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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 2:50 pm 
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News of downgrade wasn't in the WSJ this morning; I guess they had already put the paper to bed.

While I'm not pleased with the news, I hope at least this makes BHO's re-election less likely.

_________________
THE TIMES are nightfall, look, their light grows less;
The times are winter, watch, a world undone:
They waste, they wither worse; they as they run
Or bring more or more blazon man’s distress.
And I not help. Nor word now of success:
All is from wreck, here, there, to rescue one—
Work which to see scarce so much as begun
Makes welcome death, does dear forgetfulness.
Or what is else? There is your world within.
There rid the dragons, root out there the sin.
Your will is law in that small commonweal…
G.M. Hopkins.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 11:45 pm 
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I wrote:
FURTHER, the freaking out over the debt-ceiling is EXACTLY the problem. People are scared that if we don't raise it then we will lose our credit rating and suffer a partial gov't shut down. BUT IF WE PASS THE BOEHNER PLAN THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT WILL HAPPEN. We may avert the shutdown, but we will STILL lose our credit rating, and THAT will destroy the economy. Interest rates will go through the roof. CC&B is the ONLY plan that meets the ratings agencies' demands. THE ONLY ONE.

I wrote:
I REALLY hope his plan fails tonight. I hope the TP can hold the line. I hope they FORCE CC&B back to the table. I hope that becomes the one and only plan they unite behind, because anything less WILL result in our credit score being downgraded.

A vote for Boehner is a vote for destroying America's credit. If you can sleep comfortably with that, then go for it. I can't.

I wrote:
I'm just flatly disgusted at the Republican apologists who are so willing to sell out their principles for the good of their party. You watch. If Boehner's plan passes, we will lose our credit rating, and when it does, I'll hold YOU responsible

And this is exactly why I opposed Boehner's idiotic compromise plans. Absolute lunacy. It was stupidly easy to see this coming. S&P said if we didn't cut $4 trillion from the debt, we'd get downgraded. And people are shocked that they meant it?

I hate Washington, and I absolutely detest sell-out "conservative" Republicans. Throw ALL the bums out (except Rubio and the few who actually said this would happen).

If Republicans are going to keep voting and spending like Democrats, we may as well just have Democrats in office. At least their honest about their statist agendas. I really hope some of you Republican apologists figure out you are just being used by people who want power.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 12:27 am 
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http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44047844/ns/business-us_business/

Quote:
A day after Standard & Poor’s took the unprecedented step of downgrading the creditworthiness of the United States government, the ratings agency offered a full-throated defense of its decision, calling the bitter stand-off between President Obama and Congress over raising the debt ceiling a “debacle,” and warning that further downgrades may lie ahead.

In an unusual Saturday conference call with reporters, senior S.& P. officials insisted the ratings firm hadn’t overstepped its bounds by focusing on the political paralysis in Washington as much as fiscal policy in determining the new rating. “The debacle over the debt ceiling continued until almost the midnight hour,” said John B. Chambers, chairman of S.& P.’s sovereign ratings committee.

Another S.& P. official, David Beers, added that “fiscal policy, like other government policy, is fundamentally a political process.”


There is no doubt in my mind at all, based on the S&P statements released so far, that the recess playground fight also known as the debt negotiations, had a huge part in this downgrade. Both the White House and Congress are at fault here, and Congress and the House in particular seemed to take delight in acting like a bunch of drama queens (with no offense meant to actual drama queens, whom at this moment most of the public has more respect for than some of our elected leaders. Who do you think has a higher favorability rating with voters right now - Lindsay Lohan or Congress? Paris Hilton or Congress? Perez Hilton or Congress?).

Apart from the people here who seem to absolve the GOP members of Congress from any blame (not trying to be snarky in this particular comment - I respect everyone here and everyone's opinions but just very much disagree with that assessment), I have not talked to anyone who doesn't want EVERY member of Congress to resign.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 12:36 am 
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I knew he was warning us about this during the 90's and early 2000's, but I found this in a book he wrote in 1988, Freedom-Under-Siege.
By Dr. Ron Paul


"The benefits to the politicians of the Federal Reserve’s willingness to
monetize debt makes it irresistible for them to use it. The fact that it serves both
conservatives and liberals means that neither group will ever challenge the system on philosophic principle.
It also means that the price we must eventually pay for our extravagance will be delayed.
For this reason we can expect the debt and credit bubble to expand until it
bursts sometime in the near future. Understanding the political forces supporting
such a system and understanding the economic consequences of such foolishness is crucial to our survival."



