Friday, July 15, 2011

Greg Sargent on LSD?

Read this post from Greg Sargent where he thinks Obama has made a good case to the liberals that we need deficit reduction first.

Done? Good. Now, here is my response:

Greg Sargent is as wrong as the president. The public, if we read the specifics in overall polling data, supports exactly what Jared Bernstein, Paul Krugman and so many others want: Stop spending on silly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Raise the income tax and capital gains taxes on those making more than $250K a year (at least to Clinton levels for goodness sakes!). Don’t touch Social Security. Don’t touch Medicare or Medicaid. And let Medicare and Medicaid negotiate directly as a bloc with Big Pharma.

And let’s put people to work re-building and building infrastructure.

Greg Sargent fails Political Science 101 because people don’t vote out incumbents who spend more money than the revenue that comes in. They vote out incumbents who don’t do anything to help lower unemployment.

The beauty of what so-called "liberals" want is that it is not only sound public policy; the public also endorses it.

Obama is being stubborn, ignorant and politically tone deaf, a trifecta of a losing candidate. His only way to victory is if the Republicans nominate someone like Michelle Bachmann, Rick Perry or one of the other creepy candidates.

11 Comments:

At July 15, 2011 at 11:44:00 PM PDT, Anonymous hip703 said...

http://www.gallup.com/poll/148472/Deficit-Americans-Prefer-Spending-Cuts-Open-Tax-Hikes.aspx

 
At July 15, 2011 at 11:46:00 PM PDT, Anonymous hip703 said...

Only/Mostly with spending cuts: 50%
Only/Mostly with tax increases: 11%

 
At July 16, 2011 at 6:57:00 AM PDT, Blogger Mitchell J. Freedman said...

After all the one-sided corporate media propaganda, Hip, you can find a poll that says that. It's why I said overall polling data.

Go into the details of other polls and you find exactly what I say: Increase taxes on those making more than $250K, don't touch Soc Sec and Medicare, stop the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And more stimulus.

Seems to me that if Obama had actually made a public case instead of sitting passively on the sidelines and now spouting right wing talking points as if those are the only reality, that Gallup poll would not show that general sentiment. Again, when one delves into specifics, the power of that general sentiment, enforced from propaganda, disappears.

 
At July 16, 2011 at 6:39:00 PM PDT, Anonymous hip703 said...

"After all the one-sided corporate media propaganda, Hip, you can find a poll that says that. It's why I said overall polling data."

Um, I cited the most recent poll, taken in the midst of the recent partisan battle.

"Go into the details of other polls and you find exactly what I say: Increase taxes on those making more than $250K, don't touch Soc Sec and Medicare, stop the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And more stimulus."

That's not borne out by the Gallup poll. In any event, that people want "more stimulus" is not true, unless you are polling Keynesian true believers, i.e., the apostles of the endless cycles of boom-and-bust.

As for the comment in the post that: "The beauty of what so-called "liberals" want is that it is not only sound public policy; the public also endorses it":

We've already established that your reading of the polls is in error. As for it being "sound public policy," it is simply not true that you can balance the budget by taxing income over $250,000 (even at 100%), given the spending "liberals" like you want to undertake. The "liberals" need to understand that they cannot have all the government and spending they want, and think that there are enough "rich" people to pay for it, whilst balancing the budget.

I do agree with your general point that the debt ceiling debate is more or less Kabuki theatre. August 2 is a phony deadline established by Geithner and Geithner alone. He established the same deadlines earlier this year: it a bunch of times already: March 31, April 15, May 31 . The time when this will stop being "Kabuki" is when the debt rating is lowered by the ratings agencies.

In any event, libertarians like me just sit back and eat popcorn while we watch this political circus. The "conservatives" will not give up their precious military spending, and lack the political courage to attempt a rollback the Entitlement State. And the "liberals" continue to delude themselves that the budget can be balanced and the national debt can be brought under control merely by taxing the "rich," and without meaningful cuts in the general level of spending.

It's all Theatre of the Absurd.

 
At July 16, 2011 at 7:17:00 PM PDT, Blogger Mitchell J. Freedman said...

Hip,

I just re-read the Gallup poll. It says nothing about specific policies. Thus, you are as usual wrong on that fact regarding specifics. Look at what I wrote in my original post.

You are wrong about the public's views on the tax rates for those making more than $250K. You are wrong about the public's view about Social Security. You are wrong about the public's view about Medicare, and even Medicaid.

