# US Government Shut Down - new elections for senate and house of rep.?

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This gets me back to the mice. The mice really had to be put down? mice? No one volunteered to feed them. How hard could that be? No one said screw you I'm not going to do it? No one turned the tables and barricaded themselves in the lab. A little media attention would have put a stop to killing the mice. That seems to be the key to untangling the governments "let's make this as bad as it can be attitude."

You can't volunteer your time (which is a probably a corollary to you can't be forced to volunteer your time). That was made quite clear to federal employees at the outset of this mess. (It was made clear during the sequester furloughs and the previous time the GOP threatened a shutdown, as well.)

31 U.S.C. 1342

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#### Popular Days

Looks like there will probably be a short term band-aid. I hope the dems don't cave and just agree to only talk about cuts. Everything needs to be on the table. They should come with extra tax brackets and eliminate the arcane rules that allow the wealthy to avoid taxes and complicate the system. Surcharge on the wealthy, especially any monies in offshore accounts. Give the crazies something to really whine about, you know some reality show drama. They think compromise means getting 99% so, need to start out over the top.

We have been living beyond our means, but guess who has the means to pay it back? Yes, the wealthy. Getting towards a balanced budget is one thing, but the long term debt started with Reagan and accelerated by Bush needs to be payed back as well. When Bush gave the surplus back(crumbs to most, shitloads to wealthy) should have gone towards paying the debt down. Of course that pales in comparison to his proceeding to be the worst President of all time.

So soak the rich and cut some fat. And then I can come on here everyday and say, "no effect on me"

Edited by john5746
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We have been living beyond our means, but guess who has the means to pay it back? Yes, the wealthy. Getting towards a balanced budget is one thing, but the long term debt started with Reagan and accelerated by Bush needs to be payed back as well. When Bush gave the surplus back(crumbs to most, shitloads to wealthy) should have gone towards paying the debt down.

Wish you guys would quit playing the game. Bush only had a surplus because Clinton stripped Social Security while he was in office. Man you ideologues are atrocious. I am glad I am not part of this circle jerk party. And as usual, if the gov hits default. The poor and elderly will suffer.

Love watching a follower!

In the democrat party there are only two types of democrats. Those who are arrogant, claim they are super intelligent(At least they think they are). Think they know whats best for everyone. Then you have the low information poor. Who follow them to no ends. The controllers(1-3%of democrats) then the 97% who are the low information poor(slaves).

Do not like being called out for what you are? Then quit trying to play rhetorical bullshit. But alas, you cant! That self-serviant narcissistic view wont let you!

Also, today's headlines! Obama's national debt rate to double http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/oct/9/obamas-national-debt-rate-on-track-to-double/

What has taken four presidents to do over multiple terms since the 80ies. Obama is doing just in his presidency! And we wonder why Obama's approval rating is just 1 point away from Bush's all time low!

Edited by jduff
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Wish you guys would quit playing the game. Bush only had a surplus because Clinton stripped Social Security while he was in office. Man you ideologues are atrocious. I am glad I am not part of this circle jerk party.

But even if we remove Social Security from the equation, there was a surplus of $1.9 billion in fiscal 1999 and$86.4 billion in fiscal 2000. So any way you count it, the federal budget was balanced and the deficit was erased, if only for a while.

In the democrat party there are only two types of democrats. Those who are arrogant, claim they are super intelligent(At least they think they are). Think they know whats best for everyone. Then you have the low information poor. Who follow them to no ends. The controllers(1-3%of democrats) then the 97% who are the low information poor(slaves).

Do not like being called out for what you are? Then quit trying to play rhetorical bullshit. But alas, you cant! That self-serviant narcissistic view wont let you!

Unlike you, I know there are many types of Republicans, most of whom don't take such an extremist, radical and non-conservative approach to the political process. They don't mask their strong-arm tactics with hypocritical claims of "negotiations" and they don't paint anyone who doesn't agree with the wide brush you're flailing around with.

I'd like to talk to the other types of Republicans, the ones who want us to be strong again, to be smart again, to care about what happens to the country as a whole again and not just what the corporations want us to care about. I'd like to talk to the ones who aren't afraid of Americans with health insurance, who aren't afraid of homosexuals or atheists or minorities. You're the ones who have to live with the crazies in your party. The Democrats craziest, most left-wing screwball politician is in Arizona with John McCain. His most radical idea was to ask Switzerland to monitor our presidential elections for voting improprieties. The Republican's most radical right-wingers have shut the whole government down. Which party's extremists are causing the most trouble? Please, for the sake of your party, let them know you tried it their way and it didn't work, time to move on.

