Bipartisan stimulus proposal

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ElfDude
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Post by ElfDude » Tue Feb 10, 2009 2:50 pm

Big Blue Owl wrote: and why shouldn't it be done by the entire political body rather than all of the glory, blame, responsibility, eventual votes (or not) and even down to the actual content being on the shoulders of the party that happens to be in majority?
If opposition to a pork bill is going to frustrate him this much, he's in over his head. But I think you gave me the answer with the line I quote above.
They know this is not stimulus or recovery. They know that this is just a grow-the-government thing. And they know that it's gonna slam the economy with inflation eventually. And they don't want house or senate Republicans to be able to campaign on, "Hey, we tried to stop it!"
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Post by Big Blue Owl » Tue Feb 10, 2009 3:01 pm

You had your answer before I even responded. ;-) But I don't mind being "pipe cleaner" once in a while. :-)
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Post by ElfDude » Tue Feb 10, 2009 3:06 pm

Big Blue Owl wrote:You had your answer before I even responded. ;-) But I don't mind being "pipe cleaner" once in a while. :-)
I had a theory. You kinda helped confirm it in my mind. ;)

However, I think if it was me... if I was the man in charge and I knew I was doing the right thing I'd be quite happy to do it without any help from the opposition. After all, hey, I'm doing the right thing. I don't need to get mad at others for not coming along.

Having said all that I have in the last several posts, I really do understand how hard it would be to sell America on the idea that we should probably not do anything drastic. A lot of voters aren't gonna buy that. There is a cry of "DO SOMETHING!" from a good chunk of the population.

But I don't wanna bleed the little girl with the fever.
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Post by ElfDude » Tue Feb 10, 2009 3:18 pm

Perhaps a little more historic perspective might be helpful. After all, those who do not learn from history, etc. etc...
Stimulus Can Sink Recession Into Depression
By WALTER E. WILLIAMS | Posted Monday, February 09, 2009 4:20 PM PT

Dr. Robert Higgs, senior fellow at the Oakland, Calif.-based Independent Institute, penned an article in Monday's Christian Science Monitor that suggests the most intelligent recommendation that I've read to fix our economic mess. The title of his article gives his recommendation away: "Instead of stimulus, do nothing ? seriously."

Stimulus package debate is over how much money should be spent, whether some should go to the National Endowment for the Arts, research sexually transmitted diseases or bail out Amtrak, our failing railroad system.

Higgs says, "Hardly anyone, however, is asking the most important question: Should the federal government be doing any of this?"

He adds, "Until the 1930s, the Constitution served as a major constraint on federal economic interventionism. The government's powers were understood to be just as the framers intended: few and explicitly enumerated in our founding document and its amendments.

"Search the Constitution as long as you like, and you will find no specific authority conveyed for the government to spend money on global-warming research, urban mass transit, food stamps, unemployment insurance, Medicaid or countless other items in the stimulus package and, even without it, in the regular federal budget."

By bringing up the idea of constitutional restraints on Washington, Dr. Higgs is whistling Dixie. Americans have long ago abandoned respect for the constitutional limitations placed on the federal government. Our elected representatives represent that disrespect.

I'd ask Higgs: Isn't it unreasonable to expect a politician to do what he considers to be political suicide, namely conduct himself according to the letter and spirit of the Constitution?

While Americans, through ignorance or purpose, show contempt for our Constitution, I doubt whether they are indifferent between a growing or stagnating economy. Dr. Higgs tells us some of the economic history of the U.S.

In 1893, we had a depression; we got out of it without a stimulus package. A major recession hit the country in 1920-21; though sharp, it quickly reversed itself into what has been call the Roaring '20s.

In 1929 came an economic downturn, most notably featured by the stock market collapse, after which came massive government intervention ? you might call it the nation's first stimulus package.

President Hoover and Congress responded to what might have been a two- or three-year sharp downturn with many of the policies President Obama and Congress are urging today. They raised tariffs, propped up wage rates, bailed out farmers, banks and other businesses, and financed state relief efforts.

When Franklin Roosevelt came to office, he became even more interventionist than Hoover and presided over protracted depression where the economy didn't fully recover until 1946.

Roosevelt didn't have an easy time with his agenda; he had to first emasculate the U.S. Supreme Court.

Higgs points out that federal courts had respect for the Constitution as late as the 1930s. They issued some 1,600 injunctions to restrain officials from carrying out acts of Congress.

The Supreme Court overturned as unconstitutional the New Deal's centerpieces such as the National Industrial Recovery Act and the Agricultural Adjustment Act and other parts of Roosevelt's "stimulus package."

An outraged Roosevelt threatened to pack the court, and the court capitulated to where it is today giving Congress virtually unlimited powers to tax, spend and regulate.

