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Author Topic: Duh Debates
LetterRip
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noel,

quote:
I have a statistician friend that once told me "... the theory I employ is entirety valid, but if it gives me answers that run counter to your experience, ignore me... because I have used the wrong model."
Or he used the right model and your experience is atypical/wrong/misinterpreted. Oftentimes that is the case - which is why annecdotes are not particularly useful for analysis - ie plenty of people know 'someone who smoked every day of their life and didn't get cancer' - therefore they wrongly conclude that smoking doesn't contribute to cancer risk.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
it changed how I think about money.
That's the most important step, I think. There's still room for just about any kind of actual economic possibility once you have that understanding, but knowing how the system, and money in particular, works helps keep those discussion to the actual merits of those policies rather than letting them being clouded by myths and misunderstandings.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Krugman's point that issuing credit (introducing cash into the economy) is inflationary, whereas bond issues (removal of cash from the economy through taxation) is less inflationary over the term of the bond, is really pretty basic stuff.
Bond issue has nothing to do with taxation. That part makes no sense. Bond issue helps to remove excess reserves from banks; giving them an option for disposing of them if no other bank is seeking to borrow reserves.

quote:
I do not see that he is particularly sympathetic to MMT, except for the fact that it does accommodate expansion of liberal programs. He does note, with surprising candor, that people have to be willing to purchase government bonds under all conditions for MMP to be even theoretically viable.
Indeed- and MMT points out that the demand for sovereign bonds is directly related to the total supply of excess reserves at banks, so long as those reserves pay a lower rate than the bonds. Banks can only do three things with their reserves- buy bonds, lend them to other banks that need additional reserves, or purchase case to honor withdrawals/cashed checks. Storing cash is expensive, and in his example all banks have excess reserves, so none are looking to borrow, so not buying bonds means that, for some reason the banks want to sit on low return reserves instead of moving them to an account with a better return until they have need of them.

Where Krugman goes wrong is in assuming that banks lend out of their reserves- a common misunderstanding of how commercial banking work (he's an economist with specialities that have nothing to do with banking, not a banker)

quote:
Anyone in the market for bonds issued by Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, or Ireland?
Those countries do not issue their own currency, and thus can't ensure payment as promised. The relevant discussion is about countries with fiscal sovereignty, not those that use someone else's money.
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Adam Masterman
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quote:
Originally posted by Grant:
[QUOTE]
Second, my grasp of economics pales in relation to Pyr's anyways. I find myself in no position to really make an argument against him. I can only say that of all the economic theories I've heard, Pyr's is the one that always impresses me as "magical" or "voodoo". But since I can't say I actually understand economics at the depth that he does, I can't say that he's wrong about it.

Pyr has his own take, like all of us, but his basic points are just textbook economics. The problem you are describing comes more from the fact that economics *in the political sphere* are as distorted as science is in politics. You wouldn't expect even a remotely accurate scientific concept to be explained by a legislator, and yet most Americans rely on politicians for their economic theory. Thus, something as simple as the fact that states with a sovereign currency should spend more in lean times, and less in prosperous times, is seen as counter-intuitive or even mystical. Its not at all; the issuer of currency has a very different economic role than individuals within that economy, often a nearly opposite role. But we've had decades of politicians telling us that the government is like a household, and needs to balance its budget in the same fashion, that we've arrived at a great number of expectations that are just false.

Keynesian economics is the place to start. Hard to summarize, but I'll try anyway: Keynes recognized that economies didn't perfectly meet the needs of the supply and demand chain at the macro level, and advocated a mixed economy; a predominantly private economy, but with a large role for government to play in stabilizing economic forces and fostering better outcomes for all individuals. The idea that a president even *should* do anything about the economy is a thoroughly Keynesian assumption; 100 years ago it would have been considered absurd.

