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It’s the spending, stupid

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 10:24 am - August 6, 2011.
Filed under: Big Government Follies,Debt Crisis,Economy

From the Washington Post:

Standard & Poor’s announced Friday night that it has downgraded the U.S. credit rating for the first time, dealing a symbolic blow to the world’s economic superpower in what was a sharply worded critique of the American political system.

Lowering the nation’s rating to one notch below AAA, the credit rating company said “political brinkmanship” in the debate over the debt had made the U.S. government’s ability to manage its finances “less stable, less effective and less predictable.”

Wonder if we would have seen this downgrade if the president had offered a plan of his own at the outset of the debate.

Downgraded because we spend too much:

S&P said the downgrade “reflects our opinion that the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the administration recently agreed to falls short of what, in our view, would be necessary to stabilize the government’s medium-term debt dynamics.” It also blamed the weakened “effectiveness, stability, and predictability” of U.S. policy making and political institutions at a time when challenges are mounting.

Democrats,” Professor William A. Jacobson writes

own the downgrade. They fought Republicans and Tea Party supporters every step of they way, and forced a deal which was insufficient. They played class warfare and race politics against arguments that we needed to drastically change our spending habits.

Via Instapundit.

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90 Comments

  1. and count only the increase after 2003

    No Cas, it was you who did that. You, Cas, said this (with great emphasis in the original):

    the FACT that from 2003-2005, tax receipts fell in REAL terms as tax rates fell

    Your quote. YOU made a claim about 2003-5. Go check your original. I merely answered your claim, by pointing out its incorrectness. Tax receipts, both nominal and real, increased from 2003-5.

    ignore the initial great [sic] drop in tax receipts from 2001

    Oh, is that what you’re on about? Wow Cas, how stupid can you be? Let me try to explain it in terms simple enough even for you to understand. I’ll use a simple analogy. Maybe that way, the words will be small enough for you.

    Say you run a store, and the neighborhood killer is making you pay protection. When he comes to collect it from you, you pay him right away because he has the power to force you. Now years go by. You’re used to his demands, which have grown over the years and kept you from growing your business (or even made you shrink it). One day he collects less from you. If you even notice at first, do you trust it to last? Do you even remember what your plans were, years ago when you were younger, that you had to shelve? No, you carry out the rut you’re business is in, almost like you’re in a bit of shock from the years of abuse. It is some time before you expand your business.

    In bigger words: the lag in the effects of tax increases vs. tax decreases is variable, and generally assymmetric with the decreases tending to experience somewhat longer or slower lags.

    I have never thought or suggested otherwise. Only in your imagination, your self-created world of straw people where you play alone, could I be connected with some sort of claim that the Bush tax cuts raised (and/or should have raised) federal revenues within (say) weeks or days of their being in effect.

    No, human activity takes time, and the changing of human habits and plans and businesses takes even more time – though less so when you’re being forced, as on the tax-increase side of things i.e. the government’s ability to take your money effective immediately.

    That really means it takes some time to re-grow the tax base in response to tax cuts. ANY. cuts. from. ANY. level. on. EITHER. side. of. the. Laffer. curve.

    There, have I explained it clearly enough, even for you to get?

    Really, I expect you still won’t get it. I’m explaining it for the benefit of the others. They already understand how dishonest and/or stupid your thoughts can be. But I’m glad to explain the details of this issue or that, for their benefit.

    NDT, was there a recession in 2002-2003 that we are unaware of that would explain this large fall in receipts?

    As a matter of fact, the stock market, real estate markets and job markets were all recovering – remember the endless groaning about the “jobless recovery”? – so yes, receipts would have remained depressed for a couple years after the Clinton recession ended officially.

    In fact, that’s true of every recession on record. And the point is rather to my advantage. And yet, I don’t hide behind it. Also, I don’t know exactly when all of the Bush tax cuts took effect: if it was some pieces in 2001, some in 2002, or some in 2003. NDT has suggested, and I find it possible until proven otherwise, that some pieces actually didn’t take effect until 2003. That point is also to my advantage. And yet, I don’t hide behind it either. Rather, I rest on the fact that that the lag in the effects of tax increases vs. tax decreases is naturally variable and assymmetric: that it takes some amount of time to re-grow the tax base, for the desired revenue-increasing effect, in response to tax cuts. ANY. cuts. from. ANY. level. on. EITHER. side. of. the. Laffer. curve.

    Really Cas, you making such a nutty ass of yourself – thank you for entertaining us! 🙂

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 7, 2011 @ 11:03 pm - August 7, 2011

  2. the Laffer Curve position of supply siders is that a cut in tax rates will lead to an ABSOLUTELY [sic; really meaning immediate? instantaneous?] higher level of tax receipts (as long as the economy is on the right side of the curve).

    Again, where have I ever remotely suggested that?

    2003-2005 showed this was not the case.

    There you go again, Cas. No, no, no. You are exactly and totally wrong on the facts: 2003-5 was a time when revenues were growing (both in real and nominal terms). 2003-5 showed that the Laffer Curve works, and that America had been (and perhaps still is) on the wrong side of it for tax increases to work.