"The so-called benefits of economic stimulation with credit creation and government spending programs can only come about through the transfer of wealth from productive individuals. This transfer of wealth, regardless of how complicated the process is, is no more moral than if the beneficiaries took a gun and robbed their neighbors. Honest money must come into circulation through honest work and effort and be a commodity, voluntarily used by all the participants in the transactions".

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Post by melopa Liked by: justgrace
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:46 am 
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The Republicans may have gotten the best they could for now, with the White House and the Senate being in Democrat hands. The Tea Party candidates (if you want to call them that) had an uphill battle, and in their inexperience (here is why we cannot have only novices) they assumed they would have an easier time making huge changes all at once. There is anger by many conservative voters that they did not stand firm enough.

President Obama is offended when anyone opposes his plans, walking out of meetings and making it almost impossible for talks to go forward. He meets in the middle of the night with his cronies, and pushes through bills no one has read. I put most of the fault on him and his ineptness and his ultra-leftist leanings. He does not want to compromise or help this country, regardless of how he can give speeches to the American people that sound good. He says one thing and goes ahead and does the other. And the Democrats (following the lead of Senator Reid and Representative Pelosi and other intransigents Republicans failed to oust) support everything he says as if he is a god.

I really believe that the House Republicans tried to do what they were sent to Washington to do. Of course they did not do a perfect job and should perhaps have held out a little longer for a better solution. They probably knew that this deal would not pass muster with the Standard and Poor's rating. I think this group is trying to warn America to quit listening to Obama and following his leftist agenda to put our country into default. I truly think that if at least a Balanced Budget amendment had been passed, and if $4 trillion would have been cut in spending, they would have let us retain a AAA rating.

I believe that this debt crisis needs to be placed at the feet of one person, and that is President Barack Obama. He has not led his party or the American people responsibly. He does not care that his policies and false alarms are putting us into a debt so huge we can never pay for it. We must defeat this man for the next term. For I believe he does want to turn America into a socialist state. For now, he has made tremendous progress by getting the banks under government ownership and more regulation, as well as owning General Motors, bailing Freddie Mac and Fanny Mae, causing the government ownership of private lands to increase, raising the debt by $6 trillion during his short tenure, and pushing through in most unlawful, immoral ways, a health care bill that the majority of Americans do no want. And he is rejoicing privately, I think, for how unpopular he has made Congress by comparison.

President Obama is the one who could have sincerely tried to work with both sides and come to an agreement, instead of playing false all along. He never did come up with his own plan. He stalled, and then blamed the Republicans when the nation almost defaulted on paying debts.

We could have had a President Huckabee who would have worked out a way to balance the budget, I believe. :balling

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:57 am 
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Jac3510 wrote:
I wrote:
FURTHER, the freaking out over the debt-ceiling is EXACTLY the problem. People are scared that if we don't raise it then we will lose our credit rating and suffer a partial gov't shut down. BUT IF WE PASS THE BOEHNER PLAN THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT WILL HAPPEN. We may avert the shutdown, but we will STILL lose our credit rating, and THAT will destroy the economy. Interest rates will go through the roof. CC&B is the ONLY plan that meets the ratings agencies' demands. THE ONLY ONE.

I wrote:
I REALLY hope his plan fails tonight. I hope the TP can hold the line. I hope they FORCE CC&B back to the table. I hope that becomes the one and only plan they unite behind, because anything less WILL result in our credit score being downgraded.

A vote for Boehner is a vote for destroying America's credit. If you can sleep comfortably with that, then go for it. I can't.

I wrote:
I'm just flatly disgusted at the Republican apologists who are so willing to sell out their principles for the good of their party. You watch. If Boehner's plan passes, we will lose our credit rating, and when it does, I'll hold YOU responsible

And this is exactly why I opposed Boehner's idiotic compromise plans. Absolute lunacy. It was stupidly easy to see this coming. S&P said if we didn't cut $4 trillion from the debt, we'd get downgraded. And people are shocked that they meant it?

I hate Washington, and I absolutely detest sell-out "conservative" Republicans. Throw ALL the bums out (except Rubio and the few who actually said this would happen).

If Republicans are going to keep voting and spending like Democrats, we may as well just have Democrats in office. At least their honest about their statist agendas. I really hope some of you Republican apologists figure out you are just being used by people who want power.