What's also relevant is that we've had a purely fiat currency since 1971 (when Nixon officially divorced the currency value from any gold equivalent). Fiat currency operates VERY differently from other forms of money, and the implications of this shift are not fully understood. Pyr argues from the point of view of Chartalism (or MMT), which is a descriptive theory of how fiat currency works. While MMT isn't considered a majority or mainstream economic view, its really the strongest theory which *examines* fiat currency, instead of trying to accommodate it within an existing theory. I don't know it a tenth as well as Pyr does, but I can't imagine a serious consideration of the deficit without it. Most of what is argued by fiscal conservatives literally became irrelevant in 1971.

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Grant
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I'm sure that after I finish my present studies and eventually conclude my self education on economics, I will be converted to fiscal liberalism and Keynesian economics, then move to Northern California. Should be in time for 2016.
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LetterRip
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See this critique of MMT,

http://www.mercenarytrader.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Weekender-The-Trouble-With-Modern-Monetary-Theory.pdf

While MMT is 'right' in a technical sense, they ignore that only enough of the target currency needs to be held to pay taxes, and at the point of transaction. So any 'abuse' of the currency by the country can lead to holding of foreign currencies and foreign investments.

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Adam Masterman
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quote:
Originally posted by LetterRip:
See this critique of MMT,

http://www.mercenarytrader.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Weekender-The-Trouble-With-Modern-Monetary-Theory.pdf

While MMT is 'right' in a technical sense, they ignore that only enough of the target currency needs to be held to pay taxes, and at the point of transaction. So any 'abuse' of the currency by the country can lead to holding of foreign currencies and foreign investments.

Its interesting to hear a direct critique of MMT, but there is a lot of chaff in the wheat there, mostly of a straw-man variety. MMT doesn't assert that there are no negative consequences to unlimited spending; it asserts that "running out of money" is not one of those consequences.

If you look at his graphic near the end, he totally ignores the scenario that MMT has been most useful in identifying: when real wealth activity is stifled by a lack of liquidity. Instead, he gives a scenario of hyper-inflation driven by spending which outpaces productivity. In other words, he's presenting a hypothetical that is almost completely opposite from what is happening right now. MMT, as noted in this very article, does tend to treat taxing and spending as pressure valves to adjust the health of the economy (actually, any Keynesian approach does as well), but that works both ways. Surpluses are described, in MMT, as valid tools for creating sustainable growth and preventing speculative bubbles. He's projecting a "deficits are always good" onto MMT that isn't part of the actual theory.

That's what I noticed on a quick read through; Pyr will undoubtedly have a more informed reaction.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
What's also relevant is that we've had a purely fiat currency since 1971 (when Nixon officially divorced the currency value from any gold equivalent). Fiat currency operates VERY differently from other forms of money, and the implications of this shift are not fully understood. Pyr argues from the point of view of Chartalism (or MMT), which is a descriptive theory of how fiat currency works. While MMT isn't considered a majority or mainstream economic view, its really the strongest theory which *examines* fiat currency, instead of trying to accommodate it within an existing theory. I don't know it a tenth as well as Pyr does, but I can't imagine a serious consideration of the deficit without it. Most of what is argued by fiscal conservatives literally became irrelevant in 1971.
That's a very important thing to note- MMT is not an economic theory; it's a detailed framework for understanding money (most specifically our purely fiat system, but once you understand what money actually is and the history of non-fiat systems, you start to see that it actually applies just as well there, fiat systems are just more internally honest. For example: "gold standard" is a bit nonsensical, because that "standard" changed for a given country at least as often as new monarchs took over and declared old coins to be worthless, if not outright illegal, if they weren't immediately traded in for new ones. Actual, fixed currency standards never last long for the same reason that the Euro is cracking up right now; they serve as artificial limits on growth that eventually result in collapse)

[ October 09, 2012, 10:22 PM: Message edited by: Pyrtolin ]

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Pyrtolin
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I'll try just running down the bullet points at the end, rather than trying to do a details separation of arguments from ideological rambling.

quote:
MMT says it’s important to understand the government is self-funding and can’t run out
of money.

