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Let's Talk Stimulus
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alcimedes
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2009-02-07, 05:41

Quote:
Originally Posted by ezkcdude View Post
Frankly, I don't give a damn about how the deals get done - as long as the bills produced help the American people. This one certainly will, so by hook or by crook, I'm thankful that two honorable Republicans could step across party lines to back the stimulus. I think the 39 Republicans who aren't voting for it will be reminded of that in the next election cycle.
Wow.

That's the same argument hard core bush supporters have been making for 8 years.

Nicely adopted.
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Brave Ulysses
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2009-02-07, 09:46

Quote:
Originally Posted by ezkcdude View Post
Frankly, I don't give a damn about how the deals get done - as long as the bills produced help the American people. This one certainly will, so by hook or by crook, I'm thankful that two honorable Republicans could step across party lines to back the stimulus. I think the 39 Republicans who aren't voting for it will be reminded of that in the next election cycle.
You are sounding an awful lot like a republican in 2001 in regards to the vote for war.
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ezkcdude
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2009-02-07, 09:57

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brave Ulysses View Post
You are sounding an awful lot like a republican in 2001 in regards to the vote for war.
I assume you mean 2003. There's a key difference. That war was not good for the American people, and I opposed it from the beginning.
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ezkcdude
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2009-02-07, 10:02

Quote:
Originally Posted by alcimedes View Post
Wow.

That's the same argument hard core bush supporters have been making for 8 years.

Nicely adopted.
I'm tired of the debate over lobbying - it's like listening to Lou Dobbs populist pandering over illegal immigration. Let's debate the issues, and let's hold government accountable for what they do, and worry less about how they do it or why they do it.
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Moogs
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2009-02-07, 10:23

Unbelievable. Do you really feel that way??

HOW things get done is a big part of government ethics (and business / science ethics) and a big part of who we're supposed to be as a nation. And if you don't think that matters, you shouldn't be in a position to use government money in the first place. If everyone took your attitude, there would be no end to the abuse that "we the people" would have to endure at the hands of government, businesses and other institutions. The world would be infinitely more fucked up than it already is....

...into the light of a dark black night.
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Banana
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2009-02-07, 10:33

Quote:
Originally Posted by ezkcdude View Post
I'm tired of the debate over lobbying - it's like listening to Lou Dobbs populist pandering over illegal immigration. Let's debate the issues, and let's hold government accountable for what they do, and worry less about how they do it or why they do it.
Sorry, but that doesn't fly. The How and Why is very important. It's too easy to do wrong thing for right reason, right thing for wrong reason, both which can be very injurious. Bernanke would be A-OK with flying helicopters and dropping shitload of cash to everyone to fix the slump we're in. Is that a good idea. Hardly. But this is our chairman of Federal Reserve.

The premise that we *must* do something *right away* is quite flawed though all too common in Washington. Politicians want to have talking points, and it's easy to call a stimulus package a success because it was passed in Senate (never mind that it did little to help the slump, that's not the important thing. The important thing is that I wrote and passed the bill. Therefore, I'm a successful politician and you ought to vote for me.) Having had worked with company whom was a contractor for government agency, I can tell you that bureaucrats only care about measurable results, regardless of whether they actually are "success". They asked us to add a % of new clients every year for the social welfare program contract we had. My old boss astutely pointed out that if we were truly successful and did help our clients become independent, we would be out of business, and that's good thing, right? It didn't fly with them; they were more interested in keeping their budget and justifying their existence and because of that they went out of their way to go against the "success" (no people requiring help) to measurable success (increase of % in clients every years). I do believe it will be the same old old over at Washington, and it's easy to feel good about having passed a package (results be damned) than being uncertain about what is right thing to do.