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Wish you guys would quit playing the game. Bush only had a surplus because Clinton stripped Social Security while he was in office. Man you ideologues are atrocious. I am glad I am not part of this circle jerk party. And as usual, if the gov hits default. The poor and elderly will suffer.

??? Regardless how, Bush had a surplus - did he pay down the debt that a few morons now want to destroy the economy over? No. Can't spin that.

I don't want the government to go anywhere near default. I don't want it to shutdown either. I don't want any President to be held hostage by Congress, even during the Iraq crap, I wouldn't want that. If Bush had decided to invade England, then maybe shutdown and default would be in order. Maybe

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??? Regardless how, Bush had a surplus - did he pay down the debt that a few morons now want to destroy the economy over? No. Can't spin that.

I don't want the government to go anywhere near default. I don't want it to shutdown either. I don't want any President to be held hostage by Congress, even during the Iraq crap, I wouldn't want that. If Bush had decided to invade England, then maybe shutdown and default would be in order. Maybe

Well John he did squander it away with a war followed by another, in part due to 9/11(Regardless if it was our govs doing or actually legit). As well as making sure the petrodollar stayed the dominant currency worldwide. Iraq in 2000 wanted to use the euro instead of the dollar. Shortly after the U.S invaded Iraq under the guise of WMD's. Cant let the Fed have a weakened currency. As well as the IMF change its primary currency. Now we have a social security benefit that is unfunded. As to the debt. I added this link http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/oct/9/obamas-national-debt-rate-on-track-to-double/ to the above post. Hope you read it!

Also to note. There is a war, and the parties democrat and republican are just tools to a much bigger outcome. By the way, the divisive nature that is among the U.S has not been as bad as it is now since the civil war. That should give you something to seriously think about!

The blame game is just that. There is only two outcomes. We get one or the other. And each are just as bad as the other. No escaping and no blame. We have at most 2 years.

Be sure to thank Woodrow Wilson! As if it was not for him. None of this would even be talked about!

Edited by jduff
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- - Bush only had a surplus because Clinton stripped Social Security while he was in office - - -

- - - -

- - - What has taken four presidents to do over multiple terms since the 80ies. Obama is doing just in his presidency!

When a two minute search on Google is enough to clearly debunk a poster's assertions, and everybody knows they are false as soon as they read them anyway (because they are familiar Foxclaims), one has to wonder at the willingness of the rightwing posters around here to appear so gullible and ignorant.

Social Security was never "stripped" or "looted" or anything of the kind by anyone. That's not how its funding works. Is it too much to ask of the righties that they look up at least the basics on things they complain about all the time?

Obama's first budget was passed in 2009 (badly damaged by Republican coddling of the wealthy), and took effect in 2010. Here's a chart of the numbers since then: http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/federal_debt_chart.html You can also click around and get the numbers for previous years. As you can see, the biggest increases were under Reagan and W.

And that is hardly the half of it: Even if you assign to Obama the deficit spending of two land wars in Asia he did not start, the various boondoggles like Medicare Plan D that he inherited from the least competent Congress to walk the halls, and the tax cuts for the wealthy he did not pass, you still face the fact that the recent big increases in the running deficit touched off during W's administration have been moderated under Obama's (that's a serious criticism of Obama, btw: he never even proposed an adequate stimulus for the size of the depression the previous administration had set in motion We should have borrowed like it was WWII).

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When a two minute search on Google is enough to clearly debunk a poster's assertions, and everybody knows they are false as soon as they read them anyway (because they are familiar Foxclaims), one has to wonder at the willingness of the rightwing posters around here to appear so gullible and ignorant.

Social Security was never "stripped" or "looted" or anything of the kind by anyone. That's not how its funding works. Is it too much to ask of the righties that they look up at least the basics on things they complain about all the time?

Obama's first budget was passed in 2009 (badly damaged by Republican coddling of the wealthy), and took effect in 2010. Here's a chart of the numbers since then: http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/federal_debt_chart.html You can also click around and get the numbers for previous years. As you can see, the biggest increases were under Reagan and W.

