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  1. Hi Dan,

    The Republican House’s action to provide legislation to prevent default is a display of partisanship.

    Yes it is.

    And, yes, Obama’s numbers are falling. I wonder though if you would be so sanguine, if you knew that his numbers are better than Boehner and Reid’s? The interesting question, I think, is at what rate are Boehner and Reid’s approval rating moving and in which direction–are they going down at a faster rate than Obama’s? Or are they actually rising, compared to Obama’s? Or is one rising and the other falling. As an aside, I found it interesting that Obama is losing support amongst Dems and Indies, whilst actually picking up a point from Repubs!

    Also, what does it say that poll numbers are consistently showing Americans think that the deficit problem will need spending cuts AND revenue increases, and think spending cuts alone will not do the trick (that tax the jet rhetoric, etc. appears to have had an impact…). True, polls also show Americans like CCB. So, that also has to be explained.

    Finally, a poll we were arguing about in an earlier thread does not have good news for Repubs. People do tend to blame them for this mess more than Dems. The fact that Obama is losing popularity speaks to his ineffectualness. The fact that Repubs could be losing out of this as well is quite consistent with the polling data. It is not an “either … or” situation; rather, an “and…and” one.

    Comment by Cas — July 30, 2011 @ 3:13 am - July 30, 2011

  2. Or are they actually rising, compared to Obama’s?

    Or are you shoveling bullshit to distract from the main point? I’d have to say yes.

    Comment by TGC — July 30, 2011 @ 4:41 am - July 30, 2011

  3. Just as pathetic and disturbing as the tone of the AP article linked above? The reader comments below it.

    Comment by Sean A — July 30, 2011 @ 5:17 am - July 30, 2011

  4. If Obama took the stage at a political rally and the crowd–instead of applauding and swooning–pummeled the malignant narcissist with an avalanche of rotten fruit and vegetables, I have no doubt Cas would be johnny-on-the-spot, aggressively explaining to us racist philistines that what we were seeing was not, in fact, rotten fruits and vegetables being hurled at Obama, but rather an organic, colorful, and fragrant variety of ticker-tape. Ooooh! Festive!

    Comment by Sean A — July 30, 2011 @ 7:58 am - July 30, 2011

  5. And, as predicted, the passive-aggressive threadjacker shows up to talk poll numbers instead of solutions.

    Comment by V the K — July 30, 2011 @ 8:30 am - July 30, 2011

  6. Having said that, bad poll numbers are a much worse problem for the iWon that they are for Congress. Most people are okay with their individual congrsscritter, even if they despise the rest of them. Redistricting will make sure individual districts pretty closely match the folks who represent them. No matter how much the Democrats and the MFM smear John Boner, Paul Ryan, or Eric Cantor, they are still unlikely to be voted out of their districts. For the President, bad poll numbers are a problem, because every American gets to vote on him.

    Worse for Obama, He’s really tanking in the battleground states.

    Comment by V the K — July 30, 2011 @ 8:50 am - July 30, 2011

  7. Hi Cas,

    November 2012 will be an interesting poll to watch concerning Obama, Boehner and a slew of Senators. Any poll before that one is hardly worth breaking a sweat over.

    I have a question for you. It is direct and simple. A neighbor on your street is way behind on his bills. He decides that everyone on the block should be assessed to pay his bills. The question is: should he buy a new car or not? (And what business is it of yours?)

    Comment by Heliotrope — July 30, 2011 @ 8:56 am - July 30, 2011

  8. “I have a question for you. It is direct and simple. A neighbor on your street is way behind on his bills. He decides that everyone on the block should be assessed to pay his bills. The question is: should he buy a new car or not? (And what business is it of yours?)”

    Excellent question, perfectly phrased, Heliotrope. I’m looking forward to the reply from cas.

    Comment by Richard Bell — July 30, 2011 @ 9:28 am - July 30, 2011

  9. Heliotrope, you know the answer: Not only should he buy the new car, he should give a party for his friends. Every year for the next 100 years. (And just his friends and family. Not nasty neighbors like you, who ask questions.) Because if he can’t keep borrowing and spending more, ALL THE NEIGHBORS’ ROOFS WILL COLLAPSE! And it will be YOUR fault for having questioned his practices!

