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The Other 95%

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Balladeer
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25 posted 04-18-2010 08:35 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Well, well, well....whodathunkit?

Thanks, Denise
Bob K
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since 11-03-2007
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26 posted 04-18-2010 08:43 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     If Cass Sunstein's actions are as described in the Salon article, they are indeed quite underhanded and deserve any criticism you'd care to level in that direction.

     You may not have read the actual Salon article in its entirety, and I would suggest that it would be worth your while to do so.  The actions were upsetting when George Bush tried them with us, and they remain equally upsetting now.
http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/01/15/sunstein
Denise
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27 posted 04-18-2010 08:52 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

You're welcome, Michael.

Yes, Bob, I read it. Thanks.
Grinch
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since 12-31-2005
Posts 2710
Whoville


28 posted 04-19-2010 02:23 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
Ronald Reagan increased the deficit by 35 percent in eight years, whereas Barack Obama has increased the deficit by 450 percent in eight weeks.


Is there a reason that your example is comparing the added deficit for Reagan and the total deficit for Obama Denise. That seems a little unfair, if not downright misleading. If you actually compare like for like Reagan added  22.5% of GDP to the deficit, Bush added 28.8 and Obama has added 12%.

quote:
If Cass Sunstein's actions are as described in the Salon article, they are indeed quite underhanded and deserve any criticism you'd care to level in that direction.


You can rest easy Bob, the article is another conspiracy theory with about as much credibility and accuracy as all that Death Panel garbage.

Mike brought this up a while back:
http://piptalk.com/pip/Forum6/HTML/001914.html#000004

I posted a link to the original paper by Sunstein:
http://piptalk.com/pip/Forum8/HTML/000953.html

A not half bad paper, although Iíve got some issues with it itís definitely not what the wingnut conspiracy theorists in the article are making it out to be.

.
Denise
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29 posted 04-19-2010 04:25 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

I don't know Grinch. It says 'increased by' a certain percentage in both instances. Can you show me where it is counting only the added deficit for Reagan and the total deficit for Obama?

Sunstein's paper seems to me to be characterized correctly by Salon and Redstate. He is setting forth possible ways that the government can counter what it considers conspiracy theories, and the pros and cons of each possible approach.
Grinch
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Whoville


30 posted 04-19-2010 05:27 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

quote:
Can you show me where it is counting only the added deficit for Reagan and the total deficit for Obama?


Certainly Denise.

quote:
President Obama inherited a record Bush deficit of $400 billion, but is generating a far worse $1.8-trillion deficit in his first year. (Source: Congressional Budget Office, March 20, 2009.)


Can you see the deficit figure that they claim Obama inherited? $400 billion. Thatís the difference, or deficit, between what was spent on the budget and what was accrued by tax revenue. That deficit is added to the rolling national debt figure Ė in this case giving a total of $2.3 trillion and a cumulative total of 12.3 trillion.

To calculate the cumulative deficit over a given period you need to take the initial national debt figure and deduct it from the final national debt figure. Thatíll give you the total deficit added to the national debt over that given period.

In 1989/90 that was 2.3 trillion
In 2008/2009 that was 2.3 trillion
In 2009/2010 that was 2.1 trillion

Itís not quite as simple as that but itís sufficient to explain why this:

quote:
Ronald Reagan increased the deficit by 35 percent in eight years, whereas Barack Obama has increased the deficit by 450 percent in eight weeks


Is complete twaddle.


quote:
He is setting forth possible ways that the government can counter what it considers conspiracy theories, and the pros and cons of each possible approach.


Yes he is Denise, albeit in a different context but thatís a fair summation of what he discusses in his paper.

Now whereís the evidence that thatís whatís happening and that Obama is behind anti-tea party websites? Whereís the video Denise?

  

[This message has been edited by Grinch (04-19-2010 07:21 PM).]

Denise
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31 posted 04-19-2010 08:48 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

I'm not a mathematician so I'll have to study your explanation of the figures to see if I can make sense of it.