In order to do anything meaningfully, we'd have to assess whys and hows, and frankly I don't see enough of that from the capitol hill or white house.
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ezkcdude
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2009-02-07, 11:41

Quote:
Originally Posted by Banana View Post

In order to do anything meaningfully, we'd have to assess whys and hows, and frankly I don't see enough of that from the capitol hill or white house.
Watch C-SPAN, they do this all day. And It's silly to think you can get the majority of 535 people to agree on anything without deal making, let alone that many politicians.
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TheLump
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2009-02-07, 13:18

two things, first, the unemployment is higher than 7.6%. thats just the ones one unemployment benefits. there are a lot more of us that dont get benefits because they either ran out or where denied. mine ran out, but i know a few people who were denied.

second, i keep hearing that the stimulus is nothing more than an advance on the next taxes, meaning that thte 300 i got last year will be deducted from this year, and that it will be the same thing with the new one.
god help me i hope thats not true...
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Capella
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2009-02-07, 15:28

What exactly does the tax stimulus stuff mean? Do they give us an additional check or credit to our taxes of the $500? (Sorry if this sounds stupid, I filed my taxes for the first time in my life this year.) I already filed my taxes and got my refund, will this matter? Will I be eligible for the $500 or whatever?

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JohnnyTheA
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2009-02-07, 21:11

Quote:
Originally Posted by ezkcdude View Post
I assume you mean 2003. There's a key difference. That war was not good for the American people, and I opposed it from the beginning.
Actually it was 2002 where the war authorization was voted on. http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=107&session=2&vote =00237

77 for the bill (including our current Vice President and Secretary of State), and 23 against. "At the time" that is what the majority of the country believed was good for the American people too. It may be that in a few years time you will see future presidential candidates back-pedaling on how they voted on THIS bill as Biden and Clinton both did during the 2008 election.

Taking a little time to work out the issues that the minority party (this time the Republican) have I think is in order here. Rushing to war or rushing to spending 800 billion dollars are both pretty big deals.

JTA
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ezkcdude
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2009-02-07, 21:50

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyTheA View Post

Taking a little time to work out the issues that the minority party (this time the Republican) have I think is in order here. Rushing to war or rushing to spending 800 billion dollars are both pretty big deals.

JTA
Let me just say this about that: 600,000 job losses in a month is far scarier than aluminum tubes ever turned out to be, so let's lay that analogy to rest.
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JohnnyTheA
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2009-02-08, 01:36

Quote:
Originally Posted by ezkcdude View Post
Let me just say this about that: 600,000 job losses in a month is far scarier than aluminum tubes ever turned out to be, so let's lay that analogy to rest.
Ah.. Hind sight. In six years or so, if this stimulus plans turns out rosy, I will lay it aside. Until then, I'd like both sides of our senate to have a voice, make reasonable deals, and not rush to spend the largest spending bill in our history that may very well solve temporary pain but lay in longer-term for some time.

Its A LOT of money (one million dollars a day every day since Christ was born). Even when they sign the thing it will have 1-2 years for all of the money to be spent. They can take an extra week have a detailed look-over. Thats IS what they are supposed to do. Rushing to way, Rushing to financial ruin, this isn't voting some kind of honorary day or something. This is a big deal.

JTA
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ezkcdude
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2009-02-08, 07:44

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyTheA View Post
Its A LOT of money (one million dollars a day every day since Christ was born). Even when they sign the thing it will have 1-2 years for all of the money to be spent. They can take an extra week have a detailed look-over. Thats IS what they are supposed to do. Rushing to way, Rushing to financial ruin, this isn't voting some kind of honorary day or something. This is a big deal.

JTA
This idea of taking an extra week to look it over is such a red herring. The bill can be read in one night. They've all read it, and if they haven't read it by now, they're not doing their job.
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billybobsky
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2009-02-08, 11:02

wow, not only does someone here claim to know exactly when the christian messiah was born, but they are using it as an argument against an agnostic...

someone doesn't understand the nature of a convincing argument...
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Brave Ulysses
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2009-02-08, 16:00

Quote:
Originally Posted by ezkcdude View Post
This idea of taking an extra week to look it over is such a red herring. The bill can be read in one night. They've all read it, and if they haven't read it by now, they're not doing their job.
Have you read the bill? How do you know it can be read in one night? As far as I can tell, you might be able to read in general where dollars are going but you certainly can't see how those are being spent, for what specifically, and why.

It's easy to look at a list and say oh, 20Billion for highways... check, 55 million for historic preservation... remove...... But how and where and why is that 20 billion for highways being spent
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ezkcdude
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2009-02-08, 17:03

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brave Ulysses View Post
Have you read the bill? How do you know it can be read in one night? As far as I can tell, you might be able to read in general where dollars are going but you certainly can't see how those are being spent, for what specifically, and why.
I don't have time to read it, but it's not my job. Look on the last page, I gave a link to a version of the bill from Feb 02. Even though its over 700 pages, the font size is huge (like bigger than Harry Potter books).

