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Uncle Owen: "Well, he better have those units in the south range repaired by midday or there'll be hell to pay." But then Owen didn't even survive to midday. These silly humans have such difficulty keeping their minds on the task at hand, the one that is theirs to control now. It wasn't that Owen Skywalker's vision of the future was completely wrong. The problem was that there were a lot of other things going on he couldn't know and even among those things he could know, he wasn't exploring all possibilities, just the one that came to him spontaneously. My experience is that real people are like this, too, like von in this piece and the one before. Sure, the federal budget deficit at some point in time and at some size will have more negative consequences that positive ones. What are those quantities? What are the line by line expected consequences of any possible items of decreased spending and/or increased revenue, not some broad categories with artificial labels, but actual budget items? If you're just going to shoot from the hip in your blog about that, what's the point? Yesterday you responded to a question of how you would manage this differently with non-quantitative answers about making the stimulus shorter and means testing Social Security. I heard plenty of arguments 4 months ago about the stimulus needing to be bigger. Why should I believe you instead? Means testing Social Security sounds good to me, since it doesn't cost me anything. My 87 year-old mother would jump on you with both feet, though, especially in the likely case that you are more affluent than she is. Do you know what happened to Dan Rostenkowski at the fists of the elderly? Good luck telling her you don't mean her means would be tested, especially since you haven't looked at this enough to be quantitative. It is both political and economic consequences that have to be explored. If you want to discuss an important economic topic like federal spending, you can either do it in a non-partisan, academic, detached, analytical way - regarding both the numbers and the politics of whose ox gets gored and who pays for it - or you can be a political hack, if not for one's party, than a hack for one's preferred position on an issue. I don't see anything in between. As soon as you start saying "Obama's" crisis or deficit instead of "the" crisis or deficit, you've crossed the line into being a partisan hack, whose words are not to be trusted, especially for me since you don't seem to know all the aspects of this problem I've looked at in the last 30 years, things like this miraculous transformation I've witnessed where Democrats now offer middle-class tax cuts instead of being the tax and spend Democrats that Republicans still try to attack, but not as effectively as they once did. Who do you blame for that, oh great judge of blame? Warning Obama, are you? I bet it's not that simple. Your motives don't seem so pure to me, and your analysis definitely leaves a lot out. Plus I bet Obama already knows everything you've written here, maybe not the title.
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