My question to my fellow Americans is: Do we want a repeat of measures that failed dismally during the 1930s?

A more fundamental question is: Should Washington be guided by the Constitution?

In explaining the Constitution, James Madison, the document's acknowledged father, wrote in Federalist Paper 45:

"The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the state governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation and foreign commerce."

Has the Constitution been amended to permit Congress to tax, spend and regulate as it pleases or have Americans said, "To hell with the Constitution"?

Copyright 2008 Creators Syndicate, Inc
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Post by ElfDude » Tue Feb 10, 2009 3:38 pm

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Post by ElfDude » Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:27 pm

Big Blue Owl wrote:Gotta better idea?
With enough time I could produce multiple posts from you where you griped about the Bush administration's defecit spending. What changed your mind on defecit spending? Why is it now good for the nation instead of bad for it?

As to a better idea, here you go:

1. Decreasse government spending. If times are tough for me economically, the worst thing I can do is get a loan for a new truck and another for a new boat. But that's essentially what the government is doing... saying we can spend our way into economic recovery. Insanity. So yeah, decrease govt spending.

2. Reduce the corporate tax. Ours is the second highest in the free world. Yet we're angry when companies move overseas. Duh? Make it easier to let a business stay in business. Make it easier for them to grow and hire more people. We want jobs, right? Then reward the people who hire people.

3. Temporarily suspend or drastically cut the capitol gains tax. Even if only for a year. If all of a sudden you were no longer severly punished for success, imagine the investment that would take place.

4. Lower personal income tax rates. In simpler terms, let Americans keep more of what they earn. Do that and they will spend, I promise. It worked when JFK did it and it worked when Ronald Reagan did it.

5. If none of the above can be done then simply do nothing. That would be better for America's future than a trillion dollar spending bill. The CBO says so. Hundreds of economists have signed a petition saying so.

What's happening today is terrible. Anyone whoever criticized defecit spending in the past must either agree that what's happening today is bad or be a very blatant hypocrite for the rest of the world to see.

Tell me... no one has had time to read the bill being voted on today. It was finished at 11:00 last night. Lobbyists were given copies of it even before members of congress. The American people haven't had a chance to read it, despite Democrat promises to put it on the Internet for 48 hours before voting on it (so much for the new era of transparency and responsibility we were promised). Would you ever, EVER have trusted Pres. Bush if he had said, "We have to do this now! NOW! I don't care if you don't know what's in the bill! This is important! Vote on it NOW or we're doomed!"? You and I both would not have trusted that. Why would anyone trust it today?

Yes, I am emotional and upset.
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Post by Big Blue Owl » Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:48 pm

Why are you upset? Nobody has called you a hypocrite. :)

Perhaps I feel less against it this time because, as Republican house and senate leaders have said, "We have to."

And just like the failure of the past 8 years, your plan has tax cuts on nearly every line. Tax cuts. That's what we've done for a decade and it's done nothing to trickle down on us that I can see (or touch.) So the answer to your question must be, "Why not try this now? The other hasn't worked on its own, so combine some cuts with spending on job-creating projects and....stuff. 1000 pages of stuff. I guess we have to revert to bleeding the little girl." :D

To be serious, and to completely blow off the whole "hypocrite" insinuation, I don't know what's right. I neither support nor oppose the stimulus package. I haven't read it, and until I do I can't pass my humble judgment either way.

Calm down, my buddy. You'll give yourself the vapors.
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Post by Big Blue Owl » Fri Feb 13, 2009 1:21 pm

Really, man. I'm sorry you are feeling badly. Whatever happens, we'll get through this. Every Dem felt just like you do when 2000 rolled around. And all of this time since. We're all still here, albeit damaged.
It'll be okay. :-)
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Post by ElfDude » Fri Feb 13, 2009 1:24 pm

Whether you were called a hypocrite or not is entirely up to you. I laid out an act of hypocrisy. If the shoe fits, wear it. If it doesn't, it wasn't meant for you.

But geez-Louise, you're still claiming the current breakdown is because of tax cuts? Not the mismanagement and the corruption in the huge government-sponsored lending organizations? Again I say, prove it. Show me the numbers. Show me how tax cuts caused Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to explode and consequently injure so many near to them. If you really need me to show you historical evidence of economic recovery as a result of tax cuts I can... but I don't want to go to the trouble if it'll just be unread and brushed off.

Recent memory should serve you well enough though. Do you remember that we were already in a recession when Bush took office in 2001? I do. I lost my job due to it. Do you remember that on top of that we had a stock market plunge due to the 9/11 attacks? And as you pointed out, the economic recovery plan was a very mild income tax reduction. And if you recall, the economy recovered and grew in a robust manner until 2007. Then other stuff started happening. But it's just so out in the open and obvioous... I just don't get trying to rewrite such recent and memorable history.