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 30, 2011 @ 10:27 am - July 30, 2011

  10. If I were in the one-half of Americans who pay no meaningful taxes and/or get a gummint check every month, I’d favor tax revenue increases, too.

    Cas, can you name any federal program that should be eliminated? Is there an upper limit on the size of government? At what point, if any, will the private sector give up?

    Comment by SoCalRobert — July 30, 2011 @ 11:00 am - July 30, 2011

  11. Actions have consequences, Bigg.

    Chris Barron screwed up, ran his mouth when he shouldn’t have, and did so in front of an anti-conservative publication.

    I do not blame CPAC at all. GOProud screwed up, and this is the consequence.

    But it demonstrates your hypocrisy beautifully. Gays like you are invariably irresponsible and demand that society give them special treatment because of their sexual orientation. CPAC is treating GOProud as it would any organization that engaged in such behavior, as we see from their de-inviting the Birchers, and you are squalling and screaming, calling them homophones for treating gays equally.

    Pretty pathetic on your part. But typical.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — July 30, 2011 @ 1:00 pm - July 30, 2011

  12. We are witnessing the incredible shrinking presidency of BHO.
    As an American patriot, it is very distressing to see our leader humiliated in this way. How do you train a President once he is in office, when he has arrived with such a deficiet of leadership and experience?

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — July 30, 2011 @ 3:26 pm - July 30, 2011

  13. But…but…but he had black skin! That was all that mattered! Levi, Cas, James, Counterfail, Rob Tisinai, and the others said so! They said that he was the Lightworker, here to rescue us all and purge our country’s horrible horrible guilt. He was going to bring world peace and cause the seas to recede! HE said he would!

    When Obama was first elected, I thought it was a horrible thing. Turns out it has been — for liberals, who are watching their forty-year battle to forever lock racism, bigotry, antireligious hate, irresponsibility, contempt for business and productive people, and utter welfare dependence into the American psyche collapse, burn down, and disintegrate into ashes as Obama demonstrates the consequences of it to a global audience.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — July 30, 2011 @ 4:26 pm - July 30, 2011

  14. Hi HT,

    I have a question for you. It is direct and simple. A neighbor on your street is way behind on his bills. He decides that everyone on the block should be assessed to pay his bills. The question is: should he buy a new car or not? (And what business is it of yours?)

    What a great question! As you phrased it, and knowing nothing else, I would be with the majority of commentators here on that one.

    Hi SCR,

    Cas, can you name any federal program that should be eliminated? Is there an upper limit on the size of government? At what point, if any, will the private sector give up?

    Just a couple:
    Much of the agricultural support bill that gives billions to large corporations including ethanol subsidies
    Oil support programs
    NCLB
    MEADS program for example in a bloated defense budget,
    and of course,this one :)

    Comment by Cas — July 31, 2011 @ 2:11 pm - July 31, 2011

  15. Cas, you quote four questions, but only began to answer one. How clever. Quote the question just like you’re going to answer it, but still don’t.

    I would be with the majority of commentators here on that one

    Very well then, since I am often with the majority of commentors here, I will assume you agree with my answer to the question at #9:

    [A neighbor on your street is way behind on his bills. He decides that everyone on the block should be assessed to pay his bills. The question is: should he buy a new car or not? (And what business is it of yours?)]

    Not only should he buy the new car, he should give a party for his friends. Every year for the next 100 years. (And just his friends and family. Not nasty neighbors like you, who ask questions.) Because if he can’t keep borrowing and spending more, ALL THE NEIGHBORS’ ROOFS WILL COLLAPSE! And it will be YOUR fault for having questioned his practices!

