Bankrupt Arguments

I have heard three times in as many days, expressions of grave dissapointment and dismay at the proposed financial recovery plans coming out of the democrats. This has driven me to a real anger, to the point that I feel it's unhealthy to politely pretend there is no such thing as politics, just for the sake of maintaining a nice friendly exterior. Our friendships, I hope, can withstand some frank conversations.

Here are the three arguments.
  • "Oh my God, he thinks he can borrow and spend our way out of this." This congressman expressed absolute horror at the concept of the (second half) of the bailout, after voting for the first half of it.
  • "I've been burned by this, err, by the current administration once, <> so now I can't be fooled a second time <>"
  • And finally, this last a very loose paraphrase, but as accurate as I can make it, an argument that we shouldn't select infrastructure projects as a way to apply stimulus because "that's thesame thing we did in Iraq with Halliburton and look at all the corruption and opportunities for fraud we have uncovered there!"

In reverse order, my rebuttals are...
3) Isn't it a little late for the pot to point at itself and say "you're black as sin!" and, does Cheney's pet company and the money wasted thereupon necessarily imply or even suggest that some other companies would be equally guilty? Fundamentally, the solution is to carve out the rot. It is logically corrupt to visit the sins of the father upon the son. Furthermore, the gentleman entirely misses the point that money spent on Halliburton ends up in their corporate accounts or Iraqui infrastructure, often employing foreigners. From our perspective, it is money destroyed, entropy. A school or road built HERE has lasting benefit. A bomb exploded in the desert is eventually filled in again with sand, a complete and utter waste of the sweat that built that. It's the fundamental difference between destructino and construction. I understand Halliburton is not directly involved in the exploding part of the Iraqui enterprise, but inasmuch as they reconstruct infrastructure we priorly disassembled with explosives, it is part of the overall equation, which, let's not forget, has been > $100B/yr

2) The senator's Freudian gaffe at the beginning almost makes my case for me. Again, we have a very clear case of simply turning the argument around because of political partisanship. It couldn't be any clearer. Sir, I've been burned once before too; I used to be a republican.

1) Let's ignore for a moment the recurring theme of immediately changing one's mind about policies the very day the presidency changes political parties, although that alone should destroy this guy's credibility. Lowering taxes is the form of borrowing cited here, and tax relief is a very big part of the bailout plan. (ok I guess we have to ignore that the diatribe was always tax and spend," right? It's Republicans who borrow and spend, right.) It changes the budget balance. The essential question each year is how much defecit to accrue, and where to spend the money. In lowering taxes (and that's proposed, for pete's sake!) you elect to broaden the defecit in hopes of alleviating the individual financial pressures that constrain spending. There is the further distinction of where in the income histogram (down at the subsistence level, up in the wealthy level) to apply the benefits or extract the tolls, and that is a fundamental republican/democrat schism lately. As one of the wealthy ones, and in particular a principal at a corporation strapped for credit and at risk, I feel qualified to offer that I think I have more than enough money, and less than enough security. Those of you secure in your wealth had better not offer that the rich are being taxed too much, and had better remember that families making under $200k will receive tax cuts. If you are making more than that, and you want to complain, I have no ears for you.

I am very interested, and will not delete, your arguments. If you want to reply privately, I will honor that privacy. But I will not spare you the full force of whatever arguments I have. I am very very sick of this shit, and not interested in another fatcat trying to win arguments with tricky emotional arguments. I understand English very very well, unfortunately for some of you senators. My main hope is to educate enough children to a clear and concise method of parsing what is said rather than listening to the jeering and snorting, to run you bastards out of office forever.



  1. This AM, Mr. Gingrich advocated smaller government, and said he believes Obama is mostly wasting the second $350MMM, describing the proposals as a "pothole presidency." Nice, Newt. Tear it down as it begins. Also, government is the size of it's expenditures, not it's tax plan, in fact deficits make it bigger because of the interest.

  2. it's not true (things aren't true just because you say so) that Republicans are for smaller government: the judgement on that is ambiguous at best and clearly in favor of democratic administrations in most of the last 40 years. I suggest you are running on whimsical reminiscence, rather than facts. This is not good for our country. One thing you did say was that the next few years will show whether Obama's been successful. I really hope we'll have some kind of assessment and that we'll all have a chance to say we were right or wrong at that time. Perhaps now is a good time to sum up the Bush administration. You did also admit we're in an economic crisis right now: I suppose common republican wisdom is that the present administration had nothing to do with the economic outcome of this past decade?

  3. Mark I think that You and I feel very similarly on this issue. I see no difference between tax cuts and increased spending as far as the deficit is concerned. With that agreement we move on to infrastructure VS tax cuts for stimulus. I feel that infrastructure is better because the money bounces around the economy for a while longer. What you refer to as the money making it way through the bowels of a company i refer to as working in the economy. Money like that strengthens companies making their workers jobs more secure and allowing those companies to hire more workers. it also allows these companies to purchase equipment and that kind of equipment is still largely mad in this country. which means that the money helps stabilize those companies as well.

    Also even when the money is done echoing around the economy the things you have built are still around. The people you have trained have the knowledge. The technology is there. the effects linger.

    That is the basis of the term investment as you well know. I am not writing this because I feel that you don't understand any of this, but simply to clarify my reasoning.