
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Polls even now don't fully translate to votes. If they shift up one day and down the next they are reflecting the news cycle more than sentiment and intent. They only matter as long term trends in Sept/Oct after the convention noise settles down, and are only a good forward indicator in the last week before the election.
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AI Wessex
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If Mitt is elected his theme song should be "Hail to the Fuzzident". He told FOX last night:
quote:
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is disavowing his controversial remarks dismissing “the 47 percent” of Americans who don’t pay federal income taxes, saying in an interview Thursday night that the comments were “just completely wrong.”

“My life has shown that I care about 100 percent, and that’s been demonstrated throughout my life,” Romney told conservative commentator Sean Hannity on Fox News. “And this whole campaign is about the 100 percent.”

That's just another example of a strong stand used for advantage at one point in time but not useful to him now, like "strict Conservative", the mandate is/is not a tax, climate change is a fact/theory, honoring deportation deferrals, and my favorite one about the $5T in tax cuts (Forbes):
quote:
Okay. Now we know that Gov. Romney’s tax plan does not call for a $5 trillion tax cut. Which means that we now officially know nothing at all about Mitt Romney’s tax plan.

Previously, Governor Romney has said that his tax plan would cut all individual income tax rates by 20%, eliminate the AMT, eliminate the estate tax, and eliminate taxes on investment income for low- and middle-income taxpayers. He would also extend all of the Bush-era tax cuts that are scheduled to expire at the end of 2012.

Those tax cuts would reduce federal revenues by $480 billion in 2015 over and above the cost of extending the Bush tax cuts. Allow for some growth in income, and the total comes to over $5 trillion over ten years.

Get that, over and above the Bush tax cuts?

[ October 05, 2012, 09:16 AM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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Greg Davidson
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Sorry, I have been busy, but I'd like to chime in here. It was pretty clear that Romney won the debate assuming that we are using the usual definition of what it means to "win". He looked and spoke with more confidence, and he had clear answers that addressed many concerns that emerged during the debate. When opposing arguments were raised, he confidently responded and moved on. That usually has a net positive effect on influencing voters.

Now, he achieved those objectives through a combination of excellent preparation and a blithe disregard for the truth (even in the context of intellectual integrity, that is, maintaining consistency between what he has said in the past and what he was saying at the moment). But Obama did not successfully challenge his incorrect statements and inconsistencies. So the night was clearly a positive for Romney.

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G3
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
Still, the big bird thing was chilling. [Frown]

I wouldn't be surprised if that's the biggest thing that really carries forward from this debate. Everything else was pretty forgettable or only visible to people that have already been following closely, but by going after Big Bird, he opened up a really easy to exploit weakness not only for himself, but for every congressional Republican who is in a tight race.

It doesn't speak well for his business sense that he suggested that he'd cut a trivial expense that produces such a huge ROI, nevermind that he did so by going after one of the most iconic elements of its benefit.

Romney's a meany for going after big bird? I don't recall that one being on the talking points. I think it's better than the altitude sickness but, jesus, what isn't?
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AI Wessex
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You mean the fact that Romney pointedly mentioning that Big Bird will get the axe is somehow on a par with Gore offering a goofy post-game comment about altitude sickness? If you want to compare what the candidates say with pure nonsense, often maliciously distorted, you should stick with FOX.

[ October 05, 2012, 04:51 PM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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hobsen
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Perhaps "rose-colored glasses" is indeed kinder than "delusional" for those on the fringe who think Obama won this debate.

But as an incumbent leading in the polls, Obama would have preferred not to debate Romney at all. Failing that, he should have preferred a debate as boring as possible, so fewer people would tune in to listen to Romney's arguments in the next two debates. And above all, he wanted to avoid making memorable blunders of the sort which can cost a candidate the election. I have seen no one suggest he made any of those.

And by failing to mention Romney's 47% remark, he avoided giving Romney a chance to explain. The result was, for example, that Bill O'Reilly opened his next show by speculating on why Obama had avoided attacking on that issue - thereby reminding his millions of viewers that Romney holds 47% of them in contempt - without Romney having any chance to counter that perception. As Prytolin suggests, the major blunder of the debate may have been Romney attacking Big Bird - suggesting cutting funding for such an American icon is hardly a way to win. By comparison Obama said nothing memorable at all, good or bad, which probably made his advisers very happy.