As to the vapors, it's already worse than that. ;) You don't want to be around me now.

Now, as to "Why not try this now?" I would suggest that you re-read the original post of this thread... the bi-partisan proposal where we try both and monitor the results of both to see which works and which doesn't. We already have plenty of history to look at (and I have posted plenty of articles that demonstrate it) but since we seem to want to ignore history we can try both again and monitor the results. About that idea, liberal columnist Mort Kondracke wrote at realclearpolitics.com a column in which he had to admit it was a really good idea.
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articl ... mbaug.html

Calm down? Yeah, I suppose I should try. Shut up? Not a chance. This is one of the largest, if not the largest, internal assaults on my nation in my lifetime. I cannot sit quietly and shrug it off.
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Post by Big Blue Owl » Fri Feb 13, 2009 1:37 pm

Well, okay then. I am not prepared statistically or emotionally for this one. You are stoked, brother. I don't want any of that. After a few weeks of gloom and physical doom I'd just as soon go into my "happy place" at least for the weekend, 'sayin'?



I think this is called "Stepping Off," as the kids say today.
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Post by ElfDude » Fri Feb 13, 2009 1:50 pm

Big Blue Owl wrote: I don't want any of that. After a few weeks of gloom and physical doom I'd just as soon go into my "happy place" at least for the weekend, 'sayin'?
Good idea.

*hugs his friend*
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Post by awip2062 » Fri Feb 13, 2009 3:06 pm

ElfDude wrote: Show me how tax cuts caused Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to explode and consequently injure so many near to them.
I can't show you this, but I can comment on injury Fannie and Freddie have done.

My step-dad is filing for bankruptcy. Again.

He and my mom bought a house together and they were doing okay until he, again, ran his credit cards up. They sat down, talked about it, and decided to take out an equity loan on their home, pay off the credit cards, and quit running the cards up past what they could pay off each month.

Well, it didn't quite work out that way. Dad ran his credit cards up to the limit and then started taking credit cards out in my mom's name for himself to use. When Mom found out, she blew a fuse! He quit taking out new cards in her name and she worked hard at paying them down. Then she died, with some debt still on her cards, and now my Dad no longer gets the $500 a month from my mom that she had been giving him toward the mortgage.

So, then Dad has his bills and her bills and can't make it. He's filing for bankruptcy. He's pretty pleased because the costs are the same as when he filed 15 years ago, though.

But, once he goes bankrupt, he's not out of the woods. Not by any means. See, he's not putting the mortgages on the bankruptcy because he wants to stay in the house and not have to move in with one of us kids. He will have, after he pays the bill from dear Freddie each month $600 left. That's $600 for food, lights, water, trash, phone, insurance, et cetera for a whole month.

Now, I'm not saying my folks did right here. They shouldn't have built up so much debt or taken out loans that came so close to what they could afford, especially when they were both living with terminal diseases and the chances of one or both of them dying in 5 years was so high.

But Freddie should not have loaned them the money, either. My Dad is not the only American sitting at home today wondering how he is going to make it whose poor spending habits were enabled by our own government.

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Post by Walkinghairball » Fri Feb 13, 2009 3:19 pm

I didn't realize you were so close to the fred fanny thinger kiddo.


UCK!


*HUGS*
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Post by awip2062 » Fri Feb 13, 2009 3:31 pm

Yeah, and it isn't my fault, it is the fault of the government for lending the money and, ultimately, of my parents.

Lord, keep me from going there myself.

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Post by CygnusX1 » Tue Feb 17, 2009 8:59 am

Stimulus Bill Permits Sale of Health Records

Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Posted by: Amanda Carpenter at 7:04 AM

Kudos to CNSNews.com reporter Fred Lucas for this story.

He's found five pages of exceptions to a prohibition in the stimulus bill to
allow the sale of government controlled health records.

That's right.

Not only will HHS officials store them and read them for whatever purpose
they may have, they will be able to SELL your personal medical
information as well.

This is from Lucas's story:

Though the legislation says there is a ?prohibition on sale of electronic
health records or protected health information,? there are five pages of
exceptions to the prohibition that include research, treatment of an
individual, or a decision by the Secretary of Health and Human Services
to wave the prohibition. (See Legislation, PDF pages 391-395.)

One exception listed in the legislation is if, ?The purpose of the exchange
is for public health activities.? Another exception is apparently to ensure
the data ? if sold ? are not for commercial reasons, saying, ?The purpose
of the exchange is for research and the price charged reflects costs of
preparation and transmittal of the data for such purpose.?

Another exception is rather broad saying, ?The purpose of the exchange
is otherwise determined by the secretary in regulations to be similarly
necessary and appropriate? in accordance with the other exceptions.
Don't start none...won't be none.

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