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George H. Blackford
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I guess I should also add that I find this way dampening hypocritical, and a very large portion of the electorate agree with me on this. We can agree to disagree on this if you wan to, but the fact is that the Democrats have been doing something wrong for the past forty years, and the question is: What can be done to fix that?
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The exact wording in the Democratic Party platform ( http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=29610 ) in 1992 was: “We must also tackle spending, by putting everything on the table; eliminate nonproductive programs; achieve defense savings; reform entitlement programs to control soaring health care costs; cut federal administrative costs by 3 percent annually for four years; limit increases in the "present budget" to the rate of growth in the average American's paycheck; apply a strict "pay as you go" rule to new non-investment spending.” and “In the last decade, mounting payroll and other taxes have fallen disproportionately on the middle class. We will relieve the tax burden on middle class Americans by forcing the rich to pay their fair share. We will provide long-overdue tax relief to families with children.” This is a long way from explaining what the actual, real-world choices are with regard to the federal budget to the American people—namely, 1) cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Defense, and many other government programs that people do not want to cut, 2) blowup the deficit and national debt, or 3) increase taxes—and then arguing that if we are to avoid 1) and 2) we must do 3) ( http://rweconomics.com/Deficit.htm ) and the first quote above legitimized the absurd idea put forth by the Republicans back then that they could balance the federal budget by eliminating government waste. ( http://rweconomics.com/Waste.html ) But what’s important here is not what Democrats said in their platform. Hardly anyone knows anything about the platform. Nor is it important or whether the Democrats were actually hypocritical or not in this regard. What’s important is the impression their campaign left in the minds of voters through ads like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnUv7y4U2T0 To argue that Democrats were not at fault in the disaster that followed the 1992 election is to ignore the lesson of Jonathan Gray’s epitaph: Here lies the body of Jonathan Gray Who died maintaining the right of way He was oh so right as he sped along But he's just as dead as if he were wrong.
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I try my best to walk that fine line between Proverbs 26:4 and 5 and can only hope that the onlookers will be able to tell the difference.
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“Obama called for tax hikes repeatedly, citing Reagan hiking taxes repeatedly.” I do not remember any call for increasing taxes by Obama during the 2008 campaign. Can you give me a link in support of this? “Obama hiked taxes. Democrats suffered a loss bigger than Clinton's tax hike because of the Obama tax hike he got 57 Democrats plus a Republican and two independents to support.” I’m not sure what you mean by “bigger” here. Both Clinton and Obama lost the Congress, but my point is that, as best I can remember, Obama (and Clinton) did not campaign on the need to raise taxes to pay for the government programs people want before he hiked taxes. “Al Gore lost in 2000 because he called for tax hikes.” Again, I do not remember Gore calling for tax increases during the 2000 campaign. Can you give me a link in support of this? “Why do you think Democrats would win by campaigning on big tax hikes?” I don’t think Democrats would win by campaigning on big tax hikes. What I believe Democrats should do is explain what the actual, real-world choices are with regard to the federal budget to the American people—namely, 1) cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Defense, and many other government programs that people do not want to cut, 2) blowup the deficit and national debt, or 3) increase taxes—and then argue that if we are to avoid 1) and 2) we must do 3). If Democrats were to campaign in this way they may or may not win the next election, but at least they would be telling the truth, and when the Republicans won and were forced to deal with this problem via 1) or 2) it would be clear to the electorate which party is dishonest and hypocritical. What is clear to the electorate today is that both parties are dishonest and hypocritical in this regard. That’s why we ended up with Trump. I have explained in detail why 1), 2), and 3) are the actual, real-world choices that are available with regard to the federal budget and why I believe the Democrats should campaign in this way here: http://rweconomics.com/Deficit.htm I have nothing to add to your other comments which are more or less right on.
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I don't know what your point is here, but I would note that I was not very pleased with Sanders arguing that he would pay for healthcare or college (I'm not sure which) with a financial transactions tax, a tax that is designed to minimize financial transactions rather than raise revenue.
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I may not be a political scientist, but I was around in 1994 and I remember quite well how the Republicans used the Democratic tax increases against the Democrats in the congressional elections in 1994 after the Democrats had campaigned against Bush's tax increases in 1992.