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TommySama
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
You mean the fact that Romney pointedly mentioning that Big Bird will get the axe is somehow on a par with Gore offering a goofy post-game comment about altitude sickness? If you want to compare what the candidates say with pure nonsense, often maliciously distorted, you should stick with FOX.

Maybe Mitt is right to be wary of Big Bird (some naughty words).

[ October 05, 2012, 09:06 PM: Message edited by: TommySama ]

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AI Wessex
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Hobsen may be right. If the polls rise this week for Romney and fall next week, I would think that gives more credence to that view. Especially because in the meantime Obama will hammer the **** out of him for all of his false statements.
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Viking_Longship
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quote:
Originally posted by TommySama:
quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
You mean the fact that Romney pointedly mentioning that Big Bird will get the axe is somehow on a par with Gore offering a goofy post-game comment about altitude sickness? If you want to compare what the candidates say with pure nonsense, often maliciously distorted, you should stick with FOX.

Maybe Mitt is right to be wary of Big Bird (some naughty words).

It's a funny bit but he's got Oscar all wrong. Oscar doesn't live in a trash can because he's poor. His trash can is like Dr Who's TARDIS, small in the outside vast on the inside, Oscar has a paid lacky named Bruno, a super-intelligent pet worm, and a horde of devices he's cobbled together. Oscar isn't the poorest guy on Seseme Street, he's one of the wealthiest.
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Pete at Home
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Interesting. So if Oscar is a wealthy Republican who just lives in a garbage can in order to trick the IRS so he can continue to cheat on his taxes, then it stands to reason that Oscar will be the only member of Sesame Street to continue to receive public funding under Romney [Wink]

[ October 06, 2012, 02:35 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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hobsen
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quote:
Rick Santorum got philosophical when asked about Mitt Romney's pledge to cut off PBS funding, the Washington Post reports.

Said Santorum: "I've voted to kill Big Bird in the past. I have a record there that I have to disclose. That doesn't mean I don't like Big Bird. You can kill things and still like them, maybe to eat them, I don't know.

Big Bird would certainly stand out as the main course at Romney's Thanksgiving feast. More like an ostrich than a turkey.
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EDanaII
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@ Pyrtolin:
quote:
You keep repeating that nonsense despite the fact that the ARRA was one of the first major acts out of the gate. Are you suggesting that he would have had any luck passing a second stimulus bill before the first was even fully under way?
What? That's all he needed to do and he was done?

He promised to cut the deficit in half and instead enlarged government. He promised to reduce the debt and instead increased it by 6 trillion. The fire was burning. You could argue he put it out, but then he walked away, the remains still smoldering and went diving for pearls instead.


@ Al Wessex:
quote:
Then please explain how he will implement a 20% tax cut across the board (and what taxes is he referring to) while remaining revenue neutral? He can't. Or don't you think that is necessary during an election campaign?
He explained it. I suspect you either didn't want to hear it or accept it. By broadening the _tax base_ your create more tax payers and, therefore, more revenue. It's been tried before and worked. I have no reason to believe it won't work this time either.

Ed.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by hobsen:
quote:
Rick Santorum got philosophical when asked about Mitt Romney's pledge to cut off PBS funding, the Washington Post reports.

Said Santorum: "I've voted to kill Big Bird in the past. I have a record there that I have to disclose. That doesn't mean I don't like Big Bird. You can kill things and still like them, maybe to eat them, I don't know.

Big Bird would certainly stand out as the main course at Romney's Thanksgiving feast. More like an ostrich than a turkey.
Just figure out what he'd stuff it with, and we have a great political cartoon.
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Grant
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
Just figure out what he'd stuff it with, and we have a great political cartoon.

Jim Lehrer.

Maybe Tom Glavin?

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Pete at Home
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How about Votes?

Does this topic require its own thread?

