• Mikie
    4.2k
    So, this thread is not about discussing the bill, rather doing all one can to assure its passage. OKjgill

    This thread presupposes a modicum of rationality, yes. Those part of the death cult, who wish to do nothing about climate change -- and in fact don't even recognize climate change as the problem of our time, have plenty of other venues to voice their backward ideas.
  • Mikie
    4.2k
    For anyone still keeping up with this bill (arguably the most important news story there is), what do we think will happen here? A watered down version or nothing whatsoever? The clock is ticking.
  • ssu
    6.5k
    For anyone still keeping up with this bill (arguably the most important news story there is), what do we think will happen here? A watered down version or nothing whatsoever? The clock is ticking.Xtrix
    How about seeing the forest from the trees here?

    This all is simply a way to sustain the economy by more debt financing. It's basically a stop gap measure to keep a failed financial system afloat. The reasons for the spending are simply political rhetoric as everybody understands that ten years time goes well further than this administration. Politicians just give the most benign sounding reasons for the bill, then will typically haggle over the pork in the usual way.

    It's similar theater as the debt-ceiling debate. Sure, perhaps the bill can get dragged on for some time, but sooner or later that spending bill, any spending bill, has to be put out. Otherwise the markets will crash.

    The political reasoning: if markets crash > economic recession > very unhappy voters > democrats lose the next elections. That's the real motivation here.

    What has to be understood that this will continue until a severe crisis happens. It is intended to be so. And the hope is that happens only after ten years or so.
  • ssu
    6.5k
    And let's remind ourselves that the vast majority of spending is on autopilot. Until that crash happens and some unhappy administration has to do "adjustments" to social security and health care.

    Budget_Charts_v2_Autopilot%20Spending%20-%20v6.png
  • ssu
    6.5k
    Yeah....but here's the problem:

    Nationwide, it takes an annual income of $538,926 to be among the top 1%. Among the approximately 1.4 million taxpayers who meet this threshold, the average annual income is about $1.7 million
    (US Today)

    So I gather that the 1% of taxpayers then make 2,38 trillion dollars annually, right?

    Well, just the budget deficit this year is somewhere like 2,3 trillion, hence NEARLY ALL of their income would go just to cover what is now put on the tab or monetized. That is before additional spending... And of course, try taking all the income away of every hundredth taxpayer.
  • James Riley
    2.9k


    Meh. That's not a problem. At the height of our greatness we had a marginal tax rate of some 90% with a butt-load of exemptions (directed toward investment, jobs, or infrastructure). Then we reduced the rate to 20 some % but left all the exemptions (and then some) in place. So the 1% doesn't pay shit.

    Plus, taxes don't pay but a small fraction of our debt/deficit. We are the world bank (that is so long as the heavy-hitters trade on the petrodollar, and not barter or use some other form of currency; if they do that, we just sanction them or invade them). So, we just print money. That's what we've been doing all along. Besides, if the Democrats pay off the debt, the Republicans will just run it up again.

    The goal here is to keep the proletariat from rising up and lopping the heads off of the 1%; and to teach the 1% that they can't get something for nothing.

    If a guy says "I don't work for my money; my money works for me" then shouldn't his money, as an employee, a worker, have to pay withholdings and other taxes like the rest of the working stiffs? Maybe his money should unionize against him and demand better working conditions. After all, if a corporation can have personality, why shouldn't a dollar? I demand dollars get more dollars for their labor! Dollars of the world unite!

    P.S. Let's make it the 10% instead of the 1%. Just for kicks.
  • Mikie
    4.2k
    This all is simply a way to sustain the economy by more debt financing.ssu

    I don’t think you’re referring to the reconciliation bill. What I’m talking about includes measures for child care, climate change, and many other provisions that would be good for this country.

    True, it involves debt. But the 350 billion a year is nothing next to the 700 billion we spend on military contracts. Apparently we can afford that every year.

    I don’t buy this sudden interest in the debt. The debt isn’t the problem. This bill also pays for itself in multiple ways. But even if it didn’t, given that borrowing is essentially free right now, it’s the best time to spend some money on things that matter, especially climate change.
  • James Riley
    2.9k
    I don't know if it's true, but I'm entitled to my confirmation bias, aren't I?

    242744572_1236604440177927_4279925586085832791_n.jpg?_nc_cat=106&ccb=1-5&_nc_sid=8bfeb9&_nc_ohc=vZEm0WEbQzsAX85zJk-&_nc_ht=scontent-dfw5-2.xx&oh=c88b9e835bbf350bb03a6b1b00a139bd&oe=615349F2
  • ssu
    6.5k
    Plus, taxes don't pay but a small fraction of our debt/deficit. We are the world bank (that is so long as the heavy-hitters trade on the petrodollar, and not barter or use some other form of currency; if they do that, we just sanction them or invade them). So, we just print money. That's what we've been doing all along.James Riley

    And that's my basic point. (Yet do note that your not the World Bank, your the biggest customer for the World. The US isn't financing the World.)