If Congress were all Democrat they would have passed a clean debt ceiling increase with no cuts (not to mention another stimulus, a more leftist health reform, cap and trade, FOCA, Fairness Doctrine, etc. etc.). Can't govern out of the House.

Our choices were to take the cuts we could get with likely downgrade and live to fight another day (2012), or pass nothing with certain downgrade and likely diminished poltical odds for 2012. Most Republicans chose the responsible way.

_________________
THE TIMES are nightfall, look, their light grows less;
The times are winter, watch, a world undone:
They waste, they wither worse; they as they run
Or bring more or more blazon man’s distress.
And I not help. Nor word now of success:
All is from wreck, here, there, to rescue one—
Work which to see scarce so much as begun
Makes welcome death, does dear forgetfulness.
Or what is else? There is your world within.
There rid the dragons, root out there the sin.
Your will is law in that small commonweal…
G.M. Hopkins.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 2:02 pm 
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Miserere wrote:
If Congress were all Democrat they would have passed a clean debt ceiling increase with no cuts (not to mention another stimulus, a more leftist health reform, cap and trade, FOCA, Fairness Doctrine, etc. etc.). Can't govern out of the House.

Our choices were to take the cuts we could get with likely downgrade and live to fight another day (2012), or pass nothing with certain downgrade and likely diminished poltical odds for 2012. Most Republicans chose the responsible way.

They voted for a plan that they knew would directly result in the downgrading of our credit. Worse, these are the same people who were voting last administration to spend like drunken sailors.

So long as people like you keep supporting them,they'll stay in power, and the downgrades will continue. As I said, I hold you responsible. This is your fault -- people who put party over principle and defend it no less are precisely the reason we are in this mess. I remember Huckabee talking about putting politics before principles, and about not spelling "God" as GOP.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 2:34 pm 
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Jac3510 wrote:
Miserere wrote:
If Congress were all Democrat they would have passed a clean debt ceiling increase with no cuts (not to mention another stimulus, a more leftist health reform, cap and trade, FOCA, Fairness Doctrine, etc. etc.). Can't govern out of the House.

Our choices were to take the cuts we could get with likely downgrade and live to fight another day (2012), or pass nothing with certain downgrade and likely diminished poltical odds for 2012. Most Republicans chose the responsible way.

They voted for a plan that they knew would directly result in the downgrading of our credit. Worse, these are the same people who were voting last administration to spend like drunken sailors.

So long as people like you keep supporting them,they'll stay in power, and the downgrades will continue. As I said, I hold you responsible. This is your fault -- people who put party over principle and defend it no less are precisely the reason we are in this mess. I remember Huckabee talking about putting politics before principles, and about not spelling "God" as GOP.



I sure hope that conservatives don't start playing the blame game amongst themselves. Divided we will fall. One of the reasons I supported Mike Huckabee is that he had enough experience to know that anything but principle can be on the table. He has repeatedly said that if too much is demanded, nothing will get done. He realizes that small strides ahead are much better than treading water or sinking. There is a difference between timidity and thoughtful measuring of a situation. I go for the latter. I believe more is actually accomplished that way.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 2:44 pm 
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I agree, mary. The problem is that the very compromise Republicans accepted guaranteed a downgrade of the US credit rating. That isn't compromising or taking small strides forward. That is taking HUGE strides BACKWARDS.

A compromise would have been Boehner accepting $400 billion in new taxes to save our credit rating and cut the deficit by over $4 trillion. THAT is something Huckabee would have been willing to consider. But that sort of thing didn't fit into Boehner's Washington, Republican mindset. He used the TP and conservatives to get what he wanted: a talking point on Obama.

So now he gets to go around and campaign on Obama being the first prez in history to preside over a downgrade of the US debt.

Principled conservatism wouldn't have let this happen. Washington politics forced it, and people who keep defending Washington-as-usual are the problem.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 3:12 pm 
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I can't help but notice the irony that Jac3510 and TVV are both together in their deep anger with the Republicans, but Jac is apparently furious that they didn't hold out till they got the $ amount that S&P said would be necessary to protect our rating (which could easily have been never), and TVV is furious that they didn't give in and accept less sooner so that the credit rating companies wouldn't know how deeply divided our country really is.