The only thing you are right about is the most recent polling shows the public souring on stimulus programs, but that is because there is no partisan battle over whether to do a greater stimulus among the people who count, i.e. the White House and Congress. Neither wants more stimulus. The White House passively accepts and re-enforces the Republican-Libertarian talking points and the Republicans and Libertarians continue to bray the stimulus failed, as if it was a Keynesian stimulus or as if the "liberals' got even close to what they wanted in the 2009 package.

You are also foolishly assuming I want a "balanced budget." That is not true in this environment for this federal government. If we were to run a deficit or incur more debt in return for infrastructure rebuilding and investment, that would be a great move in my view. My point is that we are wasting money on endless wars, and further beggaring our social programs, which includes public secondary and higher education, in part because of poor tax policies that benefit a privileged elite few.

Where we agree is that this is a Theater of the Absurd or kabuki dance. The Republicans will not act on their threat to let the nation default. Their true overlords, the financial community, will not let them. If they do act in that manner, they will be very sorry for their own political futures. Still, they won this partisan battle they fought on their terms all the way.

The Keynseian liberals you bray about were not even in the discussion. We don't exist among The Serious People, the same Serious People who decided we should go into Iraq, stay there, stay in Afghanistan a decade later, and waste the budget surplus from the Clinton administration time with tax cuts for people who least needed it.

 
At July 16, 2011 at 10:12:00 PM PDT, Anonymous hip703 said...

"I just re-read the Gallup poll. It says nothing about specific policies. Thus, you are as usual wrong on that fact regarding specifics."

"You are wrong about the public's views on the tax rates for those making more than $250K. You are wrong about the public's view about Social Security. You are wrong about the public's view about Medicare, and even Medicaid."

There you go again, misrepresenting what I actually said. This is a recurring problem with you, and you should really cut it out. Let's go back and re-trace the arguments, to set the record straight.

First, you said in your post: "The beauty of what so-called "liberals" want is that it is not only sound public policy; the public also endorses it."

Second, I cited the most recent Gallup poll, which refutes your contention that the "public endorses" what "liberals" want. The findings of the poll:

To reduce the deficit:
Only/Mostly with spending cuts: 50%
Only/Mostly with tax increases: 11%

That poll flatly refutes your contention, stated in the post, that the public prefers raising taxes to cutting spending. Note: at no point did I ever claim that the Gallup poll made SPECIFIC findings as to what spending the public wanted to cut.

Third, you then launch into full red herring mode. You claim that the poll was a product of "corporate propaganda." and claim that other (uncited) polls show the public favors soaking the rich, and not touching entitlement spending.

Fourth, I then responded that your claim was not supported by the Gallup poll. I never claimed that the Gallup poll addressed specific spending items.

I then questioned your claim that the public wants more "stimulus" specifically. Here's a recent poll that flatly rejects your contention:

http://motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2011/07/american-public-hates-stimulus-spending

It's plain that: (1) the public does not believe that stimulus spending did anything to improve the economy, and (2) the public thinks reducing the deficit is more important than stimulus spending.

"The White House passively accepts and re-enforces the Republican-Libertarian talking points and the Republicans and Libertarians continue to bray the stimulus failed, as if it was a Keynesian stimulus or as if the "liberals' got even close to what they wanted in the 2009 package."

So let me get this straight, more spending by Obama would have resulted in an improved economy? That's an unfalsifiable claim, and thus has zero content.

According to Treasury, the debt during Bush’s eight years increased from $5.7 trillion to $10.6 trillion, or $4.9 trillion over eight years. That’s about $610 billion per year. But in the less than three years Obama has been in office, the debt has increased from $10.6 trillion to $14.2 trillion, a $3.6 trillion increase in about 27 months. In other words, Obama is increasing the debt by $1.6 trillion per year, three times as fast as Bush. So you really have no basis to be disappointed about Obama's spending levels.

And that's not enough for you? It is interesting that, back in early 2009, the Obama Administration was claiming that WITHOUT stimulus, the unemployment rate by 3Q 2011 would be around 7.8%. Well, the 3Q is here, and the "official" unemployment rate is 9.2%.

"You are also foolishly assuming I want a "balanced budget."

I never made any such assumption. The only thing foolish for me to assume is that you would ever favor solvent government. I do give you credit for acknowledging that there are not enough "rich" people around to fund your spending schemes.

 
At July 16, 2011 at 10:47:00 PM PDT, Blogger Mitchell J. Freedman said...

Hip,

Start your own blog. Really.

Read my original post: It said: "The public, if we read the SPECIFICS IN OVERALL POLLING DATA..." (CAPS added)

You keep citing one Gallup poll that asks an ideological question about "spending cuts" vs. "taxes" not specifics.

