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Thread: The Damn Debt Ceiling

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    Default The Damn Debt Ceiling

    Why are we still being silly about this debt ceiling? Even the most obsessive-compulsive "balance the budget" tea partiers have to be aware that not raising the debt ceiling isn't actually an option, right?

    And I mean really, why is anyone against raising taxes on the top 1% of Americans? Does anybody really think that rich people are going to say, "gosh, I'm being taxed at a higher rate, so I'm going to stop trying to make money." HELL NO. What they're going to say is, "I'm being taxed at a higher rate, and like most americans, I'm living either exactly at or above my means, so if I don't want to accept a reduction in my lifestyle I'm going to go out and make MORE money."

    I honestly do not understand the political situation right now. I mean, Republicans are right, we do need to cut spending, in a major way, even cuts that will make life worse for everyone, 'cause that's what you have to do when you've been spending beyond your means. But the idea that you're going to balance the budget without raising taxes for ANYBODY? And we're WAY below average for tax revenue as a percentage of GDP compared to other industrialized nations, and taxes are WAY below the average for the history of the United States? Come on!

    So, someone please show me why the Republicans who are playing chicken with the debt ceiling are not complete and total imbeciles.

    Actually, the ones who have the power to make a settlement are geniuses, achieving their political aims and campaign promises by dangling the threat of "those crazy tea party folks" who might just force the United States of American to (possibly unconstitutionally) default on its debts for the first time in American history, under a banner of fiscal responsibility. They've finally found a way to make the tea party work for them. Gives them an edge of unpredictability and, therefore, a much higher capability to bluff and extort concessions from Democrats by bluffing. It's like if you're playing chicken with the USSR, but they know that in your back pocket you can always have a special election and elect some crazy fool who will just be like, "NUKE 'EM DAMN THE CONSEQUENCES I'M FROM AMURKA!" It's like saying, "Now, don't push me, 'cause if you jump bad on me, I'll call out Crazy Cousin Billy and let him run the show." Or like you have an alternate personality who comes out when people try to raise taxes on your rich friends. "Don't make me angry... you wouldn't like me when I'm angry... ARGH!! TEA PARTY SMASH (the world economy)!!!!"

    So yeah, explain to me why I'm wrong, the Democrats are at fault here and the Republicans are saving America.
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    The Republicans are not imbeciles, but are engaging in a transparent political ploy. In general, voters are more liable to vote for members of the opposition party when the economy is not faring well; as such, the Republicans have a vested interest in derailing the American economy (the electorate is too ignorant to determine who is at fault, so the plan cannot backfire in this manner). Thus, when there was a Republican president in power, Republicans showed no interest in balancing the budget, as that would slow economic growth; now, with a Democrat in power, they are doing everything in their power to sabotage the economy. Moreover, the Republicans are in thrall to the interests of the moneyed class in America, to an even greater extent than the Democrats are; consequently, they are fervently opposed to increasing taxes on the rich. Poor and middle-class people may side with the Republicans because of their pretensions, delusions, and aspirations -- they'd like to consider themselves rich even while being exploited by the rich.

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    Debt has a ceiling? How much can we be in the negative before we die?

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    The debt ceiling is important because it brings the issue of debt to the forefront of the nations attention and requires each politician to go on the record, voting for or against the measure. This gives voters a tool to keep politicians in line. If we didn't have a ceiling, debt would be allowed to accumulate without much notice, increasing the chances of a Greece-like situation.

    Nations that tax their citizens at higher rates -- whether it's the upper income being taxed higher, the middle class, or everyone -- have not avoided debt problems. The few instances where fiscally irresponsible governments have solved their financial problems without default have done so by reducing spending and regulation, not increasing taxes.

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    Their is no debt, shit's fake.
    Collapse inevitable, stand by for Armageddon.
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    it was inevitable.

    on a grand macro-historical scale, the european and american countries were only relatively recently uplifted from a state of barbarism. they never fully absorbed the memes for state longevity that were ironed into older civilizations through the course of millenia of destruction and darwinian selection. in particular, there is a huge similarity between extreme individualism (free market fundamentalism) and barbarism.

    even the euro-american period of imperialist incursion (mid-1700s-2008: discounting the new world and minor expeditions) lasted only slightly longer than the mongol empire. really, a ~300 year interregnum is nothing but a standard "dark age" scenario for most ancient civilizations.

    in due course, history will naturalize and asia will regain its superiority in all things.

    /joking. i don't subscribe to historical "narratives", and I think they're a bit racist even when they contain a kernel of truth. they're like they seamy-side of history, but it's fun to parrot future chinese/indian/muslim conservative academics' take on current events.
    Last edited by xerx; 07-03-2011 at 04:51 PM.
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    I was not under the impression that the government shuts down when it hits the debt ceiling (although for the record, it already has), but rather simply chooses whom to pay and whom not to pay. It means the U.S. government is not a reliable creditor, and that those vested interests who regularly do business with it will have to jockey against each other just to get paid what they are owed -- they will by lobbying just to be paid. This is why (many) ENTJs are pretty determined to punish the U.S. if it does this by cutting its credit rating.

