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Is the New Bill Stimulating or Pork?

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Bob K
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50 posted 02-11-2009 03:28 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Mike,

          I can't get the chart to come up on my computer, so I'm having trouble understanding your point.

     The CBO is a non-partisan agency.  The Washington Times, however, is an extremely right wing paper which is not famous for its accuracy and which was at one time funded by Reverend Moon.  It may still be for all I know.
I would be much more inclined to look at the conclusions you draw with such confidence if the information source you drew them from were not so heavily biased.  If Ron's comment is accurate, then the comment the Washington Post made about the CBO's conclusions was at the least somewhat slanted.

     I'm willing to believe that there are or may be flaws in the proposal.  When I'm offered information of this sort, though, while I still believe that there may be flaws, I find that there must be something terribly wrong with the critics as well, if they're trying to mislead me about what those flaws might be.  I'm interested in trying to get some sort of a glimpse of reality here.

     Being told that the Republicans are suddenly the party of fiscal responsibility here is not something that I believe at all.  Forget for the moment the cost of the war over the past few years.  The cost of the tax cuts for the upper classes has not only cut the income for the country at a time when that income was needed, but every buck of those tax cuts seems to have cost the country an additional $.30 in loss to the economy.  Whereas at one point tax cuts (yes, tax cuts to the wealthy) would make us money over time, we are apparently at a point of the laffer curve where they now cost the country money when applied to the very wealthy.  I gave you references on this months ago to articles in the Economist and other places as well.

     Tax cuts to the middle class may help at this point, but direct grants for food stamps and welfare and for jobs doing public works where people are put to work directly at the middle and the bottom of the pyramid puts money into circulation pretty much right away.  Those folks need to buy food and gas and clothes, and those thing have a very quick multiplier effect of the economy.  A buck targeted there can get back a dollar thirty to a dollar seventy in economic effect reasonably quickly.

     If there are glitches and hold-ups and problems with this stuff, boy do I want to know about it.  Especially if it comes from doing things the way we've been doing them for the past eight or ten years.  There's got to be some changes from that stuff.  At least that's what I think.

     I also say Boo! to the Washington Times, and thumbs up to your use of The Atlantic a few weeks ago.  Even though they've drifted rightwards over the past 10-15 years, they're still good with research, and if they're somewhat to the right, they're well thought out, and the balance that off from time to time.

Best to you, Mike.  Hope everything's going great.  Greetings from here on the left coast.  Bob Kaven
Denise
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51 posted 02-11-2009 09:49 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Did anyone know that this was also stuffed into the so-called "Stimulus" Bill?
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&refer=columnist_mccaughey&sid=aLzfDx fbwhzs

So much for "change we can believe in" and "transparency in government".
Ron
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52 posted 02-11-2009 01:55 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Denise, I think we already talked about Health Tech a few posts back in this thread? So, yea, we knew it was "stuffed" into the bill.

Since we found out about it, and you found out about it, and clearly the Senators get a chance to vote on it, I'm curious how much more transparency you think we need?


Denise
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53 posted 02-11-2009 02:25 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

This goes so far beyond the health tech issue, Ron. It is essentially nationalized health care made law via the stimulus bill, I heard no senator or congressperson discussing it, or objecting to it being in the bill in the first place.

What I object to is that we had to "find out" about it, not from those in power who are trying to slip it in through the back door, but from alternative news sites. I didn't find out about it until after the Senate voted on the bill.

I wonder what else is hidden within this 900 + page bill. I wonder how many, even in Congress, have had time to read and digest it all. I wonder why the urgent rush for passage. If given time, to see all it really contains, and the potential implications, would it go down in flames?
Ron
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54 posted 02-11-2009 03:41 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
What I object to is that we had to "find out" about it, not from those in power who are trying to slip it in through the back door, but from alternative news sites. I didn't find out about it until after the Senate voted on the bill.

The full text of the bill is on-line, Denise?

quote:
I wonder why the urgent rush for passage. If given time, to see all it really contains, and the potential implications, would it go down in flames?

I don't know, Denise. Maybe?

I do know that given too much time, it won't make any difference. There's a reason it's called an Emergency Stimulus Package. Sitting and watching your neighbor bleed to death, because you want to make sure you provide the "right" first aid and avoid making a mistake, usually isn't the best course of action.

Of course, I agree we shouldn't rush to pass just any old legislation so we can appear be doing something. Just like I would agree that jumping up and down on your neighbor's chest isn't good CPR and likely won't staunch the flow the blood from an open wound. The better move has to be walking between the extremes of doing anything and doing nothing.