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It totally ignores a lot of other facts, but it highlights the fact that I want to make, namely, that Democrats can't campaign in a way that legitimizes right-wing policies and then govern responsibly when they get into office without disillusioning the electorate with dire consequences.
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Re: "No one else is arguing for higher taxes to increase government services?" You are quite right about this, but you are also quite wrong about my being clueless. The people who are clueless about this are those who listen to the Democrats and Republicans debate these issues and refuse to look at the actual numbers in the federal budget to find the truth. I have spent a great deal of time looking at the history of the federal budget and have broken it down and explained it in detail in Understanding the Federal Budget here: http://rweconomics.com/ECONOMIC%20PAPERS.htm and have explained the problems we face in funding that budget on my homepage here: http://rweconomics.com/ and the consequences of progressive liberals failing to explain these problems here: http://rweconomics.com/Deficit.htm The simple fact is that the vast majority of the people want Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, national defense, veterans' benefits, public transportation (i.e., streets, roads, and highways), safe food and drugs, a clean environment, the rule of law, and countless other programs and services that only the government can provide ( http://governmentisgood.com/ ). These government programs and services have to be paid for, and the only way to pay for most of these government programs and services efficiently is by raising taxes. Now I would appreciate it if before you make a final judgement as to how clueless I may be you first look at the actual numbers in the federal budget that I have laid out on my homepage ( http://rweconomics.com/ ) and try to figure out how that budget can or should be cut or how it can be financed without raising taxes, and if you can't figure that out, ask yourself why you thought it would be possible to do so in the first place. I find it to be verging on criminality for progressives to argue in favor of these kinds of programs while pretending that these services and programs don't have to be paid for through higher taxes. This just plays into the hands of those who want to get rid of these programs by cutting taxes and then using the resulting deficits to justify cutting the funding to the programs people want: http://rweconomics.com/Deficit.htm
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But you are missing my point. My point is that "the end result of the way in which Clinton campaigned against Bush was the loss of Congress 1994 for the first time since the 1950s." How do you explain the loss of Congress in 1994?
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You seem to have difficulty grasping my point here. It's not about whether "a second term of Bush41 would have been a more progressive agenda." It's about the fact that the end result of the way in which Clinton campaigned against Bush was the loss of Congress 1994 for the first time since the 1950s. (I would note as an aside that I have no reason to believe that Bush41 with Democratic Congress would have been less progressive than Clinton turned out to be with a Republican Congress.) It seems quite clear to me that the government's ability to provide vital services has been devastated by underfunding over the past fifty years as the government’s contribution to GDP has gone from 24% of GDP in 1970 to 19% in 2007 and stood at 18% in 2016. As a result, the government’s inability to provide vital services is destroying our country, and if we are to survive the mess we are in today with our democratic institutions intact we must increase government services, regulations, and taxes. It also seems quite clear to me that this cannot be accomplished by criticizing conservative, antigovernment policies while refusing to face reality head on, speak truth to power, and explain the need to increase government services, regulations, and taxes to the electorate. Arguments that fail to explain this reality are not only hypocritical; they are self-defeating in that they implicitly legitimize conservative, antigovernment policies by failing to provide or justify an alternative. The end result of such arguments is disillusionment on the part of the electorate that leads to Democrats losing elections, and even if Democrats do win elections with this kind of argument they can't govern responsibly and get reelected which leads to the loss of Congress and to the likes of Trump: http://rweconomics.com/Deficit.htm http://rweconomics.com/IVR.htm http://rweconomics.com/LTLGAD.htm http://governmentisgood.com/
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Sorry about that. It's just a force of habit. I originally posted the comment on the NYT where you are limited to 1500 characters and are forced to abbreviate whenever possible. I don't mean to offend, but I think you may be being a bit harsh here. I don't think anyone takes offence at references to FDR or TR when referring to the Roosevelt's or that any disrespect is implied by references to HW and W when referring to the Bushes. Now a reference to "Dubya" may be another matter, God rest her soul.