I wish you guys would put your emotions aside and listen to Huckabee's wisdom on this (esp starting at 4:12) -



We're not exonerating the GOP, it just seems like it because we are defending them against what some of us felt were unreasonable criticisms of them in this mess. This was a lose-lose situation for them and they took the most prudent option that was available.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 3:15 pm 
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Boehner was willing to sign off on nearly a trillion in increased revenue. Gov Huckabee is right whenhe more or less said the House GOP did what it had to do.

Anyway, it's not true to say they guaranteed downgrade; the ratings people were ambiguous, and most of them have not downgraded us. Frankly, the downgrade doesn't make sense since no one thinks the US won't pay her creditors in the near or long term, and that's what the rating refers to. Additionally, with the market panic this past week investors took shelter in US Treasury bonds!

Also, I don't know why you keep accusing me of putting party before principle. I want the right principles to prevail now and in the next election, end of story. Republicans generally have the right principles, so when I hope the party emerges from a fight intact for electoral fights, it is for the sake of the right principles. It happens now that most of the government is in the hands of folks with bad ideas, so it is vitally important that the party go into this next election able to acquire supermajorities and nothing less. Otherwise, the right principles will never be at the helm.

But I'll give you credit for being unique: first, you're mad the House didn't continually insist on CCB, now you're mad Boehner didn't raise taxes (which your wing of the party wouldn't have tolerated, by the way).

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THE TIMES are nightfall, look, their light grows less;
The times are winter, watch, a world undone:
They waste, they wither worse; they as they run
Or bring more or more blazon man’s distress.
And I not help. Nor word now of success:
All is from wreck, here, there, to rescue one—
Work which to see scarce so much as begun
Makes welcome death, does dear forgetfulness.
Or what is else? There is your world within.
There rid the dragons, root out there the sin.
Your will is law in that small commonweal…
G.M. Hopkins.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 3:23 pm 
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Obama's "Grand Deal" was as substantive as he is - which is to say, not particularly. Cynics radars should have been triggered by their refusal to discuss any of the details. Anything this admin doesn't want to talk about when it has the potential to harm their political opponents has to be at least as harmful to them if not more so.

Even if we passed ALL the tax increases that the Spendocrats are salivating for, it would not fix the problem because the economy is sinking like a rock - and you can't get blood (or coinage) from a rock.

Had Obama stuck to his original bargain instead of listening to Pelosi (who he should have noted has recently been seriously demoted by the voters), he would have come out looking much better and S&P might have given us a little more space (though I doubt it because they have been warning us for a substantial length of time now)

Quote:
How the White House killed the deal

By Jennifer Rubin


In an aggressive move, the House speaker’s office has put out a blow-by-blow on how the debt talks collapsed:

The White House is misleading reporters tonight by claiming that new revenue in the framework that was discussed would have been generated by letting the current tax rates expire. That is simply false. Under the framework, a CEILING was offered by the White House that would generate $800 billion in new revenue over ten years. This would be done through comprehensive tax reform that would clear out deductions, credits, and loopholes in the system – and spur economic growth.

After the gang of six plan came out, the White House moved the goal posts and insisted on $400 billion more in higher taxes – a 50% increase in revenue – and wanted that to be the FLOOR instead of the ceiling. The President acknowledged this in his remarks tonight. “Letting tax cuts expire” was never part of the tax reform agreed to. Please let me know if you have any questions. – steel

Summary of the White House ‘walk backs’ during discussions of the ‘framework.’:

TAXES

•The White House agreed to a revenue total that would set a ceiling of about $800 billion in new revenue over ten years that could be generated through economic growth and efficiencies in our tax system (not tax hikes).

•After the ‘Gang of Six’ plan was released, and in the wake the reaction from Hill Democrats, they moved the goal posts and insisted on $400 billion more in higher taxes – a 50% increase – and wanted that to the floor instead of the ceiling.

•At the same time, they struck principles of tax reform that were already agreed to, including a protection against tax hikes on small businesses and a guarantee that there were would be only 3 tax rates and highest one would be below 35%

SOCIAL SECURITY

•There was an agreement to change the way government calculates inflation that would significantly extend Social Security’s solvency

•The White House moved off of a previously agreed to solvency target, suggesting a weaker level with 25% less in savings


A Republican source with knowledge of the talks tells me, “Medicaid was unresolved. We wanted higher savings number ($200B over 10 years) and they weren’t moving much (only at $125B) despite the fact that Obama told Boehner his offer to essentially split the difference on the numbers gap was very fair.”