And that is hardly the half of it: Even if you assign to Obama the deficit spending of two land wars in Asia he did not start, the various boondoggles like Medicare Plan D that he inherited from the least competent Congress to walk the halls, and the tax cuts for the wealthy he did not pass, you still face the fact that the recent big increases in the running deficit touched off during W's administration have been moderated under Obama's (that's a serious criticism of Obama, btw: he never even proposed an adequate stimulus for the size of the depression the previous administration had set in motion We should have borrowed like it was WWII).

I really like how you use observable, reality-based evidence to support your stance. Just the facts, accurately checked, devoid of attempts to guess at motivation or conspiracy. Very rational. It's clear you're not just parroting some ridiculously charismignorant pundit who condenses complex issues down to mini-byte arguments.

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On the doG, swansonT chart.

I count 2trillion in increases when the congress is republican.

I count 4 trillion when the congress is split.

I count 6 trillion when the congress is democrat.

Regardless of the president, the congress makes the appropriations and is the body responsible for hammering out the budget.

The best budgetary time was under Clinton when the congress was split or republican.

The worst is under Obama, when the congress is democrat or split.

The chart also does not show the last several years, when either the democrats were in control of the house, or it was split, but was also under Obama as president. During his Presidency our debt has gone from around 12 to well over 16 billion. Showing a few more bars on the chart, bringing things up to date would describe the parabolic, scary nature of the increase in spending.

Sumarizing the chart as it is, not in terms of president, but in terms of controll of congress.

The Republicans increase the debt by about a quarter billion a year.

Split congress raises the debt by about .4 billion a year.

Democrats raise at about .5 a year.

Adding the last two and half years to the chart, would raise this number for the democrats and possibly the split.

So barring any study of the crisis of the year that the country faced, invasion of Kuwait, war on Iraq, 9/11 or the subprime crisis, it looks best to have a democratic president and a republican controlled congress, when it comes to fiscal responsibility.

It also looks to me like teaming up the president, with a democratically controlled congress results in runaway spending.

iNow,

I am not a NOW NOW OMG OMG type of guy. You must have me confused with someone else.

Although I do see patterns and directions and look for the sense and reality of a situation.

When things get out of control, you need to look for ways to reign them back in. If not now, when?

is my question. I understand and watch the Fed too. What they are doing is "working" to the point that if they stopped doing it, now, it would cause problems. I am just pointing out, that we do not want this to be a permanent situation, and they thought the first QE would get us roaring in 6 months, as they did on the second, and the third. We don't actually know if this strategy will work, because its never been tried before, and it has not worked yet.

Regards, TAR2

Sorry I had billion in there were I meant trillion.

Edited by tar
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When things get out of control, you need to look for ways to reign them back in. If not now, when?

We've been through this... when we see 6 months of steady growth and a strengthening economy (and probably also when congress is not implementing additional austerity measures, furloughing hundreds of thousands of federal employees, and threatening not to raise the debt ceiling and potentially default on our commitments and contracts and previously legislated debt obligations).

As I mentioned by analogy, we all agree that diet and exercise are good for your health. We agree that we should take steps to limit our calorie intake and increase our exercise. However, when a person has been stranded in the desert for days and is laying there dehydrated after being struck hard by a speeding car and badly injured... then they are finally brought to the hospital and VERY slowly STARTING to recover, that's really not the best time to force the patient to eat less and exercise more. We still agree that diet and exercise are good things, but we also acknowledge that we must adjust our approach to the patient given their condition.

The same applies to the economy. We agree that large deficits are not a good thing and that long-term debts should be reduced. We agree that revenues should be more inline with expenditures. We agree that a monetary policy that uses extreme measures like quantitative easing should be limited in its application. We agree that tapering down of bond buying programs should begin as soon as possible when conditions allow it. We agree on all of those things.

However, we don't agree that this must happen now. Now is NOT that time... not yet. You have not laid out any good reason to do so other than "I don't like the way continuing QE feels and it causes me anxiety." That's hardly and evidence-based position.

Look, I get it though... In your defense there's also a growing disagreement among Fed governors at the FOMC, and there is a growing consensus that pulling back on bond purchases should probably happen sooner rather than later. That's consensus and disagreement among the Fed governors, however, is all evidence against your assertions that we'll see QE-eternity and against waitforufo's assertion that it will continue forever.