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I don't think I am defending or not defending HW by pointing out that "Clinton campaigned against HW's tax increase in 92." My point is that Clinton devastated HW with this ad: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnUv7y4U2T0 in 1992 by pointing out HW's hierocracy on taxes. Clinton then did an about face as soon as he got into office and increased taxes followed by the Republicans taking over Congress in 1994 for the first time since the 1950s. It seems quite clear to me that the government's ability to provide vital services has been devastated by underfunding over the past forty years to the point that the inability of the government to functions is destroying the country, and if we are to survive the mess we are in today with our democratic institutions intact we have to increase both government services and taxes. It also seems quit clear to me that this cannot be accomplished if people who call themselves progressive liberals are hypocritical about this need and argue in a way that implicitly legitimizes rightwing, antigovernment policies rather than face reality head on, speak truth to power, and explain the need to increase government services and taxes to the electorate: http://rweconomics.com/blame.htm http://rweconomics.com/Deficit.htm http://rweconomics.com/IVR.htm http://governmentisgood.com/
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When are Democrats going face the fact that the only way to fix the problems people are concerned about is by increasing government regulations, taxes, and expenditures? Putting forth arguments that criticize Republicans that do not make this point implicitly legitimizes the Republicans’ policies, and lead to disaster. Clinton campaigned against HW's tax increase in 92. It was a great election strategy, but when he increased taxes after being elected the hypocrisy was palpable, and he lost the Congress for the first time since the 1950s. The same thing happened in 06 and 08. When Democrats campaign in a way that legitimizes rightwing, antigovernment policies, they may get elected, but they can't govern in a responsible way and get reelected, and the result is hypocrisy and chaos that leads to disillusionment on the part of the electorate and to Trump. The electorate may be ill-informed, but the reason it is ill-informed is that Democrats waste their time name calling rather than explaining the alternative and arguing that we need the government the conservatives are trying to destroy (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public education, etc. http://www.rweconomics.com/IVR.htm and http://governmentisgood.com/ ). Democrats are just as hypocritical as Republicans when they call Republicans names and refuse to face the fact that these services have to be paid for with higher taxes: http://rweconomics.com/Deficit.htm
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My answer to your question in your initial post ("can you point me to the tax cuts and tax increases that have been made by Democrats that seems to be the basis of your pr?") is the same as my initial answer: "Clinton campaigned against H W Bush's taxes increases. It was a great election strategy. Clinton won, and then when he increased taxes after being elected the hypocrisy was palpable, and he lost the Congress for the first time since the 1950s. The same kind of thing happened in 2006 and 2008. "When the Democrats campaign in a way that legitimizes rightwing, antigovernment policies, they may get elected, but they can't govern in a responsible way and get reelected. "The result is hypocrisy and chaos that leads to disillusionment on the part of the electorate and to Trump. "The electorate may be ill-informed, but the reason they are ill-informed is that progressive liberals waste their time arguing about how Republican tax cuts won't do what the Republicans say they will do rather than arguing that we need the government services the Republicans are trying to take away (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public education, etc. http://www.rweconomics.com/IVR.htm ), and that those services have to be paid for with higher taxes. "You really should do some homework before you jump into the middle of this sort of thing, Michael. What is it that you don't understand about: http://www.rweconomics.com/Deficit.htm I've explained this all there." My response to your insinuation that there is something inappropriate about my having links to my website in this response is the same as my last response to your weird obsession with my doing this: "As for "how it works", as far as I know, this is Mark Thoma's website, not yours, and I have no reason to believe he has put you in charge of setting the rules. It seems to me that if you have a problem with my linking to articles on my website you should take this up with Mark rather than waste your time whining about it to me. If you were to do that, perhaps you could talk him into blocking one of us."
Toggle Commented Nov 24, 2017 on Links for 11-21-17 at Economist's View
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Again, the question is: "How does your name-calling, snide remarks, and complaining about my linking to articles on my website in which I have tried to explain things in detail contribute to the conversation? What is the point of your doing these kinds of things?" My point is that ad hominem arguments that attack the messenger and ignore the message only appeal to ignorant people and are a waste of everyone's time. If you are not an agent provocateur trying to create dissention, what end do you sever by making such arguments? If you have, in fact, been to my website, why do you refuse to address the information you find there rather than respond by making snide, ad hominem remarks about my linking to those articles? As for "how it works", as far as I know, this is Mark Thoma's website, not yours, and I have no reason to believe he has put you in charge of setting the rules. It seems to me that if you have a problem with my linking to articles on my website you should take this up with Mark rather than waste your time whining about it to me. If you were to do that, perhaps you could talk him into blocking one of us.