As for Medicare I am told the two sides were actually “very close.” Obama had offered, according to a knowledgable source, to increase the Medicare eligibility age, adjust premiums collected for services and benefits currently covered by Part B and Part D, reform and streamline deductibles and co-insurance for covered services and limit certain types of supplemental insurance coverage. All of this sounds very similar to a plan introduced by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.). If this is correct, the Democrats will have a mighty hard time reviving the Mediscare gambit.

The fact that Boehner and others would release this information shows the degree to which the White House lost his trust. Only when one party feels jerked around and set up to fail does this sort of thing occur. Is the president trying to bring about a default? It sure seems that way.

By Jennifer Rubin | 09:07 PM ET, 07/22/2011
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/rig ... etworkNews


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 4:37 pm 
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MSNBC is reporting S&P's remarks selectively (not surprisingly) to make it appear that the debt ceiling controversy was in itself to blame (after all, how could increasing DC's ability to spend, even if it was done without rancor, resolve a crisis created by overspending?); S&P said that the debt ceiling debate was a factor because it acutely illustrated the chronic partisan gridlock in DC that is preventing the problem from being seriously addressed - and shows no sign of changing any time soon. This problem did not begin with the debt ceiling debate any more than it ended with it; that's just liberal propaganda.

Here's a FoxNews article that gives more of what S&P actually said (not because I believe that Fox is unbiased, but because this article supplies more of the details of the conversation & the article was conveniently at hand) I did not miss that S&P is as open to tax revenues as it is to entitlement reform, their bottom line is our bottom line, but notice that what they were looking for was more like what the Republicans were pushing for but could not get - entitlement reform?
Quote:
S&P Chief Looks at Entitlement Reform to Resolve Debt Downgrade


Published August 07, 2011 | FoxNews.com

The United States is no longer considered among the safest financial risks in the world after Standard & Poors downgraded the U.S. credit rating, but the head of the team that made the change says entitlement reform would go a long way to restoring the country's status.

David Beers, global head of sovereign and international public finance ratings at S&P, told "Fox News Sunday" that governments and Congresses come and go, but spending on entitlements persistently drags U.S. debt further into the red.

"The key thing is, yes, entitlement reform is important because entitlements are the biggest component of spending, and the part of spending where the cost pressures are greatest," Beers said.

Beers said he faults both Congress and the Obama administration for "the difficulty of all sides in finding a consensus around fiscal policy choices," but any agreement must command the support from both political parties in order to be durable.

S&P lowered the U.S. outlook on Friday evening, saying that political gridlock has prevented the U.S. from reaching a plausible solution to getting its financial house in order. It remarked that the agreement last week to reduce the nation's debt by at least $2.1 trillion over the next 10 years "fell well short" of comprehensive reforms that some had advocated.

It added that it foresees the select congressional committee to be organized to find additional savings will likely avoid raising taxes or doing any significant entitlement reform.

"It appears that for now, new revenues have dropped down on the menu of policy options. In addition, the plan envisions only minor policy changes on Medicare and little change in other entitlements, the containment of which we and most other independent observers regard as key
to long-term fiscal sustainability," the announcement reads.

Though the announcement noted that S&P "takes no position on the mix of spending and revenue measures that Congress and the administration might conclude is appropriate for putting the U.S.'s finances on a sustainable footing," the credit ratings group suggested that tax hikes may be necessary to reduce the overall debt burden needed to improve the long-term outlook.

Beers drew no such conclusion on Sunday, though John Chambers, managing director of S&P, told ABC's "This Week" that President Obama's fiscal commission last year "had plenty of sensible recommendations" for reducing U.S. debt. Those recommendations, which included cutting spending and increasing revenues on a 3-1 ratio, were ignored.

"It was a pity that those really weren't followed through on," Chambers said.

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., chairman of the House Budget Committee, said he's not surprised by S&P's decision since even with the select committee's recommendations, the debt will continue to climb.

Ryan added that he's willing to discuss tax reforms in a way that would promote economic growth and job creation, including addressing "special interest-driven loopholes," but qualified any reforms by adding, "if you're just raising revenues to chase ever high spending, that's not good policy."

Ryan said ultimately the U.S. has to fix its entitlement system.