Your figures about Obama are not about what is being spent. Mostly it is from continued and expanded wars, loss of revenue from the Great Recession (receipts down) and the continued Bush II tax cuts. The other driver will be increased costs of medical reimbursement under Medicare, especially Part B. His health care plan actually slows that latter growth, which is what Republicans used in 2010 to make old white people think he was screwing people out of Medicare. The debt accumulation is not because Obama has put a whole bunch of people on the government payroll (the payroll increase, apart from the temporary Census jobs, were minor and could be traced more to TSA and military jobs than maybe Social Security). Nor did Obama anything like an FDR New Deal in terms of infrastructure spending.

I do think it is fine for governments to not ever have no debt. We rarely had no debt in the history of our nation.

And really, Hip, you can't find the polls on the Internet showing the specifics as to how the public feels about taxing rich people more, protecting Soc Sec, Medicare and Medicaid from cuts? Talk about disingenuous...

Just start here with Bruce Bartlett citing 19 polls showing support for taxing the rich:

http://capitalgainsandgames.com/blog/bruce-bartlett/2292/americans-support-higher-taxes-really

As I say Hip, you really should just get your own blog. You said a few weeks ago that you were going to cease your arguments here, and now you're back. I don't mind the back and forth most of the time, but really, when you don't comprehend what I write and talk about how the unemployment rate is high because Obama did some sort of Keynesian stimulus, you really leave reality and enter the fevered ideologies best reserved for libertarian websites.

 
At July 17, 2011 at 2:02:00 AM PDT, Anonymous hip703 said...

"I don't mind the back and forth most of the time, but really, when you don't comprehend what I write and talk about how the unemployment rate is high because Obama did some sort of Keynesian stimulus, you really leave reality and enter the fevered ideologies best reserved for libertarian websites."

You deserve the David Cay Johnston Award for filling so much error and bile into one sentence.

First, I never argued, as you claim, that the unemployment rate is high BECAUSE of Obama's stimulus. Instead, I pointed to the fact that the unemployment rate is higher WITH the stimulus than Obama had projected it to be had the stimulus NOT been enacted. Sorry if this is too nuanced a point for you to grasp.

Seriously, in almost every exchange, you resort to distortions, non sequiturs, and name calling. Exhibit A is the sentence I quote above).

After the exchange on Nozick, it dawned on me that you were more of a heckler than a serious thinker. Godspeed.

 
At July 17, 2011 at 6:25:00 AM PDT, Blogger Mitchell J. Freedman said...

Hip, you distorted again. You know my point is that the Obama policies didn't work because he put way too few people to work. You continue to desperately try to salvage your own theoretical talking points by distorting what I say.

I am glad you are going to troll somewhere else...

 
At July 17, 2011 at 2:34:00 PM PDT, Anonymous hip703 said...

No, you distorted what I said. You said I said that higher unemployment was a RESULT of Obama's stimulus. That's a distortion of what I said, and you know it. Cowboy up and admit it.

So I'm a "troll"? LOL! That's an uncharitable thing to say about the only regular commenter on your blog. Anyway, have fun in your echo chamber.

 
At July 17, 2011 at 9:08:00 PM PDT, Blogger Mitchell J. Freedman said...

As I said, Hip. Get your own blog and see how well you do with commenters such as yourself. And if you find you may get more readers than me, more power to you...It should not be that hard...

I think I was willing to engage more than, say, David Bernstein does. I'm just hanging out myself, without a collective, no professorship to find readers, no way to really reach folks except by accident, and more often I find blogging better than screaming at the television set...:-)

If you think I was saying that you said higher unemployment occurred because of the stimulus, that was not my intent, and I'll easily apologize. I thought we were both in agreement that the Obama policy did not work, i.e. it did not lower unemployment, and in fact we're getting worse in that regard for reasons of drift.

What we argued about was that I said the stimulus was too small and was not focused on infrastructure rebuilding and putting people directly to work.

You seem to think it was more than enough and that it somehow showed Keynesian solutions failed.

The stimulus of course was not even my main point as much as saying Greg Sargent and the President were dreaming if they thought people would actually vote next year on how well we cut the federal budget as opposed to jobs. I initially noted that, contrary to the DC village and cable tv and radio punditry, people in the US want increased taxes on the wealthiest 1-2% and don't want to touch Soc Sec/Medicare.

I had not included in my "polling" paragraph the issue of rebuilding the nation, but I was willing to accept your point that recent polling did not bear out a more robust stimulus at the moment.

I think my overall points still stand. You disagree. You may stop wasting your time in my little echo chamber and join your friends at Reason.com...:-)

 

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