Toggle Commented Nov 23, 2017 on Links for 11-21-17 at Economist's View
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The question is: "How does your name-calling, snide remarks, and complaining about my linking to articles on my website in which I have tried to explain things in detail contribute to the conversation? What is the point of your doing these kinds of things?" My point is that ad hominem arguments that attack the messenger and ignore the message only appeal to ignorant people and are a waste of everyone's time. What end do you sever by making such arguments? I have put a great deal of effort into substantiating my 'claims' in the articles on my website, and if you, or anyone else, do not care to read them, that's fine with me, but it is a bit much for you to make snide remarks and call me names because I link to those articles so that you can understand where I am coming from if you wish to. It's also a bit much for you to try to argue with me if you are willfully ignorant of the content of those articles.
Toggle Commented Nov 22, 2017 on Links for 11-21-17 at Economist's View
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How does your name-calling, snide remarks, and complaining about my linking to articles on my website in which I have tried to explain things in detail contribute to the conversation? What is the point of your doing these kinds of things?
Toggle Commented Nov 22, 2017 on Links for 11-21-17 at Economist's View
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Why do you bother to ask me questions if you are not willing to read what I have written on the subjects you ask about? If you are not willing to do your homework so that you can know what I am talking about I would suggest that you take your own advice and go run for office somewhere and stop bothering me. You do not make a positive contribution to the conversation with your snide remarks and name-calling, and you come across as little more than an agent provocateur, planted by the Republican (dare I say Russians) to create dissention.
Toggle Commented Nov 22, 2017 on Links for 11-21-17 at Economist's View
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This makes me wonder how old you were in 1992. It seems to me that anyone who was of age in 1992 would remember this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnUv7y4U2T0
Toggle Commented Nov 22, 2017 on Links for 11-21-17 at Economist's View
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With regard to Obama signing a massive tax hike seem my reply to EMichael below.
Toggle Commented Nov 22, 2017 on Links for 11-21-17 at Economist's View
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As for your "support the GOP in cutting rates and broadening the base," I don't see the problem as being as simple as that: http://www.rweconomics.com/LTLGAD.htm
Toggle Commented Nov 22, 2017 on Links for 11-21-17 at Economist's View
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You are absolutely right about Bernie. While he argued for the right kinds of policies, his arguing that his policies could be paid for with a financial transactions tax didn't make any sense, and no one believed him.
Toggle Commented Nov 22, 2017 on Links for 11-21-17 at Economist's View
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That is the point, Michael. Clinton campaigned against H W Bush's taxes increases. It was a great election strategy. Clinton won, and then when he increased taxes after being elected the hypocrisy was palpable, and he lost the Congress for the first time since the 1950s. The same kind of thing happened in 2006 and 2008. When the Democrats campaign in a way that legitimizes rightwing, antigovernment policies, they may get elected, but they can't govern in a responsible way and get reelected. The result is hypocrisy and chaos that leads to disillusionment on the part of the electorate and to Trump. The electorate may be ill-informed, but the reason they are ill-informed is that progressive liberals waste their time arguing about how Republican tax cuts won't do what the Republicans say they will do rather than arguing that we need the government services the Republicans are trying to take away (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public education, etc. http://www.rweconomics.com/IVR.htm ), and that those services have to be paid for with higher taxes. You really should do some homework before you jump into the middle of this sort of thing, Michael. What is it that you don't understand about: http://www.rweconomics.com/Deficit.htm I've explained this all there.
Toggle Commented Nov 22, 2017 on Links for 11-21-17 at Economist's View
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This is the kind of thing I worry about in trying to deal with the problems we face today: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-11/wsu-rcr110917.php It seems to me that the Democrats have been clueless since the 1970s and were especially clueless when they regained power in 2006 and 8 and failed to rise to the occasion: http://rweconomics.com/blame.htm
Toggle Commented Nov 22, 2017 on Links for 11-21-17 at Economist's View
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The problem is, there is never a good time to speak truth to power, but in not speaking out the Democrats become complicit in the debacle that results. The electorate understands this implicitly, even if the Democrats do not, and as the Democrats waste their time and energy trying to blame the Republicans for the debacle the result is Trump.
Toggle Commented Nov 22, 2017 on Links for 11-21-17 at Economist's View
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