"The president just created two brand new health care entitlements, expanded Medicaid, a third, and then put this new rationing board in charge of Medicare," Ryan told "Fox News Sunday." "So they're unwilling to open up and restructure these entitlements, which according to S&P are the primary drivers of this debt."

Bill Miller of Legg Mason Capital Management, who appeared with Ryan, said the markets are looking to see a "reduction in uncertainty," which means both fundamental tax reform and changes to the entitlement structure.

"Discretionary spending doesn't matter at all in this thing except that it'll be a little bit of a drag on the economy. It's pro-growth policies and fundamental entitlement reform, especially on health care, that are the key things for to our long-term fiscal health and therefore the long-term confidence in the markets toward our country," Miller said.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/08 ... z1UNQsO4X3
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/08 ... downgrade/


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:10 am 
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QuoVadisAnima wrote:
I can't help but notice the irony that Jac3510 and TVV are both together in their deep anger with the Republicans


To be completely accurate, I am very angry with the Republicans' handling of the debt ceiling, pretty much always angry with the Democrats, and now, completely fed up with the majority of our incumbent elected officials in both parties. Basically, I'm at the point where, if a person can simply read this message, I'd vote for them to replace anyone in Washington.

Quote:
and TVV is furious that they didn't give in and accept less sooner so that the credit rating companies wouldn't know how deeply divided our country really is.


I'm furious that they didn't come up with a deal that eliminated enough in terms of net deficit reduction that the downgrade - and the needless drama - could have been avoided. It absolutely makes our current government look completely unmanagable - like a few notches less prone to productive problem solving than the boys in Lord of the Flies.

I think that they should have worked out a deal with the President - even if it meant that some changes were made to the tax code - NOT tax rate increases - to close the most eggregious of loopholes. From what I understood, that deal still would have featured about three trillion in spending cuts, which, despite my lack of background in economics, still sounds a lot better than one trillion in spending cuts. If there is some logic that somebody can explain to me about how the economy would be worse off if that deal had been taken - even with some "revenue increases" that don't affect the taxation rate - than it is now, with the more modest decrease and the credit rating downgrade - I would be very grateful if you could educate me about it. Right now, my perception is that a deal with the President would have been better than what we ended up with.

Here's my "blame" list:
1) Myself. My family. You and your family. Everyone in this country. One way or another, we all want or expect things from the government that exceed what we're willing or able to contribute. We all want the best military in the world, even if we aren't willing to trim other areas of expenditure so that we can have this without needing to borrow in order to get it. We want to receive Social Security payments that meet today's standards of living, even if it exceeds what we paid into it. We want highways to be built and maintained, even in the states in which there isn't enough of a population or tax base to pay for it. We want some form of unemployment benefits if we lose our jobs. We want farm subsidies. A lot of us haven't complained when our friendly local Congressman and Senators bring home some of that Washington monopoly money so that we can have more jobs in our local districts - even if it's not in the best interests of the whole country. For the most part, in one way or another, we are all part of the reason we're in this position, even if we disagree with irresponsible spending habits. But there are very few of us who haven't personally benefited from those irresponsible spending habits in one way or another.

2) Many of the House Republicans. Too many of them seemed to suggest that they were perfectly willing to allow for the country to default if their conditions were not met 100%. Several of them, including Rep. Bachman, seemed to scoff at the possibility of any real consequence to the debt limit not being extended by August 2nd. On top of that, there were multiple occasions in which they walked away from discussions - something that I'd expect maybe from emotionally worked-up NFL players being fed up with talk about an 18-game season but not from Congressmen who are talking about how to solve a problem with an impdending deadline and drastic consequences for not getting it done.

3) President Obama. First of all I'm pretty stumped that the same guy who mocked President Bush for doubling the debt in eight years managed to raise the debt by nearly 40% in two and a half years. Secondly, I'm baffled at why he didn't push for the debt limit to be raised back when the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress. Didn't they realize that they were running out of track? That was only eight months ago. It didn't take a genius to predict that the rate of spending would push us against the wall. Inexcusable.

4) President Bush. No matter how you spin it, one of the reasons that we owe $14.3 trillion dollars is because our 43rd President, whom I personally like and respect, doubled the national debt and turned a surplus into a deficit. Yes, I know we are and were at war. But, more significantly than any particular expenditure that we had, including the wars, was the idea that several people in the administration reportedly articulated at times, that "deficits don't matter."