Which, of course, is why our legislators make the big bucks.

It's fine to disagree with what they decide. I just don't see any reason to sarcastically quote comment slogans as if your disagreement with their decisions somehow proves those slogans never had any merit?
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55 posted 02-11-2009 03:44 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

bob, I don't know why you can't get the chart to come up. I have no problem with it. You may continue to keep up with the tactic of shooting the messenger if you like but the facts are going to remain the same, regardless of the carrier.

After all of this fear-mongering conducted by Obama and Pelosi recently about the end of the country as we know it if his bill is not passed IMMEDIATELY it was interesting to see Geitner come out yesterday and say that, basically, they weren't ready or even sure exactly which way they wanted to go. That's why the market responded by dropping almost 400 points after his speech.

There is something I find ironic about all of  this. In other situations, such as the battle against global warming, when told there may be price tags involved or even certain hardships endured in the name of this endeavor, the battle cry was "We're doing it for the children! We need to do it for future generations." However, here we have this stimulus package which everyone with more than one gray cell knows may be an immediate band-aid but will lead to something very detrimental in the future and I must suppose that the battle cry has changed to "to hell with the children. We need this now and they will have to shoulder the burden themselves." Tell me there is no irony in that. Of course, if you believe what Obama claims that the United States will never recover if his bill is not passed immediately, that it will be the end of the country as we know it, then it's true there's no reason to think about the children at all but I believe anyone who thinks that, including Obama, is shortchanging the American people, the folks who survived two world wars, a depression and Jimmy Carter.

Personally, I believe Obama is misrepresenting claims to the American people, and doing it on purpose. Aside from the destruction of the country, he has also made claims in every speech he has given lately about the situation he has created which was cause by eight years of failed policies. Even you Democrats out there have to recognize that as completely inaccurate. The housing crisis, the loan crisis, the fall of Fannie and Freddie have roots that occured well before the past eight years and you all know it. He is doing his best to mislead the public and shift as much blame as he can to the right, which means he is doing little more than just playing politics with the situation. I had hoped for more from him.
Denise
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56 posted 02-11-2009 04:00 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Everything they have done in the past few weeks is a repudiation of those campaign slogans, in my opinion, Ron.
Grinch
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57 posted 02-11-2009 04:26 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
I wonder what else is hidden within this 900 + page bill.


Hidden?

Do you mean the one that’s written in black and white and available for anyone to read.
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.+1:

Huan Yi
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58 posted 02-11-2009 04:44 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.

Things can be there to be read
but in such a way as intended to
be obscured or not understood,
(like the tax code).  The market
tanked yesterday because a lot of
very smart and experienced people
have no idea what the Treasury is planning
despite the Secretary's announcement.

.
Grinch
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59 posted 02-11-2009 05:14 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
The market tanked yesterday because a lot of very smart and experienced people
have no idea what the Treasury is planning despite the Secretary's announcement.


Or maybe it tanked because the very smart and experienced people who created this mess in the first place realised that the government wasn’t going to fully fund their favoured solution. - The creation of a bad bank using tax payers money to buy up all the bad debt.

Denise
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60 posted 02-12-2009 09:23 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

I'm sure very few people have had time to read and digest all that this bill contains. That it is available to be read online is next to meaningless given the rush to have it passed into law.
Bob K
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61 posted 02-12-2009 09:03 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Denise,

          How long did you think would be a proper amount of time to wait?

     What was the solution you would offer instead?

      Do you actually believe there to be a problem?

Sincerely, Bob Kaven
Tim
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62 posted 02-12-2009 09:53 PM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

Perhaps people are figuring out there is no plan on how to handle the financial crisis.

That perhaps we are a bit too much worried about not wasting a crisis for political advantage rather than preparing a detailed plan of attack to deal with the problem.

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63 posted 02-12-2009 10:59 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

amen, Tim.
Bob K
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64 posted 02-12-2009 11:10 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K


Dear Mike,

          I did get the chart to come up, finally.  I saw that you faulted the Congressional Budget Office for the interpretation of the data (by close to 20%) after quoting them as the non-partisan source.  I suspect That their figures were in fact accurate but the Washington Times may have had something to do with the interpretation.  If I am wrong, I am sorry.

     If you are the messenger, you should rest assured;  I would never shoot you, though if there are any coconut cream pies about during your more fanciful sallies, you might think to stay out of pie range.

     And what is that, you ask?

     Pie are squared, of course.  The corners are sharper that way.