    You still have yet to prove your point, ILC.

    Folks, that’s the sound of the ass braying, LOL 🙂

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 7, 2011 @ 11:14 pm - August 7, 2011

  3. Actually, let me rephrase that last, as follows. I hereby assert (as Cas did; sauce for the gander now!) that my point was proven long ago, and Cas’ continued braying on the subject has no value.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 7, 2011 @ 11:35 pm - August 7, 2011

  4. Yet another point to my advantage: The lag could arise administratively. Since federal income and capital gains taxes are paid in April of the year following the taxable activity: even if a tax cut did cause instant growth in activity (the tax base) in the first year it had effect – say in 2003 – (and again, I wouldn’t claim it does so quickly) – from administrative causes alone, the first of the increased revenue could not possibly appear before 2004.

    Maybe you have to be a taxpayer, to know that.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 7, 2011 @ 11:46 pm - August 7, 2011

  5. Hi ILC,
    Golly gosh!

    Your quote. YOU made a claim about 2003-5. Go check your original. I merely answered your claim, by pointing out its incorrectness. Tax receipts, both nominal and real, increased from 2003-5.

    So, ILC, you get to have your cake and eat it to–you go all literal on me (good for you), and when I point out the precipitous drop from 2001 and 2002 in response to your literalness, as the economy is improving, by the way, you argue that receipts were lower because of a) lingering effects after the recession of 2001, and b) variabilituy and asymmetry of economic activity.

    Let us take those two points. First point: OK, so we have a jobless recovery, and GDP is still going up, and we have this precipitous decline in revenues in 2003. Hmm. So, why do revenues drop in 2003 and subsequently, from 2002, ILC? After all, are you going to argue that it took until 2006 to get over the recession of 2001, and that there was some recessional variability and asymmetry in the economy to cause this decline, two-five years after the recession? Yep, that the effects of a recession two to five years previously, all right, and not lower tax receipts caused by lower tax rates.

    I doubt it. Out of curiosity, you appear to understand what a Laffer Curve is, in a different way to mainstream supply siders or most other economists for that matter. What do you actually understand a Laffer Curve to be and what actual impact does it have (if my definition of its impact that you quoted is not to your liking, could you please explain what is to your liking)?

    Second, after all–lags are asymmetric and variable. So, for anything that does not exactly follow as your belief system suggests it does, you can dismiss it as due to “variable and asymmetric time lags.” Right. So, there appears to be no way to actually disprove what you believe to be true, ILC. As I said before, you appear to hold a non-falsifiable position, because any evidence that does not fit your model is due to unspecified variable and asymmetric lags. If you can think of a way to falsify your position, please let me know, but it is completely absent from this discussion. I understand your position, ILC, I do.

    It is not an economic position, ILC. It is a religious position…

    Comment by Cas — August 8, 2011 @ 12:20 am - August 8, 2011

  6. As I my mind spontaneously recalls more facts, it’s even more clear how completely right I am.

    Above, I make a point about the year-long administrative lag in U.S. tax collections. It also applies to recessions. In other words, if year Y was the trough of economic activity, then year **Z** (not year Y) should be the revenue trough.

    Now let’s look at the facts as they unfolded.
    – 1990s: Clinton leads us into a fake “bubble” economy, the dot-com boom.
    – 2000: The bubble bursts. The Clinton stock market crash – dot-com bomb.
    – 2001: Starting early in the year (just as Bush took office), the Clinton recession. Continued through the year. The first part of Bush tax cuts may have had some effect (though I don’t claim for sure that they would, so quickly)… but 9-11 further disrupts the economy, that September. This was the “trough year” for real economic activity.
    – 2002: Recovery underway, but from a deep trough. Unemployment (a lagging indicator) still rising, thus the income tax base still declining. A possible “trough year” for **taxable** economic activity.
    – 2003: Second part of the Bush tax cuts kick in.

    From all that… I predict that the trough year for revenue collection SHOULD be 2002 (based on having 2001 as the “trough year” of economic activity), or maybe 2003 (if in fact, 2002 was the trough year of taxable activity). In other words, if Laffer theory is correct, and given the administrative and other facts, revenue SHOULD rise no earlier than 2003, and perhaps in 2003.

    Golly, I wonder if it all turned out just like that?

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 8, 2011 @ 12:29 am - August 8, 2011

  7. P.S. I’ve also remembered that income taxes are withheld in the current year, BUT,
    – The employee can choose ‘less withholding’. In 2001-2002, I knew people who did. They would pay the full amount only later, with their tax return.
    – Capital gains are generally not withheld and often not paid, until the following year.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 8, 2011 @ 1:43 am - August 8, 2011

  8. why do revenues drop in 2003 and subsequently

    They don’t. More braying! You are completely, factually wrong on that, Cas. Revenues RISE in 2003 and subsequently.