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Pete at Home
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Cartoon: Big Bird & Romney: http://theweek.com/section/cartoon/0/234410/all-cartoons

Edited to add another: http://theweek.com/section/cartoon/0/234406/all-cartoons

Thanksgiving Big Bird : http://theweek.com/section/cartoon/0/234403/all-cartoons

http://theweek.com/section/cartoon/0/234400/all-cartoons

Please link me to any other Big Bird Romney cartoons you see.

[ October 06, 2012, 06:14 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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Greg Davidson
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quote:
He explained it. I suspect you either didn't want to hear it or accept it. By broadening the _tax base_ your create more tax payers and, therefore, more revenue. It's been tried before and worked. I have no reason to believe it won't work this time either.
This has been tried before - but it has a remarkable track record of failure. Please provide me the substantiation for your claim.
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Pete at Home
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m'It's Alive! http://theweek.com/section/cartoon/0/234404/all-cartoons
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Pete at Home
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Fact Checkers: http://theweek.com/section/cartoon/0/234328/all-cartoons
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EDanaII
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@ Greg Davidson

Just read the thread, Greg. [Smile]

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by EDanaII:
@ Pyrtolin:
quote:
You keep repeating that nonsense despite the fact that the ARRA was one of the first major acts out of the gate. Are you suggesting that he would have had any luck passing a second stimulus bill before the first was even fully under way?
What? That's all he needed to do and he was done?

Try answering the question I asked- do you think it would have been politically feasible to try to pass another round of stimulus legislation right on the heels on the first? He should have started bigger, and held out harder against letting it get cut, certainly, but given what was enacted, there wasn't any good way, at the very least until Franken's election was worked out, to try go follow it up with the balance of what was needed, but it bought some time, at least. And were it not for the absurd level of procedural delays in the Senate and then losing the house, he would have been able to get more thorugh after hammering out the other important issues for long term economic health that were on his plate.

quote:
He promised to cut the deficit in half and instead enlarged government. He promised to reduce the debt and instead increased it by 6 trillion.

You realize that those are mutually contradictory? You can't reduce debt (net private savings) if you only cut a deficit (net increase in private profit potential) in half. He did promise the first, which would have been absurdly stupid to do, since we needed to push mor growth, not force even faster contraction, the second is pure nonsense.

With the trillion dollar public deficit he inherited, it's going to take 50 years to fill the current 50 trillion dollar private sector credit hole that needs to be filled (and that's falsely assuming that it holds stead over that time rather than continuing to grow) and he's reduced that and presided over an unprecedented number of public sector layoffs at any time, nevermind in a downturn.

You're right that he left the embers smoldering, but that's in large part because he was trying to satisfy people like you that keep complaining that he used too much water as it was; that he broke promises to cut water production in half and want him to solve the fire and underlying drought by finding ways to drain get rid of all the water, since, apparently, no fires would happen if there was no water around to encourage people to set them.

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AI Wessex
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"He explained it. I suspect you either didn't want to hear it or accept it. By broadening the _tax base_ your create more tax payers and, therefore, more revenue. It's been tried before and worked. I have no reason to believe it won't work this time either."

Ed, his explanation is called kicking the can down the road. He proposes to cut taxes by $480B a year, and when will the government start to recoup the savings? Certainly not all of it in the first year, so entering the second year they are not revenue neutral from year 1. And then the next year it's another $480B in the red. Get real, it's not possible. Over 10 years it is $5T that he has cut. As Pete points out, without some massive bubble (that would eventually burst) where's all that money going to come from?

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Greg Davidson
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Ed,

Here is why I get tired of bogus arguments being put forward and requiring my effort to show how silly they are. Here's a quote from the summary of the William A. Niskanen and Stephen Moore study you cited:

quote:
In 8 of the 10 key economic variables examined, the American economy performed better during the Reagan years than during the pre-and post-Reagan years.

Real economic growth averaged 3.2 percent during the Reagan years versus 2.8 percent during the Ford-Carter years and 2.1 percent during the Bush-Clinton years.

How many people reading your quote would think that they were combining bad economic performance under Ford to Carter, and bad economic performance under Bush I to Clinton. You could play the same game, only with more validity, by saying that the policies pursued under Carter and Clinton resulted in higher growth than the policies of Republicans Ford, Reagan and Bush.