    I will assume that that is, now, your answer. After all, its “logic” is that of the Democrats / Left in the U.S. debt ceiling debate, and in other comments you’ve indicated your agreement with that.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 1, 2011 @ 10:29 am - August 1, 2011

  16. Hi ILC (and SCR),
    Sorry, I was in a hurry when writing in response to SCR (I apologize SCR), and neglected those questions:
    The government size: it depends on circumstances and on your ideological preferences. I don’t see government as the minimalist actor that you do ILC. Thus, I like a bigger government than you do–one that takes seriously the notion of entitlements and the redistribution of income through taxation. Having said that, I complexify the issue by realizing that government “size” takes many forms–economic footprint in terms of expenditures and taxation; legal footprints–regulation, etc; social footprint–legislation banning, restricting, or guaranteeing rights. Some of these areas I think government is too big, some too small; some (like health care) it is just set up wrong. Some, like privacy intrusion, is too great. Current expenditures–too small.

    As for an upper limit, yes–with all things. I doubt anyone here would accept a totalitarian regime–rhetoric of the US being/becoming such today, to the contrary.

    When will the private sector give up? I have no idea, but we have European countries (e.g., Sweden) where people do not apparently give up under more economically “intrusive” state actors (50%+ GDP), which also appear to be vibrant democracies, follow laissez faire policies, and who also appear to be a darn sight happier then we are as societies.

    And ILC,
    I would be very surprised if most commentators here took your quote at 9 seriously! :) Why you would actually believe it is beyond me, given what I know of your economic ideology. I only assumed that you were kidding…

    Comment by Cas — August 1, 2011 @ 2:40 pm - August 1, 2011

  17. I like a bigger government than you do–one that takes seriously the notion of entitlements and the redistribution of income

    Also known as national socialism. (Pretending to be capitalist, but still having a State-directed economy, and a society where individuals are held to exist for the benefit of the State, e.g., to fund it.)

    We can see the negative effects around us – and yet, despite that evidence, you still “like it”. Amazing.

    we have European countries (e.g., Sweden) where people do not apparently give up under more economically “intrusive” state actors (50%+ GDP)

    But Sweden has been headed in the right direction – toward greater economic freedom – for some years now. Just as the U.S. has been heading in the wrong direction.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 1, 2011 @ 6:53 pm - August 1, 2011

  18. Sweden also has lower public deficits and debt than the U.S., having cut back on spending significantly from where they used to be in the 1990s.

    I put that under the general heading of “heading in the right direction – toward greater economic freedom”, since public spending and debt are essentially threats of future taxation and/or inflation: the greater the debt, the greater the threat. But it is worth mentioning in its own right.

    You see, deficits don’t work. “Stimulus” doesn’t work, particularly in high-debt countries. Expanding your government spending, “stimulus” and debt is a way to take your economy down. Getting responsible and contracting them is a way to get your economy growing again. Even bogged-down, over-socialized ol’ Sweden has found that to be true.

    All the more reason why it is amazing, Cas, that you (or Obama or Krugman or anyone) could seriously believe that the U.S. should have even greater spending, “stimulus”, deficit and debt. Clearly, evidence is not something that moves you.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 1, 2011 @ 7:08 pm - August 1, 2011

  19. Economics 101: Learning from Sweden’s Free Market Renaissance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvtxT0qPJoQ

    Narrated by a Swede:

    … How did we become rich [in the period 1870-1970]? Sweden had robust and secure property rights and the Rule of Law… Sweden also had a relatively small government for most of that period, with taxes and spending about the same level as the United States [i.e., significantly under 30% of GDP].

    But in the 1970s, things began to go wrong, and the Swedish economy began to lag… The government gave subsidies to industries in trouble, instead of letting inefficient companies fail… Taxes were sharply increased… the marginal tax rate was over 100% for some people… new regulations on the labor market…

    And that was the time when government’s share of GDP grew to over 50%. In other words: Big Government equals malaise.

    … the krona was devalued several times… until the country plunged into a crisis in the beginning of the 90s… [But in the last 12 years, Sweden] has privatized many State-owned firms, liberalized the credit market, deregulated [the currency], and lowered the marginal income tax rate. Also, unemployment and sickness compensation payments have been reduced. We have reformed the school and health care system [with] private incentives.

    Sweden is more of a market economy today, with fewer unpredictable government interventions. There is still much to do… but we are moving in the right direction.