You asked, "If not now, then when?" I've answered this at least two or three times already. After 6 months of steady growth and strengthening economy, and if I had to guess that will probably be somewhere in the middle of 2014.

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iNow,

It was me that used the QE eternity phrase. I think waitforufo is arguing this from a position I do not agree with, and what you have to argue with me is of a different nature, than what you have to argue with waitforufo about.

I am the "which slippery slope do you want to avoid" guy.

I am the "lets not get dependent on unsustainable stuff" guy.

I am the "lets open government and sit down and talk this thing out" guy.

I think Obama is an intelligent, pragmatic, wonderful leader, that has handled our near depression and all the peices of it, as masterfully as Bernake handled his part. They both took bold and unique action and pulled our fat out of the fire.

We are however, no longer in need of the pain medication, and in fact are now addicted to it.

Its time to consider stage two. How do we regain self sufficiency, to the point where we don't need fiscal stimulus, or Fed extraordinary measures, to keep the gears turning?

You say we can't quit cold turkey, or we will get the shakes.

We have been growing at 1 or 2 percent now, for quite a few years. Corporations have record amounts of cash. The stock market is up this year 15 percent. Small business is handcuffed by high tax rates and government edicts, which have caused many to hire workers at 32 hours a week. Many have used up state unemployment and are on to federal. Jobs are needed. Enterprise is needed. A climate that fosters entrepeneurship, effort, innovation, risk taking, and investment in promising enterprises is required.

Suckling on the Federal Reserve cow is not sustainable, it was an emergency measure.

Suckling on the Federal Government cow is not advisable either, because we, the tax payer ARE the cow.

We have to individually, and as enterprises, create wealth, through idea and plan, effort and risk.

Its the only real way to do it. Its the only sustainable way to do it.

And we are back to where we are. Where you have your providers and your dependents, the providers complaining the dependents are too needy and the dependents complaining that the providers are too stingy.

Regards, TAR2

Edited by tar
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It was me that used the QE eternity phrase. I think waitforufo is arguing this from a position I do not agree with, and what you have to argue with me is of a different nature, than what you have to argue with waitforufo about.

Uhhmmm... Explain how these are different (emphasis mine):

Don't expect quantitative easing to stop any time soon or ever.

I am concerned though about QE three or QE eternity.

Emergency measures are one thing. Dependence on the Fed offering not only a discount window for EVERY bank, but Purchasing any ole loans they might have lying around, to the tune of 85 billion a month...for ever...is quite a different story.

Those look like pretty similar statements to me. You suggested that you did not agree with him ON THIS POINT, but your own posts strongly suggest the contrary.

We are however, no longer in need of the pain medication

By "pain medication," you are clearly referring to quantitative easing, our program of bond purchases, so I will ask yet again... By what specific economic evidence are you concluding that we are "no longer in need of" it?

Thus far, you've cited nothing other than your personal discomfort and anxiety. I don't discount the sincerity of your concerns or that you are being genuine when you express them, I'm simply saying they appear to be misplaced and a bit under-informed, so I will ask... Do you have any evidence whatsoever that right now the economy is strong enough to endure the shock of us beginning tapering immediately? Do you have any evidence whatsoever that pulling back right now would result in more good than harm, more benefit than cost? Do you have any evidence whatsoever that waiting until the middle of next year to pull back would be somehow worse than pulling back now... that tapering now is somehow the better option than doing after a period of sustained growth?

I suspect not, but would like to give you the benefit of the doubt. I've asked this question repeatedly and you have repeatedly evaded it.

Edited by iNow
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iNow,

I watched the market reaction to the Feds announcement of their intention to begin tapering in Sept.

Interest rates went up, the market went down. A Fed governor made a statement that it might not be until Oct. and the market went up and the rates came down. The original plan to begin tapering the purchases in sept and complete the tapering by January, leaving us with the still accomidative half percent interest rate for fed funds, was not well received by the market. No economic data caused the rise and fall of rates and asset prices. Just the statements of the Fed. Just the THOUGHT of not having the Fed purchasing was enough to spook the market

So why is the market up 15 percent this year. Because the economy is 15% stronger, or because of the half a trillion dollars of purchases boosting asset prices and lowering interest rates.?

So no, I have no proof that the economy would stall or continue going, now or in 2014 if QE began to taper, at this point or that. But your crystal ball is no clearer than the Feds or mine. If the data gets worse, instead of better, what does the Fed do? Increase to 100 billion a month?