That's correct, as well as to understand what money actually is, because once you do that, many of the other complaints the writer has can become direct issues for discussion rather than being ignored in favor of nonsense like "we'll run out of money" or "we're bankrupt" while huge amounts of productive potential is idle.

quote:
MMT says (or strongly implies) deficits don't matter because the Monopoly banker can't
go broke.

This is, at best, a misrepresentation. Deficits do matter, it's just that MMT doesn't use "matter" as a moral codeword for "are always bad". Deficits drive growth where there is room for growth. A larger deficit encourages more growth, the portion of that growth that is real (productive) to nominal (inflation), however depends on the level of productive slack in the economy. Without a public deficit to make space, the economy becomes a zero sum game and cannot grow. Too much deficit would outstrip real growth potential and a healthy level of inflation; but the argument there should be made in terms of the real resources in play. Where is the shortage? How can the shortage be addressed? What spending, tax, or technological development strategy will take pressure of that resource? Specific questions about real resources rather than pretending it's spending in general that's the problem and picking on the most vulnerable or politically popular targets with the primary goal of reducing the deficit instead.

His suggestion that people will play other games is actually completely irrelevant, because he's treating money as if it's a commodity unto itself rather than simply an accounting unit. Sure people could shuffle their finances like he says, but so what? He just assumes that everyone will pretend that doing so is de facto bad, rather than being somewhat meaningless, if not economically useful. Rather- if people are constantly buying other currencies and commodities with the currency in question, that gives the currency a higher velocity and lowers the overall need for federal spending; in fact in their instant conversion back when they want to buy something or pay taxes, they've effectively managed to triple the total velocity and provide just as much demand for currency as they sell.

quote:
MMT verbally acknowledges that governments cannot "spend and spend"
unproductively, but fails to pursue the implications of this truth. T

The author uses a rather disingenuous bit of handwaving to reach this conclusion. He cites Mosler:
quote:
There is no <b>financial crisis</b> so deep that a sufficiently large tax cut or spending increase cannot deal with it?
But then proceeds to ignore the explicit qualification on the sentence to change its meaning. Mosler did not say that we can necessarily spend our way out of productive or inflationary crises; he specified financial crises- ones brought on by huge financial losses that destroy huge amounts of privately issued debt/money, thus destroying liquidity. With that context, the statement should be self evidently true- if the problem is a lack of money, cutting taxes and increasing spending will replace the lost money until liquidity is restored again.

quote:
MMT implies that U.S. government self-funding equals financial immortality
He begs he question here, asserting that the US government needs financial investors in the first place and then using that as proof that a potential lack of them is a problem. He also handwaves away the fact that the money has to go somewhere; it doesn't just disappear when people buy other assets; rather, it goes into the hands of the sellers of those assets, who in turn need to do something with it. If they're not buying real goods with it, they're not having an effect on inflation, it just becomes a matter of where they want it to sit while they wait to use it and bonds provide a better return than their matresses. The relationship he paints in backwards- the government doesn't depend on investors to buy its bonds, it issues bonds because investors depend on it to do so to give them somewhere to part their excess cash.

quote:
MMT suggests that governments are special economic entities worthy of their own 5
th-dimension-like rules

That's a nonsensical characterization. MMT says that government issue money and their citizens use that money. That's a very real and practical difference, not some mysterious made-up distinction like he tries to pretend it is. It's like saying that someone pointing out that farms are net creators of food and not net consumers is attributing magical "5th dimensional" qualities to them by asserting that they don't need to buy the food they produce from the grocery store.