     Facts are things one must adapt to after appropriate evaluation.  Weapons of Mass Destruction; Yellow Cake Uranium; Saddam and Osama, terrorist allies forever; the atom bomb from Bagdad.  Some truths are a little less robust than others and perhaps questions need to be asked, don't you think?

     When the democrats were saying that this was coming and things needed to be done well in advance of this contretemps on the hill, Republicans were whistling or humming loudly with their fingers jammed in their ears up to their elbows.  They were in major denial that there was any problem with the economy, even though it was clear enough for an economic idiot like me to see several years back, and to be writing about as long as I've been contributing to these pages.  Had some attempt been made to address the structural problems at that time, this sort of thing wouldn't — or let's say "might not" — have been necessary.  The problem was not unpredictable, and in fact was predicted.  One thing it was not was sudden.

quote:


There is something I find ironic about all of  this. In other situations, such as the battle against global warming, when told there may be price tags involved or even certain hardships endured in the name of this endeavor, the battle cry was "We're doing it for the children! We need to do it for future generations." However, here we have this stimulus package which everyone with more than one gray cell knows may be an immediate band-aid but will lead to something very detrimental in the future and I must suppose that the battle cry has changed to "to hell with the children. We need this now and they will have to shoulder the burden themselves."




     When was it that I first suggested that somebody had to pay the Mastercard bill, Mike?

     I said that eventually somebody would have to, and that our kids were already going to be footing the bill.  It was only going to be growing larger.  If I remember correctly, you challenged me; you thought the economy was fine, and the outlook was great, and that I was simply trying to spread doom and gloom to win an election.

     I'm open to being corrected on details, if I don't have things exactly right here.  I believe the gist is accurate.

     The Mastercard bill hasn't gone down since, only up.  It turns out that the management of the economy has been something of a problem for much of the last 25-30 years —including, if it makes you feel better, much of the Clinton era, when the economy was run in too conservative a fashion—and we've got to dig our way out now, or dig our way out of a deeper hole later on.

     The choice made consistently over the past several administrations has been to wait until later.  Thus, here we are.

     I don't know why you tossed in the remarks about Jimmy Carter.  I disagree, but have no wish to fight.

quote:


Personally, I believe Obama is misrepresenting claims to the American people, and doing it on purpose. Aside from the destruction of the country, he has also made claims in every speech he has given lately about the situation he has created which was cause by eight years of failed policies. Even you Democrats out there have to recognize that as completely inaccurate. The housing crisis, the loan crisis, the fall of Fannie and Freddie have roots that occurred well before the past eight years and you all know it. He is doing his best to mislead the public and shift as much blame as he can to the right, which means he is doing little more than just playing politics with the situation. I had hoped for more from him.




     While you can see that I believe that the current crisis had it's roots well before the previous administration, and you can see that I even went so far as to lay some of the blame at Clinton's feet, you should also note that I believe it went back further than that.  While Clinton did some things I don't like economically — NAFTA, the way it's being run currently being at the top of the list — you should note that Free Trade has been one of the Republican dreams for years, and that the Republican congress was solidly behind it, while the Democrats gave Clinton at least something of a difficult time because the unions were giving them a tough time.  The blame still rests in large with Clinton.

     I will not go into the various antics of prior Republican administrations at this point.  I leave for the airport soon for another trip east.

     I will say that when Clinton left office, he left us with a fairly stable economy and with a projected surplus.  Pretty solid.  

     In eight years, the last administration seems to have worked hard to dismantle as many public sector activities as they could and to turn the various watchdog responsibilities of the government over to the industries which were supposed to be watchguarded.  Logging, environment regulation and quality, military procurement and support, health procurement turned over to the drug companies.  And so on.  This is part of the Republican anti-government agenda.

     Allowing people with an anti-government agenda to govern has never made a lot of sense to me, by the way.  It's like putting the folks at the Hemlock Society in Charge of the psychiatric Hospitals.  But then I only have one vote.

     Oddly enough, after eight years of being run by the anti-government party, the government looks like it's been in the hands of suicidal maniacs bent on showing the country that government doesn't work.  To my mind what this shows is that putting people who want things to fail in charge of an important enterprise is a recipe for disaster.  

     So you see, you can't really blame the Republicans for doing what they promised when they were elected in 2000, to bring private enterprise into government.  We should blame ourselves for not understanding that once we brought private enterprise into government, that they would be in business for themselves and not for us, and they wouldn't care how large a debt the country would run up, so long as they made an obscene profit without necessarily delivering the proper goods.  After all, we sold them the right to regulate themselves too, and they seem to have found a way to profit from that as well.