    I’ve said before that it is amazing to watch the “denial” element in your mental process; amazing to watch, in real time, as it actively rejects basic facts and ‘perseverates’ in wrongness.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 8, 2011 @ 1:46 am - August 8, 2011

  9. In other news – gold at $1710 right now. Up nearly $50 in Sunday-night trading.

    Thanks, Obama! 🙂

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 8, 2011 @ 1:53 am - August 8, 2011

  10. Hi ILC,
    Thanks for the reply. I still don’t know what you believe concerning the Laffer Curve, so, I cannot comment on that aspect of things.

    However, according to what you say, 2002 or 2003 should be the height of tax receipt badness, since that is the major impact of the recession. But receipts in 2002 are higher for any time until 2006. That doesn’t fit the narrative you present in your comment. OK, unemployment reached a peak in 2002, dipped, rose slightly, and finally started its sustained fall in 2003. So, even with your memory, it doesn’t explain why receipts didn’t rise in 2004 and 2005, when U/E was lower than it was in 2002. Even with your lag, it doesn’t come close to explaining THREE years of lower receipts, given 2002’s receipt performance. And remember, marginal rates went down in 2001. I know that NDT asserted that some of the tax cuts did not take effect until later (I think he is referring to estate tax cuts). But the major part of the tax cuts (cuts in marginal rates) were in immediate effect. I have looked for a breakdown of when the different parts of Bush’s tax cuts came into effect, but I haven’t found anything definitive, apart from what I said. The information I found does not appear to support your take on things. So, I remain unconvinced.

    Comment by Cas — August 8, 2011 @ 2:02 am - August 8, 2011

  11. Extremist Senators like Harry Reid and the extremist Barack Obama blocked both of these plans and insisted that there be a) no spending cuts and b) doubling of tax rates.

    Whoa, whoa. Wait, what?

    Both of them openly endorsed plans that called for spending cuts (it took me seconds to find this with Obama quoted as saying “We both want spending cuts. We both want to make sure that we are not wasting taxpayer dollars”, I also found similar for Reid), and ‘doubling of tax rates’? In what sense? Doubling taxes from 15% of GDP to 30% of GDP? No-one anywhere in Congress called for a plan even remotely like that. Or maybe doubling of some other, more specific tax? If so, what tax?

    Seriously NDT, I try not responding to you but when you goad me with transparent lies like this it’s hard to ignore you.

    Comment by Serenity — August 8, 2011 @ 2:13 am - August 8, 2011

  12. Obama quoted as saying “We both want spending cuts.

    Obama says a lot of things. He can also be quoted as saying he had no intention of taking over General Motors, then he did. He can be quoted as saying he would have a net reduction in Federal Spending. It has increased 25% on his watch. Obama can be quoted as saying he would provide regulatory relief to business. In fact, his financial, health care, and energy regulations are strangling businesses.

    You are a fool if you judge a politician by his words and not his actions.

    Comment by V the K — August 8, 2011 @ 6:48 am - August 8, 2011

  13. You are a fool if you judge a politician by his words and not his actions.

    Well to judge anyone by their actions.

    Comment by The_Livewire — August 8, 2011 @ 8:58 am - August 8, 2011

  14. Wow! This is real adventure in root canal repair without pain killers.

    Cas and Serenity have come to defend taxing the rich, not embalm them. They are specialists at leeching only enough blood to keep the donor from croaking.

    ILC and company are all talking about getting our fiscal house in order. They would rework entitlements, which clearly means closing entitlement “loopholes” and making “entitlees” pay more from their own pockets.

    Cas and Serenity see this as a tax on the poor, since all entitlees are genuinely entitled and are therefore innocent recipients of transferred wealth.

    Cas and Serenity see tax “loopholes” for the wealthy as pernicious, but entitlement “loopholes” for entitlees being pernicious only in the case that some rich guy is getting them.

    ILC and others actually have a soft spot in their hearts for rich guys and believe that their spending, investing, and savings play a positive role in the economy.

    Cas and Serenity see rich guys as over consumers who chew up the planet and spit out global warming and cuddly little dead polar bear cubs.

    Standard and Poors says that Congress (both houses) and the President have to work together on the mission of getting the US back to AAA. Cas and Serenity see this as calling for tax hikes, since the Democrats stand for tax hikes and nothing else. They firmly believe in political stasis. They are much like the Loyalists during the American Revolution.

    So, the back and forth goes on and on with ILC, et. al. presenting an alternative market approach and Cas and Serenity doggedly sticking to the talking points, what Obama has muttered as evidence of holy writ and demanding that Progressivism works as an engine for prosperity if you are flexible in your understanding of prosperity.

    You can read the above comments and find more weasel holes than the tax code has loopholes.

    Boiled down to its simplest, Cas and Serenity are basically anti-capitalist and dedicated egalitarians. ILC, et. al. are capitalists and anti-socialists. There is no disagreement possible since there is no agreement possible. Cas and Serenity come here to talk past us and the responses they get in return are not internalized, but treated as tangent threads to be pulled in their never-ending, directionless “conversation.”

    Comment by Heliotrope — August 8, 2011 @ 9:39 am - August 8, 2011

  15. I still don’t know what you believe concerning the Laffer Curve

    Well, thank you. That is a step down from just a few comments earlier, where you invent what (you think I should) believe about the LC.

