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I agree with Judge Posner and would recommend that the President and every Democrat on Capitol Hill adopt his argument forthwith. I do not agree with Terry Bennett on how statutory construction should work in this matter. While statutes should be construed to minimize conflict, a later passed statute controls over an earlier one if there is a conflict. Thus, budget bills or continuing resolutions passed since the last debt ceiling bill should control, even if there is a conflict. If I were the president, that is what I would tell the GOP and dare them to shut the government down or challenge me in court.
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On behalf of liberals and progressives, I am glad to welcome Judge Posner to our group.
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Short, sweet and right on point. ACA is constitutional under the taxing power. The only other thing to add is that the entire discussion of the commerce clause is dicta, that is, unnecessary to the decision. Therefore, it lacks the weight of precedent for future cases.
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Why call Ryan's plan "courageous," when it is not workable and based on unsound assumptions? Really, Posner agrees more with Krugman on the specifics, but is perhaps too kind to call it what it is: dumb. I don't agree that defense spending cannot be reduced because of "instability abroad," especially when a lot of that is caused by our own foolish adventurism. It is disheartening that the most recent budget deal included gigantic increases in defense spending. Defense spending can and should be drastically reduced. (But that is unlikely given the amount of money influential people make off it.)
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In the absence of unions most employers and governments will pay employees as little as they can. That may be "efficient," but were sweatshops just? We could also get rid of child labor laws and laws that require a safe workplace. That, too, would be "efficient," but would it be just? Now it's true underfunded pension plans were and are a problem. But who underfunded the plans? Was it the unions or the corporations and governments? Let's not excuse those who ignored their responsibility.
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Applying the notion of solvency to the federal government, as if it were some giant corporation, is really is what philosophers would call a category mistake. The federal government is not a corporation and has no significant assets in any meaningful sense which can be balanced against its liabilities to make an assessment of solvency or determine whether or not it is "broke." Such talk is economic nonsense and political babble masquerading as science. Does this mean there is no need to worry about the obligations the federal government has? Of course, not. But the incredibly low interest rates on treasuries tells me the time to worry is not now. Get back to me when interest rates start climbing.
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Rcfwilmette is now following The Typepad Team
Aug 29, 2010