Government's to very clearly and explicitly differ on financial terms from households, because households use money, they don't issue it, while it's the job of the government to produce and distribute money. That's a defined role, not a magical power.

quote:
MMT glosses over the importance of productivity and prudent investment — paying lip
service to such, but then promoting contradictory assertions.
MMT does not fully account for the role that bad spending, unproductive debt build-up,
and malinvestment surges have in fueling Austrian style boom-bust cycles, which have
been around for centuries (or even millennia).MMT fails to acknowledge, let alone give proper weight to, the fact that THE REAL
ECONOMY IS WHAT MATTERS
MMT ignores the lessons of history in its general smugness as to the U.S. financial
position.

These are all nonsense that try to cast MMT as a specific economic theory rather than a monetary analysis. Yes if gives a nod to those without delving deep into the weeds, but that's because it's only attempting to provide a more honest framework from which to discuss those issues. The entire point is not to say "this is how to spend money effectively" but rather to say "we should talk about what is or isn't effective spending without actively derailing the discussion by pretending that we can't make whatever productive investments we need to". Far from failing to acknowledge that it's the real economy that matters, MMT explicitly creates a space such that the real economy is the only thing that needs to be considered, so that policy can be set by real needs and not kneecapped by bogus fiscal concerns.
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EDanaII
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@ Greg Davidson:
quote:
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?
I'm asserting that until you change your tone, you're not worth debating this with. Lose the 'tude, dude.


@ Al Wessex:
quote:
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?
I'm not interested in getting into the so-called "weeds," Al. The details of how this will be accomplished are Romney's and Romney's alone, and if he can't do it, then he won't get my vote next election. Much as Obama cetainly won't get it because of his failed policy's.


quote:
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.
For the record, Al, I'm an independent. If I'm "spouting" any talking points, it's Economic ones.


@ Adam Masterman:
quote:
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.
Linky:
quote:
When economists speak of the tax base being broadened, they mean a wider range of goods, services, income, etc. has been made subject to a tax...
quote:
"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:
No, it means exactly what it says: allowing more money to move through the Economy, and, therefore, be subject to taxes. The difference between this and a Keynesian stimulus is risk and reward. There's no risk or reward when the Government takes your money directly from you, but when you allow investors to invest, you tax them after they've got their reward. People are more willing to be taxed under these circumstances.
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AI Wessex
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"I'm not interested in getting into the so-called "weeds," Al. The details of how this will be accomplished are Romney's and Romney's alone, and if he can't do it, then he won't get my vote next election."

In other words, you don't know what he'll really do, but you're going to vote for him anyway. It astonishes me that that is the core of Romney's support, yet it obviously is so. You're aware that his campaign has corrected him on abortion in the last day or so, and have corrected him on tax policy, international diplomacy, the Palestinian state, and a host of other issues recently. Do you have any idea what he actually will do if elected?

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Adam Masterman
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quote:
Originally posted by EDanaII:


@ Adam Masterman:
quote:
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.
Linky:
quote:
When economists speak of the tax base being broadened, they mean a wider range of goods, services, income, etc. has been made subject to a tax...

[Confused] Thanks for confirming that what I said was correct?

Perhaps you are thinking that the inclusion of "goods and services" provides an out for Mitt to "broaden the base" without raising rates on individuals. In which case, you would be forgetting that he's talking about the federal *income* tax. Making more income subject to taxation, by the definition you provided, means raising rates on some individuals (those near the bottom) from zero to something higher.

quote:
quote:
"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:
No, it means exactly what it says: allowing more money to move through the Economy, and, therefore, be subject to taxes. The difference between this and a Keynesian stimulus is risk and reward. There's no risk or reward when the Government takes your money directly from you, but when you allow investors to invest, you tax them after they've got their reward. People are more willing to be taxed under these circumstances.
You speak in more euphemisms than the politicians themselves. [Smile] "Allowing" more money to move through the economy could mean any number of things: increased government spending, reduced revenue collection, expanding the total money supply, etc. From the context, I'm guessing you mean reduced revenue collection; less taken in taxes. But that immediately creates a double-speak in your post, because you imply that you want to eventually take in more revenue ("taxing them after they've gotten their reward"). Maybe you mean increasing taxes once the economy is strong again? On its face, your statement implies an increase in capital gains tax; that would literally be taxing people after they've gotten a reward from investing. However, you seem to be (trying to) defend Romney's plan, which explicitly *cuts* capital gains taxes significantly.