    But receipts in 2002 are higher for any time until 2006.

    Again that’s just false. http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/displayafact.cfm?Docid=200

    Receipts exceeded 2002 nominally in 2004, and inflation-adjusted in 2005. You’re beginning to worry me. Your insistence on an easily demonstrated anti-fact is deranged.

    It is not an economic position, ILC. It is a religious position…

    You’re quite correct, except you’ve mistaken the party.

    I remain unconvinced.

    Of course. It doesn’t signify because as explained previously, I long ago stopped writing for you. (I may write *with* you i.e. using you, but not for you.)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 8, 2011 @ 10:37 am - August 8, 2011

  16. Both of them openly endorsed plans that called for spending cuts (it took me seconds to find this with Obama quoted as saying “We both want spending cuts.

    Nope. As the CBO said, speeches do not equal plans. You lied again, Pomposity, and your lies have been thrown back in your face. Your Obama and your Reid screamed and cried and whined and blocked spending cuts and demanded doubling taxes, and it was only when Republicans held firm that your little tantrum children had to give in.

    By the way, the doubling comes from what I cited above, which is showing how that the Obama delusion that spending need not be cut and that we only need to raise taxes would not even close the gap for one YEAR with a doubling of rates.

    That’s math, Serenity. You are too infantile, stupid, and lazy to understand math, which is likely why you are on welfare, just like your friend Cas. And that is why the only thing you can do is scream and whine and cry and demand that society pay you equally to those who do work and do provide value to society.

    Lazy, worthless parasite. That’s all you are, Serenity.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — August 8, 2011 @ 10:52 am - August 8, 2011

  17. why receipts didn’t rise in 2004 and 2005, when U/E was lower than it was in 2002

    But again… receipts *did* rise in 2004 and 2005. And actually, the peak of unemployment was in *June 2003* – remember, like tax receipts it is a lagging indicator – so no, I seriously doubt that unemployment was much lower on average in 2004 than it was in 2002.

    But let me make something else clear. I do not defend Bush’s economic record. Bush did a lot of things wrong, except the tax cuts. From the beginning of his administration, he increased non-defense, domestic spending. That dragged on the economy (just as it does for Obama). He passed a costly new entitlement. That dragged on the economy (just as for Obama). He over-regulated (Sarbox). That dragged on the economy (just as for Obama). He went happily along with a Fed chairman’s excessively low interest rates. That dragged on the economy, by encouraging bad loans / inefficient use of resources (just as for Obama).

    Tax cuts were just about the only thing Bush did right, in economic policy. The fact that they produced higher revenues within 2 years of taking effect is, then, all the greater evidence in favor of the Laffer Curve and the fact that the U.S. was (and possibly might still be) on the anti-tax side of it.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 8, 2011 @ 11:05 am - August 8, 2011

  18. (i.e., that they produced higher revenues in the face of so many economic obstacles – including several negative policy components)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 8, 2011 @ 11:09 am - August 8, 2011

  19. Hi ILC,

    Again that’s just false. http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/displayafact.cfm?Docid=200

    Receipts exceeded 2002 nominally in 2004, and inflation-adjusted in 2005. You’re beginning to worry me. Your insistence on an easily demonstrated anti-fact is deranged.

    You are right. I should have said 2001. The larger point remains unchanged.

    But again… receipts *did* rise in 2004 and 2005. And actually, the peak of unemployment was in *June 2003* – remember, like tax receipts it is a lagging indicator – so no, I seriously doubt that unemployment was much lower on average in 2004 than it was in 2002.

    Well, it is definitely lower given the peak of 2003. And in 2005, it is noticeably lower; and so, this does not support your contention, given real receipts are still lower than they were in then in 2001. Sorry, ILC, still not feeling it.

    I would also point out that GDP rates were at 4% for 2004, and 3% for 2005. Your case has more merit for the period 2002 and 2003, since GDP was under 2%. But your U/E argument looks weak against actual economy wide performance following the tax cuts. After all, they were stimulative. Receipts rose, but one would expect them to rebound and pass 2001 levels in 2004, on the argument that you present, I think. And that didn’t happen until 2006. That is a hole that your argument doesn’t explain.

    Well, thank you. That is a step down from just a few comments earlier, where you invent what (you think I should) believe about the LC.

    Your welcome. No. I just assumed you thought about Laffer Curves the way that most economists do. When that turned out not to be the case, I asked you to explain your view. So, again I entreat you to share what you believe concerning what the Laffer Curve actually is and and its operational or testable prediction.

    Also,

    That dragged on the economy, by encouraging bad loans / inefficient use of resources

    I think that is an unusual choice of words, as it denotes “slowed down.” And GDP growth for the period in question doesn’t support that claim. I suspect that “mis-allocate” is a better word, as this is consistent with the views you hold, concerning over-investment, as to the causes of the 2007-8 bubble burst.

    Comment by Cas — August 8, 2011 @ 1:26 pm - August 8, 2011

  20. And this is where Cas’s typical argument style blows up in its face.

    But your U/E argument looks weak against actual economy wide performance following the tax cuts.