If you do want to read it, go here.
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Brave Ulysses
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2009-02-08, 17:19

Quote:
Originally Posted by ezkcdude View Post
I don't have time to read it, but it's not my job. Look on the last page, I gave a link to a version of the bill from Feb 02. Even though its over 700 pages, the font size is huge (like bigger than Harry Potter books).

If you do want to read it, go here.


Ok... now I want you to honestly say that all of your democratic (and republican) congressman have read the entire thing and should vote yes on spending $900 billion.
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Banana
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2009-02-09, 07:54

I think this article details all what is wrong about this package, if it's a bit too partisan for my taste.

50 De-simulating facts about the stimulus package

I continue to be amazed that nobody has seriously questioned why government is able to run on deficit years after years and not be insolvent. I'd love to meet an average guy who managed to run five years of deficit in his personal budget *and* not declaring bankruptcy.
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ezkcdude
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2009-02-09, 08:22

Under the category "Pure Pork", they list $4.5 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers. Are they serious? Does the name "Katrina" not ring a bell?
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bassplayinMacFiend
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2009-02-09, 08:38

Quote:
Originally Posted by ezkcdude View Post
I'm for it, and support primarily spending. Why? Because temporary tax cuts will not result in stimulus - the money will just be saved or used to pay down debt. Job creation is the only way to get us out of this mess. I think the GOP is in awfully dangerous territory here trying to fight this.
Here's some stimulus for you (NSFW!!!) www.realtouch.com .
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Banana
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2009-02-09, 08:40

Context is everything.

Quote:
The problem with trying to spend $1 trillion quickly is that you end up wasting a lot of it. Take, for instance, the proposed $4.5 billion addition to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers budget. Not only does this effectively double the Corps’ budget overnight, but it adds to the Corps’ $3.2 billion unobligated balance—money that has been appropriated, but that the Corps has not yet figured out how to spend. Keep in mind, this is an agency that is often criticized for wasting taxpayers’ money.
Seem to me that if they have a cool 3.2 billion lying around, they really don't need the extra 4.5 billion. The last sentence is just a assertion and uncited one at that, but it nows call in question of whether they actually were.

EDIT: One more point. This is supposed to be an "emergency" stimulus bill, rather than a regular budget bill. As such, one would at least expect that the bill appropriate money for direct relief from economic distress... as opposed to you know, throwing money around...

And for goodness' sake, how do you expect them to pull 4.5 billion (actually close to a trillion) anyway?
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jcoley2
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2009-02-09, 08:45

Quote:
Originally Posted by ezkcdude View Post
Because temporary tax cuts will not result in stimulus - the money will just be saved or used to pay down debt. Job creation is the only way to get us out of this mess..
Actually, you are incorrect. Tax cuts have a 3-1 multiplier effect. They are the best bang for the buck to stimulate the economy. If fact, lowering corporate taxes (both payroll and corp income taxes) would be the single best idea to jump start the economy. Individual corporate tax rate reductions on capital formation would be the next best idea: lower taxes on dividends, interest and capital gains.

Most other options in this "stimulus" (let's start calling it what it is: "spending") package have horrible track records on stimulating the economy. Most of the transfer payments which make up the vast majority of the bill have less than a 1 time multiple--meaning that cost more than what they benefit the economy.

Here is a good example: the bills contains incentives to train new workers to be trained as "green technology" workers. Sounds great, right? These workers can acquire new job skills and it is estimated that they can earn $60-80,000/year in these new positions.

But guess what: you know how much the tax incentives are to do this are? $250,000-300,000/worker!!! Now that's not going to stimulate the economy, but rather be a drag as we compound interest on the debt to pay for that worker and ultimately the principal.

You need to look to history as to what worked and what did not work in fiscal stimulus. This bill is a waste, and more importantly, will jack interest rates up over time (as we have to borrow the money). More importantly, the transfer payments will create another entitlement class that will be hard for any Congress or President to take away down the road.

The bill is the single worse thing that the US Government has ever proposed in our lifetime!!