    I don't think it can shut down because it is already budgeted, although the law could probably be changed to permit it to be so.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tcaudilllg View Post
    I was not under the impression that the government shuts down when it hits the debt ceiling (although for the record, it already has), but rather simply chooses whom to pay and whom not to pay. It means the U.S. government is not a reliable creditor, and that those vested interests who regularly do business with it will have to jockey against each other just to get paid what they are owed -- they will by lobbying just to be paid. This is why (many) ENTJs are pretty determined to punish the U.S. if it does this by cutting its credit rating.
    Huh? A creditor is somebody who lends money; a debtor is somebody who owes money. Since creditors give money up front, they can hardly be unreliable. Do you mean that the United States is an unreliable debtor? If so, I agree with Ashton: even if the debt ceiling is reached, the repayment of debt is a top priority of the government, even if such repayment comes at the expense of social welfare. Also, the credit rating of the United States -- which is measured by bond yields -- reflects an impersonal equilibrium in supply and demand, not some personal vendetta on the part of ENTj's.

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    You fail to observe that ENTJs are the primary buyers of short term bonds. Distinct from INTPs, who prefer long-term bonds. INTPs will support the United States given its past history... ENTJs are far more willing to question history than they.

    By the way, the real culprit behind the debt ceiling fiasco is this guy called GROVER NORQUIST. Remember that name, folks.

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    Only an ENTJ would consider the existing financial system so sacrosanct that they would betray their own country to see it upheld.

    Ashton if you don't come around, you will remain irrelevant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by tcaudilllg View Post
    Only an ENTJ would consider the existing financial system so sacrosanct that they would betray their own country to see it upheld.
    I just don't trust anyone to meddle with it. It's better left alone to dynamically regulate itself. Intervention is likely to do more harm than good.

    Ashton if you don't come around, you will remain irrelevant.
    Come around to what?
    To the fact that socionics will play an important role in the critique methodologies of the future.

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    Whomever is the first to use socionics as an effective means of critique.

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    Raising the debt ceiling will only postpone bankruptcy, as will increasing taxes, because the whole system is inherently corrupt. We (almost all Western countries) increase money supplies by borrowing it from our own national banks, at an interest! Crazy, no. This is a supercool documentary from 1995 but it predicts the current crises:
    http://youtu.be/lXb-LrVkuwM

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lente View Post
    Raising the debt ceiling will only postpone bankruptcy, as will increasing taxes, because the whole system is inherently corrupt. We (almost all Western countries) increase money supplies by borrowing it from our own national banks, at an interest! Crazy, no. This is a supercool documentary from 1995 but it predicts the current crises:
    http://youtu.be/lXb-LrVkuwM
    Crazy? Of course you need to borrow at an interest, otherwise you could just borrow indefinitely and roll everything over forever, paying no price.
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    David Frum pointed out today that if Obama lets the government default, he essentially gets total control over federal spending by selecting which bills get paid and which departments run. Therefore he can shut down pretty much any program he dislikes. Of course, that's edging toward dictatorship, but I digress. I'd much rather Obama be dictator than see a Tea Party hack become president, ever.

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    OK now I'm predicting that Al Gore has laid a trap for Obama in his article criticizing the Obama Admin for their failed environmental stance. And I think 1) Obama has taken the bait and 2), I'm going to abandon him for it.

    It's looking like by putting Social Security on the table, Obama has basically exiled himself from the Democratic Party. That's what many on the left feel and it's what I feel. And why should I accept his apology (there won't be one) when I could turn my support to all-too trustworthy Al? All this guy cares about is being re-elected and living rich. We're in the mood to give him neither. He's spitting on every person born after 1973... the full retirement age will be raised to 70 for just about everybody here. Why the fuck should I support that callous bastard?

    I thought that a charismatic, consensus-minded person would make the perfect president, a person who would unite the country by explaining our values to the Right and hell putting a nice face on them... but a Democratic consensus-minded person, I now understand, wants too much to live as a Republican. This basically costs them their soul from what I can tell. For FDR, it wasn't a big deal -- he was already rich. But for Obama the environment is just too much for him to develop an effective character.

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    Silver, would you say that there's a fair amount of Te in your post? (facts, data, judgement based on observation of action)???

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maritsa33 View Post
    Silver, would you say that there's a fair amount of Te in your post? (facts, data, judgement based on observation of action)???
    Really not the place for it, hon.

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    I'm telling people out on the streets about the plans to raise the retirement age for social security/cut benefits. The sentiment is universal: a sense of hurt and betrayal. I'm sure you can imagine how clearly those feelings can be directed towards the rich, in particular.

    I personally would like to see the editors of the Weekly Standard flee the country in sheer terror of a mob the likes of which hasn't been seen since the Rodney King riots. And if a debt default happens, the consensus is that the world economy will collapse utterly. Ultimately the same outcome.

    So it seems to me like the conservatives have a choice: they can continue to portray themselves as willing to listen to us, back off this brink, and calmly raise the debt ceiling, or they can die. Because looking at the crystal ball, that is the most probable outcome of the rage of the working class at this time.

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