This is why Romney is being hammered on not providing specifics: his promises are contradictory on their face. You can't broaden the income tax base without raising rates on some people (specifically, on those who currently pay zero percent); but he's claiming that he won't raise rates on anyone. You can't reduce marginal rates by twenty percent without reducing effective rates; eliminating every tax exemption in the entire code wouldn't make up this difference. Absurd promises from politicians are sadly the norm, but its rather strange to see voters parroting the same contradictions, accepting them for themselves and advocating that others do the same. I'm willing to concede that the plan might make sense to you, but that possibility seems increasingly unlikely if you can't actually articulate it to others.

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Grant
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Alright, where are all my "politics is a contact sport" people at? We got a vice presidential debate tonight, and usually you guys are drooling and making commentary the day of, or even the morning before.

It feels as if the air has been sucked out of the room, or at least knocked out of some of yous.

Cumon, I want predictions and all that usual BS that I usually get to listen to before the big game. It's as if everyone has stopped to think before speaking and silence has overtaken the earth. We know it can't last. Have at it!

G-Man! Say something crazy to incite the herd!

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AI Wessex
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I expect Biden to go after the Russian Jewish atheist loving anti-collectivist let-them-eat-forage moocher-dismissing Conservative with tooth and claw. Ryan will say that he stands by everything that Romney has said, all versions of every position included, because Romney cares for 100% of the people.

I also expect Obama will get the bounce this time.

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Grant
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There he is! Welcome back, Al!
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AI Wessex
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Jump in, yourself. This topic naturally calls for alliteration (SP), assonance (G3), consonance (Adam), sobriety (Pyr), hints of religion (Pete), blind faith (Ron) and fealty (Ed), and whatever you can offer. And I'm still waiting for the Mormon Forumnacle Choir to sing their sweet harmonies. Perhaps Cherry can draw a nefarious connection showing that Rand Paul and Paul Ryan are the same person because of their names and both are Ron Paul and Ayn Rand's illegitimate offspring. If we're not outrageous enough so that Mod steps in to censor everything into the solitary confinement thread, then we haven't been thinking clearly enough.

I have a line for Biden to use tonight: Mitt Romney couldn't find his true position on any topic even if you have him a flashlight and a three day head start. Here's one you can start with:
quote:
This week, presidential candidate Mitt Romney further complicated his ever-evolving stance on women’s issues when he said he wasn’t aware of any abortion-related legislation that would be part of his agenda as president — despite the fact that he is on the record as supporting at least three anti-abortion pieces of legislation.


[ October 11, 2012, 04:32 PM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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Grant
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
This week, presidential candidate Mitt Romney further complicated his ever-evolving stance on women’s issues when he said he wasn’t aware of any abortion-related legislation that would be part of his agenda as president — despite the fact that he is on the record as supporting at least three anti-abortion pieces of legislation.

I'm SHOCKED, Al. Simply Shocked! That a Presidential candidate might represent something to voters within his or her own party that they will more then likely not actually attempt or even believe.

Shocked!