5) Democrats. Many of them genuinely don't seem to understand the concept that you can't spend more than you earn and that the government isn't God, with a divine mandate to supply all things to all people at all times. They don't understand that you can't tax people literally to the point of indentured servitude and expect them to remain in that state perpetually. They seem to generally not understand why you can't provide everything to everybody forever.

6) Voters. We are so locked into our partisan blinders on that many times, it seems that we can't accept the fact that our side can be wrong, that the other side can occasionally be right or that, most times, both sides are at least somewhat wrong. As a result, we sort of tend to promote members of "our team" to a saintly status, knighting them and cheering them on as they face the demonic and diabolical tactics of the other side, who exist only to oppose all that is good and noble. Whenever there is a situation that occurs in which everybody is wrong and everybody fails, somehow we can only accept that the other side was wrong and that whatever wrong was committed by our side was only done in response to the horrible tricks and tactics that the other side promoted.

Because of our need to support people according to their brand ("I'm a free-market conservative, folks!" instead of what they do ("Yes, I did vote to support airline subsidies"), we have the thing that we call safe districts. Safe districts are a career politician's best friend. A politician knows that all they need to do is to avoid making waves in their own party - something that could prompt a party primary challenge - and don't shake things up too much and they're able to stay around doing pretty much whatever they want. Which is a big part of why we have a Congress full of people on both sides who have no incentive to work together to find solutions to big problems.

Quote:
We're not exonerating the GOP, it just seems like it because we are defending them against what some of us felt were unreasonable criticisms of them in this mess. This was a lose-lose situation for them and they took the most prudent option that was available.


I don't think anyone involved in the matter can be defended. As I suggest above, this was a total failure in every way. A failure to lead. A failure to compromise. I see no way to exonorate anyone involved in this at all. Everyone is to blame.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 2:55 am 
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I will have to try to agree to disagree (you know how difficult that is for me! :wink: ) But I just do not, cannot, share your optimism that Obama was going to honor the first deal that was on the table with Boehner, that the end result would have been sufficient for S&P if only Boehner had stuck it out & kept wrangling with President Jello (as in, "dealing with him is like trying to nail jello to the wall" -- frankly, I do not even believe there would have been an end result), or that the GOP could somehow have gotten more from the Democrats than they did.

I do agree with you that we all have some share in the mess that we are in, but I think we will end up parting ways again when it comes to how much blame should be assigned to each group. In fact, though I also speak in generalities when it comes to political parties because it is so conversationally convenient, I am not inclined to assign blame as a group -- except for Democrats, & even then, my brain makes a mental nod to the very few who do not march in lockstep with the Pelosians and the Reidites.

It's hard to tell where things will go from here. There are those who say that it won't make a significant difference. We'll see in Monday's markets. In an interview by Cavuto with the ever pugnacious & belligerently rude Barney Frank prior to the downgrade, Frank implied that S&P had pretty much become irrelevant (which I have to wonder if that ticked off the S&P guys).

My prayer is that now that the public has some awareness of the problem (albeit badly skewed) the Spendocrats will now be forced to deal with the problem with something a little more intelligent & a lot less partisan (though with all the "terrorist" rhetoric they have been throwing at their opponents, it's clearly going to take the hand of God)

Quote:
U.S. Credit Rating Downgrade Could Last Years


Published August 07, 2011 | FoxNews.com

The United States lost its top-notch credit status after Standard and Poor's lowered it from AAA to AA+, but the U.S. could get it back, though perhaps not in the short-run.

Even after Friday's downgrade, the ratings agency's outlook for U.S. credit-worthiness is negative, and the U.S. has a one in three chance of losing another notch on the ranking scale.

"That means that we think the risks currently or the rating are to the downside," David Beers, global head of S&P's government debt rating unit, told "Fox News Sunday."

The S&P will monitor the U.S. for about six to 24 months to see whether its fiscal position deteriorates further or if political gridlock gets worse. John Chambers, the group's managing director, said Sunday it would take stabilization of the debt as a share of the economy to determine the direction of S&P's rating, and it's no easy task to get it to rise.

"If history is a guide, it could take a while. We've had five governments that lost their AAA that got it back. The amount of time that it took for those five range from nine years to 18 years," he told ABC's "This Week."

Chambers said the group uses a set of criteria built on five pillars: politics, the actual economy, fiscal and monetary policy and externalities. He said the same pillars apply to all 126 governments the group rates.