And perhaps I am saying the same words as waitforufo, but I have a different intent.

And a different question, from a different angle, at a different level.

I don't want the Fed to fail, nor do I want them to continue this course. I don't understand it, and neither do they. They have not done this before. They don't know how all the players in the game will react, and they can not orchestrate the reaction. We are in uncharted territory.

Staying in uncharted territory until the middle of next year will expand their balance sheet by another half a trillion dollars, and they already don't know when or how to unwind what they have, nor the reaction the economy will have to their unwinding. Will the Fed become the defacto owner of every government backed security that is written? What would that mean? Who would owe who what money, if we all worked for the Fed. (since I consider that my largest monthly outlay is to the bank, and I consider that therefore I am working for the bank, if the Fed holds my mortgage, I would then be working for the Fed, and paying them with the dollars, that are their liability.) That just doesn't make any sense to me. I just can't find the owner of the house, in that equation. It's too different from the normal rules, and mandate of the Fed, to regulate the money supply. Its, its, its...like crazy talk.

Regards, TAR2

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On the doG, swansonT chart.

I count 2trillion in increases when the congress is republican.

I count 4 trillion when the congress is split.

I count 6 trillion when the congress is democrat.

Regardless of the president, the congress makes the appropriations and is the body responsible for hammering out the budget.

The president comes up with a budget proposal and presents it to congress. That happens first. The president also has to sign appropriations bills.

My point of looking at the presidents was also to point out that this is the wrong metric. Looking at the debt ceiling increases is misleading. The real question is how debt accrued, i.e. how did the deficit change. Clinton ended with a surplus. Under Obama the deficit has dropped in half.

The best budgetary time was under Clinton when the congress was split or republican.

The worst is under Obama, when the congress is democrat or split.

Obama is saddled with the Bush II tax cuts, the aftermath of two unpaid-for wars and unpaid-for medicare D, and a GOP that has refused to raise taxes. Again, this is the wrong metric.

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So why is the market up 15 percent this year. Because the economy is 15% stronger, or because of the half a trillion dollars of purchases boosting asset prices and lowering interest rates.?

Well, according to my newspaper this morning the current US debt is $16.7 trillion. And taking the figures from the graph from doG's reply #195, the 2011 figure was$14+ trillion. So, in round figures that's $1 trillion a year. Now I'm no financial expert, but if$1 trillion loss a year is considered a strong economy, I dread to think what the losses of a weaker economy would be.

I'm sorry, but \$1 trillion a year loss cannot be described as a strong economy.

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tar, iNow, and waitforufo,

Isn't the issue how to cut federal spending without gutting the economy? IMO there is spending that improves the economy of foreign economies at the expense of the US economy, and spending that does less damage to the US economy or maybe helps it. For example, the Eisenhower program to build the interstate highway system. Today, I think we need to increase our ability to generate renewable energy, which creates jobs in the US and reduces foreign expenditures on oil. Moreover, I believe the military has already come to the conclusion that our national defense is in jeopardy because of foreign dependence on oil. It will be a difficult battle to fight the oil industry, but if the people agree and focus their attention long enough to vote for congressmen who support such business plans, IMO we should be able to improve our economy, increase jobs, and reduce the debt by redirecting war funds to this effort.

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No, I never said anything remotely like that. I don't disagree with the facts. I disagree with your implied assertion that spending has "increased exponentially" because of the democrats. The facts say otherwise. Even this graph tells you that. Only four of the 19 debt limit increases occurred under democratic presidents...

Look at the hockey stick. Under democratically controlled congress' they've had to make bigger increases and bigger in the debt ceiling to cover the budgets they've written but yes, Bush signed a few of those.so both sides are plainly guilty. The increases are now bigger than ever before and that's why I labeled them exponential.

What really gets in my crawl though is the fact that I've suffered the same economic downturn as everyone else. I've had to cut back on my budget and do with a whole lot less 'wants' and restrict it more to my needs so I've got a lot less to give to others. Now that I have less the government wants more instead of cutting the budget the way I've had to. If I have to live within my means I expect the government to do so as well. I have a family to take care of and it's not my job to take care of someone else's family. If they need to close a park to give someone food stamps then so be it. Quit asking me for more, I don't have it and I'm tired of them increasing my social debt.

On the doG, swansonT chart.

I count 2trillion in increases when the congress is republican.