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DonaldD
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I'm a little disappointed nobody has run with something like "World renowned Etch-a-Sketch artist, Mitt-chelangelo..."
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
You speak in more euphemisms than the politicians themselves. "Allowing" more money to move through the economy could mean any number of things: increased government spending, reduced revenue collection, expanding the total money supply, etc. From the context, I'm guessing you mean reduced revenue collection; less taken in taxes. But that immediately creates a double-speak in your post, because you imply that you want to eventually take in more revenue ("taxing them after they've gotten their reward"). Maybe you mean increasing taxes once the economy is strong again? On its face, your statement implies an increase in capital gains tax; that would literally be taxing people after they've gotten a reward from investing. However, you seem to be (trying to) defend Romney's plan, which explicitly *cuts* capital gains taxes significantly.
He's trying to suggest that personal income and business revenue (basically GDP) will increase so much that the revenue generated from the lower rates will end up being greater than the cuts themselves were. Basically appealing to the Laffer curve as if it were a straight line. (And a global one, at that, rather than a relationship that has to be closely looked at every possible income segment)

But that's accounted for in the claims that his math doesn't add up here- the only remotely credible report that supports him, can only do so when it stipulates a very high rate of real GDP growth, one that we've seldom seen in a healthy economy, and never seen in the wake of similar cuts. (And the real mechanics of such cuts will be to direct investment away from productive growth and incomes because financials and hoarding will become even more comparatively rewarding instead)

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Grant:
Alright, where are all my "politics is a contCumon, I want predictions and all that usual BS that I usually get to listen to before the big game. It's as if everyone has stopped to think before speaking and silence has overtaken the earth. We know it can't last. Have at it!

The one handy thing about Biden is that he's well inured to feeling like he might make a fool of himself by saying something. While that translates to the occasional gaffe, it also generally serves as an asset in debates, especially since most people will just take what's said on screen as the end of the story and not really follow up much afterwards.

This should be a fun fight to watch; I'll be rather disappointed if either of them tries to keep their gloves on.

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TCB
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quote:
I'm a little disappointed nobody has run with something like "World renowned Etch-a-Sketch artist, Mitt-chelangelo..."
I believe they're going with Turnaround Mitty from Comeback City.

My unsolicited predictions:

Biden will be successful if he sets Obama up for a better debate next time by disqualifying some of Romney's foreign policy positions or innoculating Obama against some expected criticism. He won't look like a clear winner if he succeeds, but that should be his goal.

But if Biden's objective is for pundits to declare him the winner, he should relentlessly attack the Ryan Roadmap. The more Ryan has to differentiate between his plan and the Romney/Ryan plan the worse he'll look. Doing so might (probably won't, but might) even eat into Romney's recent gains with women and independents, as well.

Ryan's goal is the same as Biden's - set Romney up for a marginal victory in his next debate (another route is too much to hope for). Ryan will be successful if he reinforces Romney's image from the last debate - a center-right alternative to Obama who won't rock the boat too much. Despite his reputation as a wonk, it will be better for him to avoid getting too far into policy detail.

And, most of all, Ryan can't fall back on his old, fast-talking mannerism - it makes him come across as a twerpy know-it-all (to older people) or an aggressive car salesman (to younger people).

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AI Wessex
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Anybody else watching? Biden is making up for lost time. I think Ryan is struggling.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
Anybody else watching? Biden is making up for lost time. I think Ryan is struggling.

It's not a fair fight Biden brought his teeth along and made this a 2-1 fight.
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AI Wessex
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[Smile] , and he's using them well.
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Adam Masterman
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Biden is definitely smacking down. Not sure if or how much it will matter, but its nice to see Romney's ticket have to defend their proposals, instead of just changing them for mass consumption.
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AI Wessex
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Nobody else? I think Grant should 'splain to us what happened over the past 90 minutes...
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Adam Masterman
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I'm generally pretty bad at predicting how the media hive-mind will call a debate, but I think they'll give this one to Biden. He made the case for Romney/Ryan elitism effectively and repeatedly; Ryan had one good comeback about people not always being happy about what comes out of their mouths (while looking at Biden), but he totally failed to give those quotes any explanation that makes them sound less evil.

All that said, I can't imagine this will have any effect. There were 116,000 people watching with me on youtube, which strikes me as a pretty low number, even if most people watch on t.v.

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JoshuaD
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I saw Mr. Biden relentlessly interrupting and sneering, not making better points.