Real question: I am assuming that you raise these arguments sincerely, but don't you ever get embarrassed that they are riddled with ridiculous holes than can be spotted in 5 minutes of examination?

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Pete at Home
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"He explained it. I suspect you either didn't want to hear it or accept it. By broadening the _tax base_ your create more tax payers and, therefore, more revenue. It's been tried before and worked."

YES, it's been tried and it's worked before, under Reagan, but do you think that the deficit went down under Reagan as promised? [Big Grin]

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
By broadening the _tax base_ your create more tax payers and, therefore, more revenue.
In other words, by broadening the base, you effectively raise taxes on some segment of the population. Now, if there isn't mathematically enough room to "broaden the base" on the upper class to match the cuts your giving them (and it's your explicitly stated intent to lower their tax rate because you think that lower taxes rather than better deduction for productive investments will encourage said investments) then if you want to balance out those cute, you have to "broaden the base" on the middle class to get there. In the mean time, you'll see overall tax collections fall, because the middle class now has less money to spend, so the upper class has less motivation to expand production to try to get that money. Instead, they save it (which is to say, they push the middle class further into debt (since debt and savings are two sides of the same coin) especially is the Federal Government is working to constrain the supply of public savings available and cutting net private income by reducing spending.
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AI Wessex
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Heard on the radio this morning Romney himself say in a recent campaign stop in Ohio that the 20% tax cut for people with under $200,000 taxable income would be offset by elimination of deductions they receive. In other words, they themselves would be responsible for the revenue neutrality of the tax cuts he plans to give them.

Ed, couple of questions:
. Isn't that the small business population Republicans are dedicated to protect?
. Can you explain how that broadens the tax base?

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EDanaII
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Listen, Guys? "Broadening the tax base" simply means allowing more money to circulate through the system so that more goods and services and, yes, tax payers get taxed. It starts by allowing the creation of jobs. With more jobs, more people are actually spending and therefore buying those goods and services. It's actually no different than that Keynesian stimulus that Obama tried with one _very notable exception._ The problem with Obama's stimulus was that it only lasted as long as the money lasted and left us 1 trillion dollars deeper in the hole. Lowering taxes, creates more jobs, more jobs means more spenders and more spenders means more taxes collected and is more sustainable in the long-term than any Keynesian Stimulus.


@ Greg Davidson

Why, thank you sir, for intervening in this thread and explaining it all so clearly to me. I apologize for having made you descend from on high to save me from my foolishness. I promise most sincerely to never offend your Lordship again in such an ignorant and oafish manner.

[Roll Eyes]

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AI Wessex
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Ed, that's certainly a hopeful expectation, but can you give some specifics for how it could happen that way? For instance, Romney will cut income taxes by 20% but raise deductions. Can you give examples of what they might be and how much of the $480B in rate reductions would they recoup?

One idea he floated is capping deductions and exemptions at $17,000 for a family. That's less than the real estate taxes and mortgage interest on a large number of homes owned by middle class people in several of the most populous states. Many of those people are small business owners. Does that seem right to you? How much of the $480B do you think that would get back?

The Romney/Ryan Medicare reduction of $716B would come as reduced benefits, which means that those costs would be passed on to consumers. We know that illness related medical expenses are the single greatest cause of personal bankruptcy in the US. How does that help the economy or help achieve revenue neutrality if those people are sick and/or not buying things?

These are examples. If you simply insist that Romney will "expand the tax base" without any concrete examples you're just spouting party talking points. You want more from people on the other side, so give more yourself.

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Greg Davidson
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EDanall,

Your comment dodges responsibility with a distraction. Were you aware of the misleading methodology in the study you cited? If so, do you often knowingly cite studies with flawed methodologies? Or were you citing the study without even a simple check on its validity, and if so, do you do that often? Or are you asserting that this methodology was valid and no deceit was intended by the study authors?

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Pete at Home
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IIRC, creation of new small businesses has fallen 33%. If some change in taxes managed to reverse that, that could involve substantial broadening of the tax base and therefore increase in revenue.
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djquag1
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Rich people already get tax breaks for adding to payroll and putting money into a business, right? It seems to be a pretty simple concept. Could someone arguing for the Right explain why lower income and capital gains taxes for the wealthy are needed to create more production and employment? Because it seems to me that they can already, right this second, put their money into such things and get a break on their tax bill.