    Really, Cas? Want to compare unemployment rates before and after your “stimulus” passed?

    Now remember, Cas, you have to follow the same rules for your “stimulus” that you do for tax cuts.

    1) The unemployment rate has to fall IMMEDIATELY or it’s a failure.

    2) GDP can never decline again regardless of distance from the “stimulus” or it’s a failure

    3) If unemployment rises above the level when the “stimulus” was put in place, it’s a failure.

    Now watch how fast Cas insists that you can’t judge Cas’s “stimulus” by the same rules it put on tax cuts, that we have to wait for “stimulative” effect, that unemployment isn’t a valid indicator, that GDP activity is not a valid indicator, etc., etc., and so forth.

    And wait for the best one: Cas is going to scream and cry that Obama can’t be held accountable because Obama “inherited a recession” and Obama had “shocks to the system”.

    Well, guess what; Bush inherited a recession and had 9/11.

    Once you corner liberals like Cas, welfare addicts like Cas, you realize that they don’t really have an argument. They have rationalizations they’ve made for years about why they’re entitled to steal from others. Cas has no intellectual thought or capability, because Cas is unable to think beyond the preprogrammed liberal ideology of “government spending good, lower taxes bad” in its welfare-addict brain.

    That’s the other thing we have to realize here. We are dealing with people like Cas and Serenity who have been programmed since birth to see the government as the source of all wealth and growth. They literally are incapable of acknowledging the existence of government waste or of a negative government effect on the economy.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — August 8, 2011 @ 2:44 pm - August 8, 2011

  21. Hi NDT,
    For the sake of brevity, I just point out that your argument doesn’t follow from the conversation I am having with ILC. We are talking about tax receipt levels and possible causality that led to these levels. You want to argue a much different point about the general economy. There isn’t much more to say, I am afraid.

    Comment by Cas — August 8, 2011 @ 2:51 pm - August 8, 2011

  22. your argument doesn’t follow from the conversation I am having with ILC.

    Well, excuse the rest of us, please.

    Shall we check in now and then or is this a private conversation?

    Comment by Heliotrope — August 8, 2011 @ 3:26 pm - August 8, 2011

  23. Say, NDT, did you notice that hi-jacked threads are both limp and rigid? How can you possibly knit a tea cozy using such materials whilst keeping your correction selection under control?

    Comment by Heliotrope — August 8, 2011 @ 3:30 pm - August 8, 2011

  24. You are right…. [but] the larger point remains unchanged.

    Translation: Cas not to be moved by facts.

    I should have said 2001…
    …real receipts are still lower than they were in then in 2001…

    No it won’t do, Cas. Basing it on 2001 makes it even worse for you. Again: tax receipts, like unemployment, are a very **LAGGING** indicator. 2001 receipts were high (as was 2001 employment) because the recession had only just begun; they were starting from a historically high level, the tail end of the dot-com boom.

    Really Cas, this isn’t difficult – if you decide to be rational. And you won’t. It’s clear that you are unmoved by evidence. Your attachment to Keynesianism is a matter of religious faith.

    one would expect them to rebound and pass 2001 levels in 2004

    No, one wouldn’t. You’re just making up crap now, so you can preserve your religious faith. Like this:

    I just assumed you thought about Laffer Curves the way that most economists do.

    Kindly present a link to the broad and ideologically unbiased survey of economists, where a clear majority of them indicate their belief that that re-growing a country’s tax base takes no time at all and that the base-growing effects of tax cuts should therefore be instantaneous, or virtually so.

    You won’t be able to, because once more, you are bullsh*tting to desperately cover your mistake and preserve your religious faith.

    As for this:

    I think that is an unusual choice of words, as it denotes “slowed down.” And GDP growth for the period in question doesn’t support that claim. I suspect that “mis-allocate” is a better word

    Why would mis-allocation of resources be a bad thing? I.e., why would the word have the element “mis-” (bad) in it? BECAUSE IT DRAGS ON THE REAL ECONOMY.

    I’ve already explained to you, several times, that GDP is not the real economy i.e. real production and trade; GDP can, and for us it usually does, include much economic activity which is un-economic and sustained only by artificial “stimulus”; that your notion of “stimulus” (i.e. spending, borrowing and money-printing) tends to produce little beyond such faux activity (i.e., un-economic activity which cannot be sustained except by artificial “stimulus”); etc. Again, just as you’ve shown today that facts don’t move you, Cas, it’s clear that logic does not move you either.

    I’m in a position to go farther: Truth does not move you. You’ve shown in previous discussions that the very goal of economic policy – which is (or should be) to create prosperity – is something you ignore or even look down on; that you are perfectly aware that your policy set leads nations to penury, and you don’t mind. For that reason alone, you will never get the “big picture” right and no one should listen to you – even if you may be occasionally right on some small point or other, as in this thread you were NOT.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 8, 2011 @ 3:36 pm - August 8, 2011

  25. Oh, and this gets even better.

    And GDP growth for the period in question doesn’t support that claim. I suspect that “mis-allocate” is a better word, as this is consistent with the views you hold, concerning over-investment, as to the causes of the 2007-8 bubble burst.