    Lessons Learned:
    1) Smaller Government Boosts Growth
    2) Economic Tinkering Hurts Rather than Helps
    3) Free Trade is Good for Prosperity
    4) Policies that Supposedly Help Workers Actually Cause Unemployment

    … trying to smooth out booms and busts in the economy often leads to the opposite…

    Really Cas: You make this too easy. You should never, ever, ever have thought that Sweden was a good example for your side or that you could mention it around me with safety (for your viewpoint).

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 1, 2011 @ 7:24 pm - August 1, 2011

  20. Hi ILC,

    Really Cas: You make this too easy. You should never, ever, ever have thought that Sweden was a good example for your side or that you could mention it around me with safety (for your viewpoint).

    By all means Sweden is going in the right direction >50% government spending as % of GDP; an individual average tax rate of >57% in 2010; universal health care; with levels of entitlements that would be jaw dropping amazing here. Things I suspect you do not look kindly on, ILC. And laissez faire, non-government run businesses, as well. Wow. How cool is that. All that, and socialism too–it amazes me that you trumpet it as “going in the right direction.” Yes, it deregulates, some, but even so, you want Sweden as your model for America–really? I mean, really? OK with me, let’s do it, ILC!!!! :)

    Comment by Cas — August 1, 2011 @ 9:19 pm - August 1, 2011

  21. The hilarious part, ILC, is that even when you make the lesson simple, Cas learns exactly the wrong thing.

    Again, the point. Cas is not interested in actual economics or common sense. Cas is desperately looking for something to legitimize Cas’s abhorrence of private industry, hatred of individual opportunity, and insatiable demand for welfare checks.

    Sweden proves that Cas’s way leads only to destruction, as does Cuba and did the Soviet Union. But again, we are not dealing with an intelligent person here; we are dealing with an ideologue who refuses to face facts.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — August 1, 2011 @ 9:25 pm - August 1, 2011

  22. Hi NDT,

    Sweden proves that Cas’s way leads only to destruction, as does Cuba and did the Soviet Union. But again, we are not dealing with an intelligent person here; we are dealing with an ideologue who refuses to face facts.

    Boy, is that the pot calling the kettle black, or what!? You are not the only one busting a gut, let me tell you! :)

    No, it shows that one doesn’t need extremes, NDT. That Sweden pulled back from an overly socialist model, made some adjustments to its entitlements, is useful to know; but the argument that you and ILC seem to offer is that: Hey they are moving in our direction! Great. But you ignore the fact that Sweden is an economy that RIGHT NOW you would find totally abhorrent, if replicated here! And it is doing much better than the US, right now. Are you telling me, NDT, that you would support were they are currently, economically (gov’t, taxes, regulations, entitlements, etc)–in this country? I mean, how does ILC’s or your economic models explain its great performance given its amazing levels of state intervention–>50% gov’t spending dude; >55% average taxes dude. That welfare state (even trimmed) they have comes at a price, but they also have a higher per capita income then the US, according to the IMF and CIA World Factbook. And Swedes are happier then US citizens. Does: “It trimmed some entitlements and taxes, and deregulated a bit” really do it for you? I mean–really? So, explain that NDT, if you like; or ignore the obvious (yet again).

    Comment by Cas — August 1, 2011 @ 10:53 pm - August 1, 2011

  23. Sweden is going in the right direction >50% government spending as % of GDP; an individual average tax rate of >57% in 2010; universal health care; with levels of entitlements that would be jaw dropping amazing here.

    Finally, a clean statement of your true agenda.

    But no, Cas: Sweden has been going in the right direction the last 12 years, to the extent it has been rolling those things back: reducing taxes, reducing spending, trimming entitlements, etc.. That is reality. Again, you appear to be not driven by it.

    you want Sweden as your model for America–really?

    As a model for malaise and crisis? (1970s/80s/90s Sweden). No.

    As a model for waking up from the Cas-left-liberal nightmare and moving in a free market direction? Sure.

    I already made that clear in my comments. Seriously Cas, are you dumb? Or is your lack of comprehension of my comments a choice?