Economics isn't my strong suit, so I could be wrong. But that appears to be the case to me.

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AI Wessex
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"IIRC, creation of new small businesses has fallen 33%."

From what level and from when? That's got to have more to do with credit restrictions and people's inability to use their houses as ATMs. If not, what do you think is the reason?

Same question to you, how does Romney expand the tax base to both remain revenue neutral and encourage small business creation and hiring.

Bear in mind that Bush's tax policies were directed in very similar sounding ways and he had much smaller job growth in the private sector than in the public sector and overall lower job growth than Obama has had, even including the jobs lost in the first 4 months of Obama's tenure in office. In fact, the Bush tax cuts were intended specifically to stimulate job growth, and they obviously failed. Also keep in mind that the federal deficit is smaller today than it was when Obama came into office, and that includes all of his stimulus expenditures.

If there are more people employed now than there were when Obama took office, how come we're not seeing that reflected in the expansion of the commercial market? If you think it's because people's income has fallen, then how do explain that as something Romney can solve and how would you reverse that?

I'm not seeing any way that Romney's unsupported claims will be feasible. Don't forget that on top of the $480B/yr reduction in income tax revenue, he will also continue the $400B/yr Bush tax cuts for the top 1%. That all adds up to $9T in revenue he isn't taking in over a 10 year period.

Isn't anybody able to explain why Romney isn't just proposing to fix the economy through magic and chicanery? So far all I see are people regurgitating talking points as matters of faith, not reason.

[ October 07, 2012, 02:53 PM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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Adam Masterman
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quote:
Originally posted by EDanaII:
Listen, Guys? "Broadening the tax base" simply means allowing more money to circulate through the system so that more goods and services and, yes, tax payers get taxed.

No, "broadening the tax base" means increasing the number of payers. In *entails* certain outcomes, but what it actually means is more entities submitting taxes.

"Allowing more money to circulate" presumably means taking in less revenue, and you go on to make the Laffer curve assumption that this will lead to more revenue, despite the fact that even adherents to the Laffer curve ideology concede that you have to have rates near 70% for a cut to lead to more revenue. In any case, the only way I can think of to connect that to what "broadening the base" means in English is that you believe it will lift incomes enough that more people start paying federal income tax. That's wonderfully optimistic, but its not what Mitt is proposing:

"As president, Romney will hold the line on individual income tax rates and eliminate taxes on interest, dividends, and capital gains for low- and middle-income taxpayers. He will eliminate the estate tax. And he will pursue a conservative overhaul that applies lower and flatter rates to a broader tax base."

That's from his own website. He wants to change the structure so that more people pay federal income tax; i.e. raise the rates on working class Americans (he dodges admitting this by loudly declaring that he won't raise taxes on the *middle* class, knowing that many people mistakenly believe themselves to be part of that class when they are in fact working class).

quote:
It starts by allowing the creation of jobs. With more jobs, more people are actually spending and therefore buying those goods and services. It's actually no different than that Keynesian stimulus that Obama tried with one _very notable exception._ The problem with Obama's stimulus was that it only lasted as long as the money lasted and left us 1 trillion dollars deeper in the hole. Lowering taxes, creates more jobs, more jobs means more spenders and more spenders means more taxes collected and is more sustainable in the long-term than any Keynesian Stimulus.
Yeah, more Laffer curve. You should read up on the concept: Laffer Curve 101 Laffer only predicts that tax cuts will increase revenue if the current rate is to the right of the peak (higher than optimal). If the rate is to the left of the peak, then even he concludes that revenues will decrease with a rate cut. You seem to think its a simple inverse; lower rates mean more revenue, in all cases. This is absurd (though, in your defense, the GOP has been selling this nonsense for decades). You are correct that Mitt's plan does rely on this nonsense; part of how he avoids adding to the deficit is by "predicting" 3% growth, every year, due to his policies. Economists from both sides of the aisle have called b.s. on this, which is akin to promising good weather for four years, but without it, he does indeed add to the deficit and/or the tax burden on the middle class. Maybe you and he could brush up on Laffer together.
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