"I think as time passes, people will come to see that the United States' credit standing is really not quite the same level as -- as the ones that we rate AAA," he said.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/08 ... ast-years/


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:37 am 
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QVA and Mis, all that you both wrote sounds nice and pretty and will make Republicans feel better while they watch the economy crash. Here's what you are missing:

Elections have consequences.

Whether you like it or not, Americans elected Barack Obama president in 2008. Yes, he shoulders most of the blame, because HIS policies accelerated the crisis. But the situation is what the situation is, and that as a legitimate result of the American democratic process. Given where we are now, the fact is that there are some things you don't play politics with. War is one of them, for instance. The welfare of our soldiers is another. These are things that anyone who tries to politicize should be immediately removed from office.

Our credit rating is another, because it underpins the basic viability of our entire economy. We can debate Friedman vs. Keynes, but that debate only means anything if we have an economy in which to debate it. As I write this, the stock market is down over points this morning (again, not hard to predict). The FACT is that Republicans signed a deal that they knew would throw away our credit rating, and for what?

A talking point? Purism to Grover?

Sorry, but shy of MAYBE me voting for a Republican for President (depending on who is nominated), I won't vote for a single R or D come November of '12. They've destroyed our economy. I simply can't fathom how any of you could continue to take them seriously and give them any credit whatsoever. They're just a bunch of power-hungry politicians who don't give a **** about the future my 22 month old daughter will have.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:19 am 
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The wrath of man does not accomplish the purpose of God. (Vertical Politics 101 and the Bible)

We live in an imperfect world. It takes time to change things that have been years in the making. Prayer. Patience. Peace. Effort that does not say "die."

I do not believe we can say that anyone who had a real plan, explained it, and tried to urge an entrenched, power-hungry body (those who have been there too long) to listen to common sense must ever be placed in the same category with those who had no plan and did not care about the American people, only their careers.

Not naming names, necessarily. :wink: God knows the hearts and the back-room deals. We don't.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:11 pm 
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Quote:
The FACT is that Republicans signed a deal that they knew would throw away our credit rating, and for what?

Because it was the best that they could get.

You keep talking about what you wish they could have done, but you have yet to state what it is that they could have done recognizing the current DC situation as it actually is rather than how we wish it was.

What is it you believe that the GOP could have done to dig either Obama or the Democratic Senate majority out of their trenches?


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:47 pm 
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QuoVadisAnima wrote:
Quote:
The FACT is that Republicans signed a deal that they knew would throw away our credit rating, and for what?

Because it was the best that they could get.

You keep talking about what you wish they could have done, but you have yet to state what it is that they could have done recognizing the current DC situation as it actually is rather than how we wish it was.

What is it you believe that the GOP could have done to dig either Obama or the Democratic Senate majority out of their trenches?


They could have accepted a deal with the President that would have cut the deficit by four trillion dollars with a mixture of 2.8 trillion in spending cuts and 1.2 trillion in taxes that would not have increased the tax rate. That would not have hurt the economy nearly as much as the Washington Temper Tantrum.

They could have resisted the urge to walk away from multiple negotiations, acts that, in themselves, helped make our government look extremely immature. Especially when you combine this drama with the near-shutdown in the spring (which, even though it didn't happen, has a devastating impact on small businesses in my area, where the local economy feeds heavily on both the federal government and government contractors. When there is uncertainty and drama in DC, no one wants to spend money).

They should not have repeatedly communicated a willingness to see the country go into default or expressed skepticism that anything bad would happen if no deal was reached or if negotiations dragged on and on.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:36 pm 
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Quote:
They could have accepted a deal with the President that would have cut the deficit by four trillion dollars with a mixture of 2.8 trillion in spending cuts and 1.2 trillion in taxes that would not have increased the tax rate. That would not have hurt the economy nearly as much as the Washington Temper Tantrum.


How can 1.2 trillion taxes not have increased the tax rate? Why should we trust government to ever lower taxes? Increasing taxes, as you know, would have really upset those voters who sent the Republicans to Congress on their promise not to raise taxes.

Whether they are income taxes or other taxes, this would not help anything. There are not enough wealthy (or whoever the Democrats and the President wanted to skim more revenue from) to even make a dent. I do approve of closing loopholes. The Fair Tax would bring in a much more equitable and honest taxation. Now, nearly 50% pay zero income taxes! With the Fair Tax, the approximately $13 trillion tax-sheltered dollars hid offshore would come home to the economy.

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