Now that I got a job, I can buy more Apple products!
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jcoley2
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2009-02-09, 08:49

Quote:
Originally Posted by ezkcdude View Post
Frankly, I don't give a damn about how the deals get done - as long as the bills produced help the American people. This one certainly will, so by hook or by crook, I'm thankful that two honorable Republicans could step across party lines to back the stimulus. I think the 39 Republicans who aren't voting for it will be reminded of that in the next election cycle.
I'll take the other side of this bet. If this bill passes, you can look for a mid-term route as people erupt over the crap that is in this bill: you tell me how $6 B for Acorn is stimulative!!!! Ok, maybe to stimulate more voter fraud, but does not help the economy. You go line by line item on this bill and what you see is "payback" for the election. When to full details come out, it will be a field day for commercials for mid-terms!

Just remember Clinton's first mid-term.

Now that I got a job, I can buy more Apple products!
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psmith2.0
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2009-02-09, 08:50

Quote:
Originally Posted by bassplayinMacFiend View Post
Here's some stimulus for you (NSFW!!!) www.realtouch.com .
I'm going to kill you to death.



Why - why - did I click that link?





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Banana
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2009-02-09, 08:52

The more I think about this, the more I come to this image. Seems pretty appropriate.

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ezkcdude
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2009-02-09, 09:40

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcoley2 View Post
Actually, you are incorrect. Tax cuts have a 3-1 multiplier effect. They are the best bang for the buck to stimulate the economy. If fact, lowering corporate taxes (both payroll and corp income taxes) would be the single best idea to jump start the economy. Individual corporate tax rate reductions on capital formation would be the next best idea: lower taxes on dividends, interest and capital gains.
Where do you get that number from?
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jcoley2
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2009-02-09, 09:41

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Originally Posted by ezkcdude View Post
Where do you get that number from?
It comes from the CBO and has been widely quoted in the press.
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ezkcdude
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2009-02-09, 10:01

Hmmm...can't find it. Please send a link. I've heard other numbers. 3:1 is much higher than any multiplier I've heard about for either spending or tax cuts. Typically the multiplier is 1-1.5. I did find this testimony from the CBO Director Peter Orszag in Jan 2008. It's actually a fairly convincing argument that tax cuts - especially temporary ones will not stimulate the economy. And that is regardless of whether they are personal or corporate. On the other hand, stimulus spending will provide immediate benefits.
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Matsu
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2009-02-09, 10:11

Stimulus?

Tax gas, double its price, triple it even! Force a new generation of environmental technology -- cars, appliances, light bulbs, paint, etc... and all the manufacturing associated with it -- to come online sooner. Release the income to pay for it by lowering other taxes in proportion. In order of importance: less personal income tax, less corporate tax, more, and more evenly levied across all jurisdictions, broad based, low level, consumption taxes (ie, retail sales, goods and services, alcohol and tobacco.), less property taxes.

Make it enticing to buy new stuff, leave people some money with which to buy it.

I'll take the office next to Axlerod's if anyone at the White House is reading.

edit, I forgot, less capital taxes, when the money spent is paying for new generation (green) infrastructure. Insert this as a subset of corporate taxes, but it desrves special mention...

.........................................

Last edited by Matsu : 2009-02-09 at 10:24.
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Banana
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2009-02-09, 10:28

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matsu View Post
Tax gas, double its price, triple it even! Force a new generation of environmental technology -- cars, appliances, light bulbs, paint, etc... and all the manufacturing associated with it -- to come online sooner. Release the income to pay for it by lowering other taxes in proportion. In order of importance: less personal income tax, less corporate tax, more, and more evenly levied across all jurisdictions, broad based, low level, consumption taxes (ie, retail sales, goods and services, alcohol and tobacco.), less property taxes.
All this would do is strip special privileges & benefits from one group to another group. We'd still be effectively subsidizing one group at everybody else's expenses, and even restricting what everybody else can buy, which has potential to price cars/appliances/whatever out of what is affordable for people who's already paying their shares in taxes to support the subsidy.

All in all, it's a win only for "green technology" and a big loss for everyone else. This still apply whether it's still the big oil that's recipient of the subsidy, and it still apply regardless *who* gets the subsidy.
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