    So Cas is claiming that GDP growth, tax revenues, and unemployment rates don’t count during a “bubble”.

    But then Cas quotes and tries to use GDP growth, tax revenues, and unemployment rates from 1996 – 2001 — at the expansion, height, and burst of the dot.com bubble.

    So Cas’s own evaluation collapses in on itself if the same rules Cas applies to other arguments are applied to it.

    And ILC, you nailed it. Cas’s arguments are based on Cas’s religious faith in a perverted version of Keynesianism, not in facts, logic, or truth. In Cas’s world, all facts are irrelevant unless they support Cas’s argument.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — August 8, 2011 @ 3:57 pm - August 8, 2011

  26. P.S. The essence of the neo-Keynesians’ approach to economics is this:
    – Borrow-and-spend, as a payoff to government clients and as a way to artificially inflate the GDP statistics.
    – Print-and-spend, as a payoff to government clients and as a way to artificially inflate the GDP statistics.

    All that matters, to them, is inflating the GDP statistics. Either they wouldn’t know real national prosperity if it hit them over the head with a 2×4 or, as in the case of Cas, they actually don’t care for it.

    The list of things that do not matter to them is impressive:
    – The fact that being in debt is the mathematical opposite of being wealthy, does not matter.
    – The fact that borrowing consumes the nation’s capital stock does not matter.
    – The fact that money printing destroys the value of savings, as well as the incentive to save or form capital in the first place, does not matter.
    – The fact that all of the above drive the nation to penury – or as Cas put it charmingly in another thread, “it gets to have a cut in its standard of living” – does not matter.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 8, 2011 @ 3:58 pm - August 8, 2011

  27. Cas quotes and tries to use GDP growth, tax revenues, and unemployment rates from 1996 – 2001 — at the expansion, height, and burst of the dot.com bubble.

    Precisely.

    One of the great bubbles of history bursts – and in its wake, the Democrats and Bush together and unwisely saddle the country with bad neo-Keynesian policies – and the one positive element, namely tax cuts, didn’t take full effect until 2003/4 – and Cas tries to claim with a straight face that tax cuts had no economic benefit, because the tax base re-growth (which takes time) and higher revenues (which are very much a lagging indicator) did not appear until 2004-5, and the bubble revenues were not topped until 2006.

    Then another great bubble of history bursts – and in its wake, Democrats again saddle the country with more bad neo-Keynesian policies – and the most “stimulating” elements had effect directly in 2008, 2009 and 2010 – but as I expected at the time, there only a tepid recovery and even that stalled in 2011, with both GDP and revenues still below their 2007 peaks, and it’s not even clear that they’re going to rise this year – and Cas would say that we haven’t tried hard enough on the bad neo-Keynesianism, and/or are expecting results too quickly.

    That’s religion, not science.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 8, 2011 @ 4:30 pm - August 8, 2011

  28. And Cas – before you try to claim that we have topped (or at least recovered to) the 2007 GDP peak – no, we still have not: http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2011/07/real-gdp-still-below-pre-recession-peak.html

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 8, 2011 @ 4:39 pm - August 8, 2011

  29. Hmm,
    ILC and NDT,

    Cas quotes and tries to use GDP growth, tax revenues, and unemployment rates from 1996 – 2001 — at the expansion, height, and burst of the dot.com bubble.

    I know you worry about that from other threads NDT, but you and ILC then turn around and use 2006 and 2007 tax receipts and U/E figures (and implicitly, improved GDP) at the height of the real estate bubble, to support your points–in this thread.

    Talk about a couple of pots calling a kettle black! 🙂

    Comment by Cas — August 8, 2011 @ 6:54 pm - August 8, 2011

  30. Also ILC,

    belief that that re-growing a country’s tax base takes no time at all and that the base-growing effects of tax cuts should therefore be instantaneous, or virtually so

    Is this your anti-definition of a Laffer Curve? The belief that that re-growing a country’s tax base takes… time and that the base-growing effects of tax cuts takes some indeterminate amount of time to work their way into an economy.

    Is that right?

    Comment by Cas — August 8, 2011 @ 7:02 pm - August 8, 2011

  31. Sorry, ILC, the last bit is supposed to be a stab at what you think the Laffer Curve is. The bit above it, is what you think it is not.

    Comment by Cas — August 8, 2011 @ 7:03 pm - August 8, 2011

  32. I know you worry about that from other threads NDT, but you and ILC then turn around and use 2006 and 2007 tax receipts and U/E figures (and implicitly, improved GDP) at the height of the real estate bubble, to support your points–in this thread.

    Actually, Cas, we worried about it in this thread, because you are the one quoting numbers from the late 1990s through 2001 here.

    So since you insist that statistics from a bubble are “irrelevant”, your attempt to quote anything from this time period does not qualify under your own standards – and yet you still try it.

    Then, hilariously, as is typical for you when you are cornered, you try to passive-aggressive project onto other people your own failings.

    You have been completely humiliated in this thread, Cas. Your lies and stupidity were shown completely, first in your insane attempt to lie, then in your even more insane attempt to deny facts that were placed directly in your face. You are delusional, and what you write should be considered as the rantings of a desperate welfare addict trying to rationalize stealing from others.