    A large part of the US government spending is based on acquiring more debt (or to print money) perpetually. It's perpetual. There isn't any solution to this. No solution, no change, until a financial crisis. And it's silly for some to remind that the debt was as huge during WW2, but it was paid back, because that was totally different: consumption was cut, for example no private automobiles were produced and the whole economy was put to war footing that ended when the war ended. But now the deficit spending is about totally ordinary spending at normal times.

    But as you said (just like Dick Cheney), deficits don't matter. Just note that the speed is increasing and the deficits are getting larger...

    I don't know if it's true, but I'm entitled to my confirmation bias, aren't I?James Riley
    Likely Robert Reich is correct. But then, the show is continuing the same way under Biden too. Nothing will stop it now, especially after large direct money transfers to US citizens is becoming the new norm.
  • ssu
    6.5k
    I don’t think you’re referring to the reconciliation bill. What I’m talking about includes measures for child care, climate change, and many other provisions that would be good for this country.Xtrix
    But it doesn't matter!

    It can be infrastructure spending, spending to thwart the climate change, spending on health care or education. It doesn't matter.

    You see, you have to understand how the US works. You have the most expensive health care system in the World that still performs extremely poorly by OECD-country standards when the whole population is taken into account. You have the most expensive education system, that indeed has the best universities around (the Ivy-league and so on), yet overall performance of the system is, again, poor. And it's very expensive. Something is simply wrong when you don't get the best effective service for the most money.

    Shoveling money to a broken system won't help, because thanks to the political system you cannot make structural changes that could improve the basic situation. You could have free higher education, universal health care and likely have it cost LESS. But that simply won't happen. There isn't that political will.

    Since you can just print the money (and the US is doing it now as other countries aren't buying that debt), nothing will change. There simply is no motivation for change.
  • James Riley
    2.9k
    Likely Robert Reich is correct. But then, the show is continuing the same way under Biden too.ssu

    And it continues the same way when Republicans are in power, only on steroids' with a large dose of denial.

    Nothing will stop it now, especially after large direct money transfers to US citizens is becoming the new norm.ssu

    It will be fun to try trickle up instead of trickle down, though, for a change. They say a rising tide lifts all boats. But raising boats in an emerging market from 30 cents and hour to 40, lowers the boats in the U.S. to unemployment and the federal tit. Sure, everyone can now afford a cheap piece of plastic Chinese shit, but that is not raising the boat. Besides, can't those who "generate wealth" just go generate some more? They don't need us peons to pay their way like we do now. Better they actually start working so all that printed money can trickle up.
  • Mikie
    4.2k
    But it doesn't matter!ssu

    It does matter. Free community college, free child care, having Medicare cover eye classes and hearing aids, extending the child tax credit, creating thousands of charging stations, subsidizing clean energy, funding the IRS, etc etc— these are all very beneficial for the majority of Americans and the planet.

    Throwing money around doesn’t solve everything, but it’s a start. It’s better than doing nothing.

    Your worrying about the debt is misguided, even if these proposals didn’t pay for themselves (which they do). If we can spend 700 billion a year on the military, we can spend 350 billion a year on families and the environment.

    The Fed is printing money to buy government bonds, but also corporate debt. If we closed loopholes, prevented stock buybacks, nationalized the banks that needed bailouts, taxed the wealthy at higher rates, ended the stepped up basis, implemented a wealth tax, increased capital gains taxes, ended tax havens, allowed Medicare to negotiate drug prices, cut military expenditures, etc— there would be no deficit. The Fed will be tapering by next year anyway, it seems.

    All of this is completely reasonable and doable. It’ll happen, but it’ll take time. In the meanwhile, to use the excuse of “we can’t afford it” is just nonsense. Of course we can afford it.
  • ssu
    6.5k
    And it continues the same way when Republicans are in power, only on steroids' with a large dose of denial.James Riley

    The is a genuinely bipartisan policy. Of course where the spending goes differs a lot. Or how actually prudent an administration is.

    It will be fun to try trickle up instead of trickle down, though, for a change.James Riley
    When a global pandemic hit and people were forced to close shop for a while, it's understandable. The real issue comes when the pandemic is over (or is the new normal).
  • ssu
    6.5k
    It does matter. Free community college, free child care, having Medicare cover eye classes and hearing aids, extending the child tax credit, creating thousands of charging stations, subsidizing clean energy, funding the IRS, etc etc— these are all very beneficial for the majority of Americans and the planet.Xtrix
    Again this is far more a policy and legal matter than something that could be solved by more spending. Think of universal health care that costs less than in present US. That would mean that also doctors would get a lot less. US Doctors are now paid the most in the World. The unfortunate issue is that there are too many who benefit from the current system and they have too much lobbying power. Overhaul of the system is a huge task.

    If we closed loopholes, prevented stock buybacks, nationalized the banks that needed bailouts, taxed the wealthy at higher rates, ended the stepped up basis, implemented a wealth tax, increased capital gains taxes, ended tax havens, allowed Medicare to negotiate drug prices, cut military expenditures, etc— there would be no deficit.Xtrix
    That would be the case. Yet I think you would simply need totally different political parties than the two you have now. I simply don't see it happening. And think Naomi Klein in The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism was partly right of how things are done. Of course it's not pre-planned as Klein naturally makes it to be (with the worst intentions, as usual). Only when the option to do as before simply isn't there, when the World hits a severe crisis, then drastic reforms will be made. But not before.