I count 4 trillion when the congress is split.

I count 6 trillion when the congress is democrat.

You can't count that way. You have to assign blame to each congress that passed the budget AND the president that signed it. Both parties are to blame...

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Today, I think we need to increase our ability to generate renewable energy, which creates jobs in the US and reduces foreign expenditures on oil. Moreover, I believe the military has already come to the conclusion that our national defense is in jeopardy because of foreign dependence on oil. It will be a difficult battle to fight the oil industry, but if the people agree and focus their attention long enough to vote for congressmen who support such business plans, IMO we should be able to improve our economy, increase jobs, and reduce the debt by redirecting war funds to this effort.

The timing for this is perfect, imo. We aren't going to make major changes when things are going well. Oil has helped put our civilization where it is but the cumulative pressures to ease away from it are very convincing to me.

I've seen many markets stifle innovation that threatens to replace them. Oil has the power and infrastructure to keep itself in business far past what the market would normally allow. Let's remove the subsidies, let people in the US see what gas really costs in a free® market. Then watch the interest in sustainable energy climb. I'd hate to see us give up on energy independence and crawl back into the hole of "convenience" as we continue funding our own demise.

Also to add, I'd like to see the US initiate more space projects. It's an area where we currently dominate but not for long if we don't invest more. We need this kind of high-precision industry.

What really gets in my crawl though is the fact that I've suffered the same economic downturn as everyone else. I've had to cut back on my budget and do with a whole lot less 'wants' and restrict it more to my needs so I've got a lot less to give to others. Now that I have less the government wants more instead of cutting the budget the way I've had to. If I have to live within my means I expect the government to do so as well. I have a family to take care of and it's not my job to take care of someone else's family. If they need to close a park to give someone food stamps then so be it. Quit asking me for more, I don't have it and I'm tired of them increasing my social debt.

First, I think we all agree we're spending too much. We differ on where it's too much.

For me, the very reason for having a government is to provide a basic human societal framework we can count on as long as we're willing to work to help that society. Some risks are beyond us as individuals and cooperating in groups is one of our strengths as a species.

I don't see the government as a separate entity that should suffer when we suffer. It should provide us all with a baseline for living with each other as it represents each of us (I guess this POV sees us as People in a democracy rather than as people who may or may not be deserving of help). It should be something we can count on in times of suffering. It should be something we fund because we know the investment is low for us personally and has tremendous potential gains for us as a society.

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You asked, "If not now, then when?" I've answered this at least two or three times already. After 6 months of steady growth and strengthening economy, and if I had to guess that will probably be somewhere in the middle of 2014.

This reminds me of the sign you see in bars that says "free beer tomorrow." Tomorrow never comes iNow. The longer quantitative easing goes on the deeper the pit gets. If that were not true why the need to pretend QE will stop tomorrow?

I know you all think I'm a selfish jerk for posting my daily government shutdown updates. That acknowledgement by itself should earn me many up votes for this post. Based on that I decided you give you a break yesterday. These updates however have a point. I'm sure I'm not the only one out their feeling no pain. My guess is that the vast majority of Americans are in the same no pain boat. My guess is that's also true for most of us on Science Forums. The government knows this so they are doing their best to make it hurt. Hence the NPS sideshow which has backfired so now it is mostly over. The longer the 17% shutdown goes on the more that vast majority is going to wonder why we were spending that extra 17% in the first place. Sure they my not be bold enough to say it, but their id is keeping score.

So once again my daily update.

No pain for me or for anyone I know.

Edited by waitforufo
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This gets me back to the mice. The mice really had to be put down? mice? No one volunteered to feed them. How hard could that be? No one said screw you I'm not going to do it? No one turned the tables and barricaded themselves in the lab. A little media attention would have put a stop to killing the mice. That seems to be the key to untangling the governments "let's make this as bad as it can be attitude."

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Just the statements of the Fed. Just the THOUGHT of not having the Fed purchasing was enough to spook the market

Yes, the market will go through an adjustment phase when forward guidance about QE is changed and when tapering begins. That is not unexpected, but it's also a large part of the reason we must be sure to do it when the foundation of the economy is stronger. It is not a reason to do it NOW NOW NOW just so you can rip off the band-aid and start feeling less anxious about a program you've admitted you don't even understand.

If the data gets worse, instead of better, what does the Fed do? Increase to 100 billion a month?