    Scum like you and your friend Serenity — who I half-expect is rioting in the streets of England right now — will not be stopped by any sort of intelligent argument. You will be stopped when people stop paying for you and the choice becomes for you to embrace reality or starve.

    You can either have that stoppage be slow and controlled as we unwind the wreckage of the unsustainable welfare state your Obama Party created, or you can have it be abrupt when the system crashes and you are faced with the mobs of other welfare addicts you and yours created burning down your cities.

    But the game is up. Produce or starve. No one is going to support you any more, Cas; you must either create value and exchange it for goods and services, or you are going to be out on a street corner. Period.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — August 8, 2011 @ 10:02 pm - August 8, 2011

  33. Hi NDT,

    Actually, Cas, we worried about it in this thread, because you are the one quoting numbers from the late 1990s through 2001 here.

    Oh, really?
    So, that gives you license to complain about using figures that don’t accord with your sensibilities as to proper statistics, but then turn around and do the same yourself. Righttttt….

    And, I referred to the Clinton years in an aside to VK. By all means find where I am quoting statistics from the 1990s to either you or ILC–in this thread. I did talk about 2001 and 2002 (and they are economically connected to the 1990s I grant–is that what you are referring to, here NDT?). I do note that ILC refers to the Clinton years in one of his posts to me. Feel free to slam him all you want.

    So since you insist that statistics from a bubble are “irrelevant”, your attempt to quote anything from this time period does not qualify under your own standards – and yet you still try it.

    I would point out that you were the one who felt I was using “bubble” statistics. I was just suggesting that if you complain about me doing this, then you should complain about yourself and ILC for doing the same thing. What was it: “What is good for goose, is good for the gander” or “sauce for the gander” or something like that, wasn’t it?

    You are not going to address this issue I raised and we both know it. So, why bother “doubling down” and feigning outrage over this issue?

    Scum like you

    And you think I am the one with the irrational argument, NDT? It is just further proof, NDT. You cannot make your points without irrational vitriol. How sad.

    Comment by Cas — August 8, 2011 @ 11:13 pm - August 8, 2011

  34. the choice becomes for you to embrace reality or starve…the game is up. Produce or starve.

    LOL – that sounds straight out of _Atlas Shrugged_. Has a certain Christian been reading it? 🙂

    Of course, notwithstanding that Rand was an atheist, the two are less exclusive of each other than many believe. I’d be happy to explain it over lunch.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 8, 2011 @ 11:38 pm - August 8, 2011

  35. So, that gives you license to complain about using figures that don’t accord with your sensibilities as to proper statistics, but then turn around and do the same yourself.

    Projecting again, Cas?

    YOU stated that bubble statistics weren’t valid, remember?

    And GDP growth for the period in question doesn’t support that claim. I suspect that “mis-allocate” is a better word, as this is consistent with the views you hold, concerning over-investment, as to the causes of the 2007-8 bubble burst.

    What I am doing is holding you to your own rules. That completely implodes your argument, so that’s why you’re whining and screaming and throwing one of your typical passive-aggressive tantrums, flailing and trying to latch on to any desperate irrational straw as always.

    You have been completely humiliated in this thread, Cas. Your lies and stupidity were shown completely, first in your insane attempt to lie, then in your even more insane attempt to deny facts that were placed directly in your face. You are delusional, and what you write should be considered as the rantings of a desperate welfare addict trying to rationalize stealing from others.

    You’ve already been called out on that. Your goal is to destroy American standards of living. Your goal is to use government to forcibly take from others. Your goal is to completely decouple any sort of wealth or value from work and replace it with “entitlement”.

    And yes, Cas, you are scum. That is exactly what you call someone who refuses to work and then steals other peoples’ wealth from working at gunpoint. You are a pathetic piece of welfare scum who will not lift a finger, but demands that the rest of society finance you as if you were. You are an adult child who walks around taking bread out of the hands of children of working parents because you will not work and will not support yourself.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — August 8, 2011 @ 11:54 pm - August 8, 2011

  36. So, that gives you license to complain about using figures that don’t accord with your sensibilities as to proper statistics, but then turn around and do the same yourself.

    Projecting again, Cas?

    YOU stated that bubble statistics weren’t valid, remember?

    And GDP growth for the period in question doesn’t support that claim. I suspect that “mis-allocate” is a better word, as this is consistent with the views you hold, concerning over-investment, as to the causes of the 2007-8 bubble burst.

    What I am doing is holding you to your own rules. That completely implodes your argument, so that’s why you’re whining and screaming and throwing one of your typical passive-aggressive tantrums, flailing and trying to latch on to any desperate irrational straw as always.

    You have been completely humiliated in this thread, Cas. Your lies and stupidity were shown completely, first in your insane attempt to lie, then in your even more insane attempt to deny facts that were placed directly in your face. You are delusional, and what you write should be considered as the rantings of a desperate welfare addict trying to rationalize stealing from others.