It will likely be called as a win for Mr. Biden. I was impressed with Mr. Ryan's demeanor and ability to keep cool with both the moderator and Mr. Biden interrupting like that. If I was in his place, I would've lost my **** after the fifth or sixth double team.

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JoshuaD
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To be clear: I thought they both did well substantively, but Mr. Biden was tactically stronger (if you'll call constant interruption good tactics; I know the media coverage will). I also think the moderator was clearly biased.

[ October 11, 2012, 10:42 PM: Message edited by: JoshuaD ]

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JoshuaD
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
Anybody else watching? Biden is making up for lost time. I think Ryan is struggling.

I didn't see Ryan struggling to do anything except to get time to finish a sentence. I was particularly impressed with Ryan because he kept so cool and calm despite the interruptions and occasional double-team.

What is the coverage saying? No TV here.

[ October 11, 2012, 10:44 PM: Message edited by: JoshuaD ]

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KidTokyo
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I thought Ryan got a complete drubbing. He came across as a tweezy, pathetic, nerdy little debate-team captain with dankly stained copies of Atlas Shrugged mouldering in a dark closed somewhere.

Complete opposite of Prez debate one, with the steroidal Rominator leaving our president to fight off a slow-burning attack of the vapors.

[ October 11, 2012, 10:45 PM: Message edited by: KidTokyo ]

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Adam Masterman
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshuaD:
To be clear: I thought they both did well substantively, but Biden was tactically stronger (if you'll call constant interruption good tactics; I know the media coverage will). I also think the moderator was clearly biased.

Actually, I agree that the moderator was biased. I liked and agree with how she was hammer Ryan on his campaign's claims, but Biden didn't get hammered as often at all. The phrasing of the abortion question (strangely enough) favored Ryan, but otherwise her questions never really pressed Biden at all.
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AI Wessex
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It's saying Biden's worst moments were his interruptions and Ryan's was the delay before answering the question about women's rights.
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Adam Masterman
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Ryan's problem is that his ideological bent goes right to the core. He believes in cutting people off from "government dependence" sincerely enough that he'll happily say so to your face if you are poor. You could see him trying to hedge it a bit, but he's a country mile to the right of the middle, and he doesn't really have the ability to come off otherwise.
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JoshuaD
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quote:
Actually, I agree that the moderator was biased. I liked and agree with how she was hammer Ryan on his campaign's claims, but Biden didn't get hammered as often at all.
Agreed. She also was very inclined to let Mr. Biden finish, but interrupted Mr. Ryan multiple times. I really was impressed with how calmly Mr. Ryan continued to give good answers to each question after getting cut off time and time again.
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JoshuaD
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quote:
The phrasing of the abortion question (strangely enough) favored Ryan, but otherwise her questions never really pressed Biden at all.
How so? I didn't see that, but I may have missed it.
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Adam Masterman
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One of Biden's best points was that the small businesses which are the sole justification for Romney's upper class tax cut, make up only 3% of actual small businesses (and consist mainly of hedge-fund managers and the like). He put it right in Ryan's face, and Ryan didn't deny it, which kicks out the only leg that tax cut was standing on, at least for most people.
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Adam Masterman
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshuaD:
quote:
The phrasing of the abortion question (strangely enough) favored Ryan, but otherwise her questions never really pressed Biden at all.
How so? I didn't see that, but I may have missed it.
She asked them to speak on it in the context of being religious Catholics. So Ryan basically gets an out, being able to fall back on religious conviction, while Biden has to explain why he goes counter to his church's doctrine.
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philnotfil
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I was greatly amused by this scene from outside the debates.

Woman At VP Debate Calls Obama A Communist

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TomDavidson
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quote:
I really was impressed with how calmly Mr. Ryan continued to give good answers to each question...
By "good," do you actually mean "good" or simply "not flecked with rage-propelled spittle?" Because I can't really think of one good answer Ryan provided.
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