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 2, 2011 @ 2:05 pm - August 2, 2011

  24. Sweden is an economy that RIGHT NOW you would find totally abhorrent, if replicated here

    Not so. First, as much as the U.S. is headed in the wrong direction, the “full Sweden” would still be a step down from what we have here: i.e., from where we are, further in the wrong direction and a creator of yet more unemployment and malaise and crisis in the U.S. Second, as already stated, Sweden has begun to reform its society with market-oriented incentives including a reduction in unemployment and sickness compensation, school vouchers and more. The U.S. is bad enough off now (that you, Obama and Cas) that yes, we could actually learn a thing or two from a Sweden that is in the process of reforming itself.

    Really Cas, are you dumb? Or is your lack of comprehension of my comments a choice?

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 2, 2011 @ 3:01 pm - August 2, 2011

  25. Typo – “(thank you, Obama and Cas)”

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 2, 2011 @ 3:01 pm - August 2, 2011

  26. To make this absolutely clear (though I shouldn’t have to):

    1) An economy can be a mixture of good and bad policies. That is called, a “MIXED ECONOMY”. The U.S. is an example of one such economy. Sweden is another.

    2) Whatever an economy’s policy mix is, it ends up at a certain equilibrium in terms of living standards, growth and employment (or lack thereof).

    3) When a society adjusts its policies in the Good direction, its equilibrium “target” (the equilibrium which is feasible for that economy, and toward which that economy finds itself being driven) gets better. This is true even if the resulting economy still isn’t perfect, or is still less-good than some other economies out there. It’s the direction, the movement, the progress, the improvement that creates new results.

    4) Conversely, when a society adjusts its policies in the Bad direction, its equilibrium “target” gets worse – even if the resulting economy still isn’t the worst conceivable economy, or is still better than some other economies out there. And it suffers lower living standards, less growth and more unemployment. It’s the direction, the movement, the progress, the degradation that creates new results.

    5) The histories of Sweden, the U.S., and many many other countries illustrate the above points.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 2, 2011 @ 3:28 pm - August 2, 2011

  27. … including the fact that the Good Direction is:
    - effective rights to life, liberty and property
    - Small Government / less of a government burden on the economy
    - more economic freedom
    - fiscal responsibility i.e. fiscal conservatism

    while the Bad Direction is:
    - ineffective rights to life, liberty and/or property
    - Big Government / more of a government burden on society
    - less economic freedom
    - fiscal irresponsibility i.e. fiscal liberalism

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 2, 2011 @ 3:57 pm - August 2, 2011

  28. Hi ILC,

    But no, Cas: Sweden has been going in the right direction the last 12 years, to the extent it has been rolling those things back: reducing taxes, reducing spending, trimming entitlements, etc.. That is reality.

    You may think I am “dumb”, for questioning your view of “reality,” but you are being slippery. I notice not one piece of data refuting anything I said. Does this mean you grant what I have said about where Sweden is right now, in terms of its economic structure?

    My guess, without research, is that the US has levels of laissez-faire that Sweden may now be approaching (but are not yet there), because of its market reforms. If they are more economically liberal than us, please let me know, but I doubt it. If it isn’t, I will point out to you, what I pointed out to NDT, namely:

    But you ignore the fact that Sweden is an economy that RIGHT NOW you would find totally abhorrent, if replicated here! And it is doing much better than the US, right now.

    The fact that a country with heavier taxation and spending becomes–magically–an outstanding example of the power of smaller government (maybe 15% of GDP? I don’t know, I’m guessing where you might actually be). If you want me to think that you are serious, tell me why Sweden is doing so well NOW, when your economic model would claim that such levels of Swedish taxes and spending that they CURRENTLY HAVE would be actually ruinous in your model (even if their economy is deregulating).

    You fail to explain why Sweden is doing well at the moment with its current levels of spending and taxation. You ignore this OBVIOUS issue.

    I get what you say, ILC. It just makes NO SENSE in terms of the model that you hold. For you, ILC, it looks, again like no contrary evidence falsifies the model you hold, no matter what it is…

    Comment by Cas — August 2, 2011 @ 4:01 pm - August 2, 2011

  29. So ILC,
    How do you explain this discrepancy between what your model says should be the case and what “reality” shows you?

    Comment by Cas — August 3, 2011 @ 10:47 am - August 3, 2011

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