Sincerely yours,  Bob Kaven
Huan Yi
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65 posted 02-13-2009 02:23 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


"Do you mean the one that’s written in black and white and available for anyone to read."


Pray Your Members of Congress Took Speed Reading Lessons (UPDATED: It’s Worse)

http://www.sundriesshack.com/2009/02/12/pray-your-members-of-congress-took-speed-reading-lessons/


.
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66 posted 02-13-2009 03:33 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

They were in major denial that there was any problem with the economy,

Oh, for a second there, Bob, I thought you were referring to Barney Frank in 2004 speaking of the impending Fanni Mae crisis he was warned about.

You will have your views and I will have mine, Bob. You may continue with the "past eight years" chant along with Obama in perfect harmony and that's fine.

if it comes down to pie-throwing, make it lemon meringue, please.
Huan Yi
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67 posted 02-13-2009 03:56 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.

2004,
which anyone can watch and listen to.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MGT_cSi7Rs&feature=related


.

Grinch
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68 posted 02-13-2009 04:17 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
Pray Your Members of Congress Took Speed Reading Lessons


Huan,

If your members of congress are stupid enough to read it from scratch every time there’s a change instead of just reading it once and then reading the amendments as they’re issued then they probably need more than speed reading lessons.

Denise
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69 posted 02-13-2009 04:38 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

The tactics used by the Democrats has been shameful in my opinion.
serenity blaze
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70 posted 02-13-2009 05:44 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

I dunno about you Denise, but I'm feeling stimulated already.

Just my four cents!

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71 posted 02-14-2009 12:08 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Professor Michael Porter is boyish in his enthusiasm. His work may be taught at most business schools in the world, but he's no ivory-tower pedant
Professor Porter, who sweeps his hands expansively through the air while talking at a hundred miles a hour, has been called "the doyen of living management gurus", a pillar of Harvard Business School and author of textbooks on competitive advantage and strategy. Professor Porter has also advised various governments on economic policy and in the past was picked out to lead a presidential commission by Ronald Reagan.
So when he expresses concern that the US government's economic stimulus package has not targeted the right areas, it's worth listening to his arguments. In his opinion, much of it displays "the usual pork-barrel, favourite projects" and he insists that America ought to be identifying the fundamental challenges facing its economy and the country and investing in those.

He professes to have enormous respect for President Obama's economic team, but tempers that with a concern that he "would like to see some more business expertise and credentials in his people".
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7872874.stm

For those of you who claim there is little or no pork in this package, there are a whole lot of economy professors who disagree with you.

Balladeer
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72 posted 02-14-2009 12:10 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

“The problem is that no one has really defined well what ‘stimulus’ means,” said David Lanoue, chair of the political science department. “There’s almost no kind of spending that wouldn’t have some stimulating effect on the economy. So it’s really a ‘bang for the buck’ question.”
Lanoue said the contraception’s inclusion and its removal may be an example of the difference in agendas between Obama and Democrats in Congress — Obama’s focusing on economic recovery, Democrats want to implement a wide scope of policy changes in response to a voter mandate. “I don’t think the Democrats envisioned this as simply a stimulus bill — they envisioned it as a stimulus and economic security bill,” Lanoue said. “The Democrats are in control of all the levers for the first time since 1994. And their attitude is that elections have consequences. We won the election, we won the election before that — it’s time for our views to take hold. Obama’s major focus is obviously on getting economic recovery started. His presidency going to be judged by that.”
http://www.cw.ua.edu/professors_discuss_economic_stimulus_package-1.1357116
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73 posted 02-14-2009 12:16 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

So the bill was passed and not one congressman read it. They were told to vote on it without even reading what was in it. Th entire event had a secrecy level to it conducted by the Democrats, which is completely contrary to what Obama had told Americans on the campaign trail would never happen under his administration, that everything would be above board and available and the American people would be able to review all bills before they were passed, saying he was getting away from the "secrecy level" of the Bush administration....another campaign promise down in flames.
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74 posted 02-14-2009 12:26 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Anybody seen a sof marsh harvest mouse lately? Pelosi's district is getting 30 million from the package, naming it as the reason. Reid is getting millions for his district.

I'm beginning to feel sorry for Obama. Pelosi and Reid have run amok and packing what may be a sincere effort on his part with more self-beneficial pork than one would find on every hog farm in Nebraska. Every American should be completely outraged by their actions, regardless of party affiliations.

The largest spending bill in history...and not one congressman read it before voting on it....think about that, people.
 
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