Just out of curiosity, if that's what the evidence calls for, why would that be a problem? If it achieves the required end, isn't that exactly what should be done? You're still ambiguous on this point and arguing based on emotion instead of logic and evidence.

I don't want the Fed to fail, nor do I want them to continue this course. I don't understand it, and neither do they.

I appreciate that you're hoping for success, but this last comment is part of why this conversation with you can be so frustrating. I can tell you don't understand it. That is obvious. I'm trying to help educate you based on my own understanding and based on all of the reading I've done. You are ignoring the information I am sharing and merely continuing to reinforce your position that you "feel icky" about it.

Also, I have no idea how you can claim to have any insight whatsoever into what the individuals at the Fed do or do not understand. That's a rather bold proclamation and is entirely without merit. They've studied this as their life's work, and have based it on real-world market data and history. While nothing can be predicted 100%, they do have a very good idea of what they are doing and what the reaction will be in the market and larger economy.

They have not done this before.

Apparently you missed when I corrected you about this previously. Merely repeating an invalid point does not magically make it correct. QE was done in Japan a decade ago. It was done in 1961 as part of operation twist. It was also done in Germany in the 1920s. Finally, similar steps were taken when they actually DID print more paper money as far back as the 1600s and 1700s. I don't know what information sources you are listening to, but you are clearly not being accurately informed. While there are clearly actions being taken that are in some sense speculative, they're hardly just blindly throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks without regard for the possible consequences in the way you're repeatedly suggesting.

Isn't the issue how to cut federal spending without gutting the economy?

Inefficient and wasteful spending must be cut, yes. However, we must also invest intelligently to realize an return. We're not going to "cut" our way out of our deficit and debt problems.

Unfortunately, we're not talking about smart investments, but instead we're obsessively talking about where to cut and nothing else. It's a one-dimensional and facile view of the economy and it's a patently absurd approach that we've already seen fail in past recessions and depressions, yet we're ignoring those lessons from history. Smart spending right now actually reduces our long term debt and deficit issues. Cutting paradoxically makes it worse.

I think the analogy below is on-point.

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/15/bleeding-the-patient/

Brad DeLong and Larry Summers have a paper in progress about fiscal policy in a liquidity trap; some of the analytics here. The bottom line, fleshed out with a lot of evidence, is one that others — including me and Christy Romer — have been arguing for a while: expansionary fiscal policy under these conditions doesn’t just aid the economy in the short run, it may well even improve the long-run fiscal prospect. And austerity may be self-defeating even in fiscal terms.

If this is right (and I think it is), austerity-loving pundits and policy makers really are like medieval doctors who believed in treating illness by bleeding their patients, making the patients even sicker, leading to more bleeding.

Edited by iNow
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First, I think we all agree we're spending too much. We differ on where it's too much.

"Spending too much" is always in relation to income. The US income tax is low, both on an historical comparison basis and when compared to other industrialized nations. A large part of our debt problem is due to cutting taxes while not cutting spending, and it's quite clear where that policy was implemented.

It's ironic that the GOP/tea party mantra has been some variant of "What Would Reagan Do?" Under the circumstance of rising debt stemming from flawed policy (tax cuts that were too big), what he did was raise taxes.

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I count 2trillion in increases when the congress is republican.
I count 4 trillion when the congress is split.
I count 6 trillion when the congress is democrat.
One of the big problems we have is that rightwing folks can't count.

They can't even count to 51, let alone 60 - the number of votes it takes to "control" the Senate.

The other problem visible here is that they don't know how things like "budgets" are made and evaluated - the role of the Executive Branch in writing the budget, for example, is beyond their comprehension. The closest they come is assigning the President responsbility for anything signed into law, if it agrees with their "both sides did whatever bad thing happened" approach to whatever seems to be a Republican's fault.

Under Obama the skyrocketing deficits launched by W&Cheney's incompetence and evildoing have been moderated, no longer growing like Topsy, are even shrinking a bit lately.

Under Clinton's administration the skyrocketing deficits launched by Reagan and carried over by Bush were moderated, eventually brought to a nominal (somewhat illusory) 0.

Those were both Executive Branch accomplishments.

I know you all think I'm a selfish jerk for posting my daily government shutdown updates.
You haven't posted any shutdown updates yet.

You've been posting updates on your state of knowledge, which seems to be plateaued at 0. I doubt that is news, here.

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