    You’ve already been called out on that. Your goal is to destroy American standards of living. Your goal is to use government to forcibly take from others. Your goal is to completely decouple any sort of wealth or value from work and replace it with “entitlement”.

    And yes, Cas, you are scum. That is exactly what you call someone who refuses to work and then steals other peoples’ wealth from working at gunpoint. You will not lift a finger, but demands that the rest of society finance you as if you were. You are an adult child who walks around taking bread out of the hands of children of working parents because you will not work and will not support yourself — and then you have the temerity to tell those parents that they are “selfish” for refusing you.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — August 8, 2011 @ 11:58 pm - August 8, 2011

  37. LOL – that sounds straight out of _Atlas Shrugged_. Has a certain Christian been reading it?

    I read Atlas Shrugged years ago, ILC. 🙂 At my Christian college, as a matter of fact.

    Probably because the concept of “produce or starve” is echoed in 2 Thessalonians 3:10b: “If anyone is not willing to work, neither shall he eat”.

    And given the particular people commenting on this thread, you may find great entertainment in Proverbs 26:16. 🙂

    But yes, lunch sounds like a tremendous idea!

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — August 9, 2011 @ 12:10 am - August 9, 2011

  38. Proverbs 26:16

    ROFL – yes 🙂

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 9, 2011 @ 12:55 am - August 9, 2011

  39. Hi NDT,
    Wow, you had to let me know how you feel TWICE! 🙂

    YOU stated that bubble statistics weren’t valid, remember?
    And GDP growth for the period in question doesn’t support that claim. I suspect that “mis-allocate” is a better word, as this is consistent with the views you hold, concerning over-investment, as to the causes of the 2007-8 bubble burst.

    To re-envision a quote from I. Montoya: “I do not think my quote means what you think it does NDT.” I was talking about a definition of a word that ILC was using. How you get the conclusion you do, is beyond me. But, you are happy to ignore context, or to not ask for clarification of what I mean. So be it.

    whining and screaming … tantrums, flailing and trying to latch on to any desperate irrational straw as always… completely humiliated … Your lies and stupidity … your insane attempt to lie …even more insane attempt to deny facts… delusional …rantings of a desperate welfare addict …Your goal is to destroy American standards of living… And yes, Cas, you are scum.

    Still, I notice you can’t bring yourself to address the issue I raised about why you are like pots calling a kettle black. It is clear that you prefer to insult and to use vitriol. Sorry, mate, but in my eyes your approach shows, amongst other things, your lack of self-control, not your mastery of the topic.

    Comment by Cas — August 9, 2011 @ 3:14 am - August 9, 2011

  40. Nope. As the CBO said, speeches do not equal plans. You lied again, Pomposity, and your lies have been thrown back in your face. Your Obama and your Reid screamed and cried and whined and blocked spending cuts and demanded doubling taxes, and it was only when Republicans held firm that your little tantrum children had to give in.

    Yeah, see NDT, I’ll try to explain this whole debating this to you since you seem to not get it.

    You see that whole ‘blocked spending cuts’ and ‘demanded doubling taxes’ things you said? Yes? Those are actions that would have surely been documented if true and thus require proof of some description to be taken seriously. Now since you’re the one who claimed the above actions both happened, it’s up to you to get on Google and provide all of us with evidence that they actually did happen as you stated. Now run along and get that done, OK?

    By the way, the doubling comes from what I cited above, which is showing how that the Obama delusion that spending need not be cut and that we only need to raise taxes would not even close the gap for one YEAR with a doubling of rates.

    So let me get this straight, this is your train of thought:

    Premise #1: Doubling taxes would not even close the budget gap for one year.

    Premise #2: Harry Reid and Barack Obama will not even consider spending cuts.

    Conclusion: Their intention is to double taxes and not cut spending at all, even though that proposal would have absolutely ruinous effects on the economy, not solve any problems, get absolutely murdered in Congress (even by the majority of their own party), and completely destroy both of their careers. Because they’re evil.

    I don’t even need to refute this since it’s self-refuting, but I already gave evidence that both of them started from a position of closing the budget gap with a mixture of tax hikes and spending cuts, and that both eventually went along with a plan that only involved spending cuts. In what sense does that add up to insisting on no spending cuts (as you put it)?

    That’s math, Serenity.

    Since when does mathematics factor into a debate that’s entirely about what people said and did? Saying that doubling taxes would not close to budget deficit is not the same as proving that someone endorsed a plan to do so. In fact, I struggle to think how anyone would even think it did.

    You are too infantile, stupid, and lazy to understand math,

    I have a GCSE in mathematics. I understand the subject just fine, I refuse to address it because it’s orthogonal to the present debate and you’re only raising it to try and confuse the subject, as you always do.

    which is likely why you are on welfare, just like your friend Cas. And that is why the only thing you can do is scream and whine and cry and demand that society pay you equally to those who do work and do provide value to society.

    Lazy, worthless parasite. That’s all you are, Serenity.

    Cas is right, you do lack self-control. Now go and find the sources I asked you for, and please try to behave yourself in the future.

    Comment by Serenity — August 10, 2011 @ 4:46 pm - August 10, 2011

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