The articles said that it was a possiblity that the administration is behind it based on the thoughts and words of one of his chief advisors. It's certainly not a stretch to consider it a possibility and doesn't rise to the level of conspircacy, in my opinion.
Bob K
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32 posted 04-20-2010 01:15 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Advisors are supposed to write papers that explore possible courses of action, and even advocate for some of them.  Herman Kahn famously wrote a paper on the survivability of nuclear war, not because it was something that was a great thing to try to do, but because it was an avenue that needed to be thought about and explored for The Rand Corporation.  Nobody ever tried to act on Kahn's speculations; though it was apparently bruited about by some idiots during occasional administrations, wiser heads decided that initiating a nuclear exchange would essentially be suicidal for everybody concerned.

     These papers frequently fall under the banner of intellectual exploration of alternatives.  Sometimes they may be taken up, often they are not.  

     Mr. Sunstein's proposals were designed to deal with propaganda assaults on the government.

     Mr. Sunstein was apparently fairly accurate in predicting the sort of accusations and assaults that would be directed at the government from misinformed or duplicitous sources.  His ability to predict this sort of assault is unfortunate, among other reasons because it proved to be accurate.  It laid out possible courses of action for the government to take to counter these attacks.  Because the options are there does not mean that they were taken by this administration.

    Nor does it mean they were not.  I have no idea.

     Perhaps the Radical Right feels the administration should not avail itself of legal methods of defending both its perception of the truth and its reputation.  I would like to register my strong disagreement with this point of view, especially since I see none of the more contemptible pieces of the law, such as The PATRIOT Act being brought into play here against our citizens.  Nor do I hear reports of wire-taps and other measures being used against them, such as that Act would allow.
Grinch
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Whoville


33 posted 04-20-2010 01:16 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
I'm not a mathematician so I'll have to study your explanation of the figures to see if I can make sense of it.


Thatís not your fault Denise Ė itís mine.

I edited and re-edited my post trying to make it more understandable but, as usually happens, the more I edited the more convoluted it got.



Iíll have another go at a more reader friendly version and post it later today.

.
Grinch
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Posts 2710
Whoville


34 posted 04-20-2010 04:27 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


Denise,

Hereís take two, Iíve come at it from a different angle and tried to remove references to specific figures.

The article claims that the Deficit is bigger under Obama than itís ever been. To work out if thatís true you need to define what the deficit actually is, the problem is that there are more ways to work it out than there are economists telling you how to do it. The standard definition is that itís the difference between whatís budgeted to be spent and revenue Ė whatís earned, does that sound about right? Youíd think so, but youíd be wrong. You see thereís a whole heap of spending thatís classified as Ďoff-budgetí, that doesnít mean itís not spent, itís simply not calculated in some versions of the deficit that get put out by economists. What you end up with is a whole bunch of differing figures that purport to be Ďthe deficití, some donít include the off-budget figures, some include some of them and almost none include all of them.

Thatís really handy to know if you want to make an administration look bad or good, you can pick a low deficit figure for your own guy and a really high one for the poor beggar youíre attacking. Thatís what the article did, it compared apples with oranges and end up with a melon.

Fortunately thereís a really easy way to work out the true spending deficit Ė including all off-budget items and compare apples with apples. All you need to do is look at the national debt figure year on year, if you take the 2009 national debt figure from the national debt figure for 2008 you get the total debt - the real deficit figure - that was added in 2009. You can do that for any year you like and when you do itís clear that Bush and Reagan added more debt (had bigger real deficits) than Obama has so far accrued.

I hope that explains my point a little better Denise, and I apologise for making a hash of explaining it earlier.

.
Denise
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35 posted 04-20-2010 09:34 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Thanks for the attempt at explaining it, Grinch. Still not sure I'm undersstanding it. Do you mean that you subtract the 2008 debt from 2009 debt, and that gives you the current deficit?

How would that relate to this graph from the CBO?
Grinch
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Posts 2710
Whoville


36 posted 04-21-2010 01:47 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
Do you mean that you subtract the 2008 debt from 2009 debt, and that gives you the current deficit?


In a nutshell Ė yes.

If you owe $10 in 2008 and £15 in 2009 the true deficit that youíve accrued in that period is $5 Ė youíve, in effect, spent $5 more than you earned, regardless of the amount you spent or earned.

The CBO graph you posted?

The easy answer is that it isnít a CBO graph at all, itís a graph compiled from two sources, one for the pre-Obama deficit and one for the post-Obama deficit, and in this case it looks like the two sources are using a different calculation to obtain the deficit Ė theyíre comparing apples and oranges.

Hope that helps
.
 
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