    What those reforms will be in the end depends on the people: will they accept what the elite gives them or doesn't.
  • James Riley
    2.9k
    When a global pandemic hit and people were forced to close shop for a while, it's understandable. The real issue comes when the pandemic is over (or is the new normal).ssu

    I'll be honest, I'm ready to roll the dice. I'm ready to turn leadership over to women, and the younger generation, and minorities, and try something entirely new. And every time I see one of the old guard chiming in, I want to tell him to take a fucking seat. Do they have knowledge and wisdom to share? Yes. But I don't want to hear a bunch of mia culpa BS if it's designed to perpetuate and save recalcitrant old asses. Too late, MFrs, stand down.

    I do realize they may not go peacefully and they hold a lot of power, but that is where our wisdom can aid the new guard in dealing with the old guard. And yes, I'm open to cooperation and cooler heads than mine, but I won't stand in the way of the change I'd like to see, even if it personally feels a little awkward or uncomfortable.

    "Here's the reigns, bitches! Have fun!"
  • James Riley
    2.9k
    US Doctors are now paid the most in the World.ssu

    They should get paid more. But there is a giant sucking sound between Doctor and patient: That is the health insurance industry. Every time I see a giant sky-scraper with 30 floors, I envision each floor containing a hundred or more cubicles occupied by people getting $60k or more per year to stamp "Denied" or "Approved" on a piece of paper. And that's just the minions. And they are all working in the best interest of shareholders. They should all be in the unemployment line with the buggy whip workers.
  • Mikie
    4.2k
    Again this is far more a policy and legal matter than something that could be solved by more spending.ssu

    I consider these policies as well. It’s legislation, not simply budget proposals. As you know, they have to make it appear related to the budget to pass reconciliation, but these are real policies being enacted.
  • ssu
    6.5k
    "Here's the reigns, bitches! Have fun!"James Riley

    Well, you would love the leftist-centrist administration here that we have, dubbed by the opposition "the Lipstick administration":

    (Prime Minister and the leader of the Social Democrats in the middle. Other ministers in the picture are party leaders also:)
    13-3-11499682
  • ssu
    6.5k
    As you know, they have to make it appear related to the budget to pass reconciliation, but these are real policies being enacted.Xtrix
    Having looked at the history of the so-called "infrastructure bill" or the earlier stimulus packages, I would look at where the money really goes in the end.
  • James Riley
    2.9k


    Up-and-comers, the squad:

    ocasiocortez_tlaib_oma_pressley.png?itok=MSqKa4Fq
  • Mikie
    4.2k


    Damn. Imagine getting to look at these women all the time as opposed to Mitch McConnell and Joe Biden. That alone makes it preferable.
  • ssu
    6.5k

    Yet then there's the reality:

    blog_age_congress1.gif?format=1000w

    How about trying to change these statistics in the next elections? No seriously, this is a clear sign of the parties being out of touch of the people and quite complacent in sharing the power in the US.

    Damn. Imagine getting to look at these women all the time as opposed to Mitch McConnell and Joe Biden. That alone makes it preferable.Xtrix

    American political parties should note that, actually. The hilarious issue is now that all the party leaders in the administration coalition are women, all the party leaders in the opposition are men.
  • James Riley
    2.9k
    How about trying to change these statistics in the next elections?ssu

    I try. I don't try my best, but I try. At least somewhat. Actually, not enough. But I try.

    On the other hand, we have young dummies too, like Lauren Boebert and Margorie Taylor Green.
  • ssu
    6.5k
    I was just about going to post the video that @Praxis posted on the Trump thread on Marjorie Taylor Greene. Yep, she was happy when January 6th happened. So you have those women too.

    So I guess we can agree that one's genitals aren't the most important reason to pick a politician. Far more is what the politician believes in and what he or she does.
  • James Riley
    2.9k
    So I guess we can agree that one's genitals aren't the most important reason to pick a politician. Far more is what the politician believes in and what he or she does.ssu

    That is true. However, I think there is an "on balance" argument. Or a "generally speaking" argument. This would incline me toward women since they really haven't been in charge since forever. Same with minorities and same with youth.
  • Mikie
    4.2k
    On the other hand, we have young dummies too, like Lauren Boebert and Margorie Taylor Green.James Riley

    Boebert is a buffoon, as is Greene. The former is undeniably beautiful— so that factored into electability as well.

    I hate myself for this, but I can’t feeling a slight attraction to Greene as well. Ugh. I imagine that played a role for Georgia male voters.

    But give me AOC any day over all of them.

    That’ll be it for my (probably) sexist analysis.
  • James Riley
    2.9k
    The former is undeniably beautifulXtrix

    Yeah, we were treated to her walking resolutely across a grassy hill top with her breasts and figure prominently displayed. Kind of like Sarah Palin.

    Oh well, I feel like I am running afoul of what AOC would have me do, which is to drop my typical male focus on sex/appearances and instead try to keep my eye on substance. It is distracting, though. Fucking biology! :death:
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