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Liberalism (was: Discrimination...)

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ak8...@albnyvms.bitnet

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Oct 24, 1994, 2:04:14 AM10/24/94
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In article <fergieCy...@netcom.com>, fer...@netcom.com (B. Scott Ferguson) writes:
>ak8...@albnyvms.bitnet wrote:
>: The question that ought to matter when a government considers a form
>: of environmental protection is, "do we understand what the
>: environmental measure costs and is it worth it?". Note that one of
>: the major themes of my posts on Liberalism is that Liberals do not
>: know how to ask this question; for Liberals, everything is either
>: costless, or can be financed by the rich (and the rich only).
>
>Keep the flip side in mind. What is the cost of doing nothing?

It is not clear to me that you are talking about an issue that I have
neglected. What does the appeal, "understand whether it is worth it"
mean to you? To me, it asks the reader to consider carefully the
benefits of the proposed program, and compare it with the risks and the
costs. What does the word "benefits" mean to you? To me, the "benefits"
of a program are the negative of the oppotunity costs of not implementing
the program. Where do we disagree?

>The sea otter population on the west coast was almost destroyed for
>economic reasons, the fur pelts. I suppose you would suggest no
>regulation on otter hunting because of the cost to the fur industry.

I would suggest a sales tax on the products of the firm industry; the tax
would rise as the population of the sea otters would fall. If the demand
for pelts were still high enough to cause the fur industry to destroy the
population, then maybe the extinction of that race was necessary after all.

The problem is that the supply of sea otters is not responsive to price,
that is, the sea otters do not choose to have more babies as the price of
the pelts increases; in fact, here is a case of rising prices actually
reducing the long-run supply; so the scarcer are the sea otters, the more
intensely they will be hunted; it is a vicious circle, that will end with
the extinction of the race. A good solution is one that will reduce the
quantity demanded of the product; a sales tax would fill the bill.

A sales tax has the additional advantage of helping to generate a number that
answers the question, "how much is the society willing to pay to stave off
the extinction of the sea otters"; such a figure could be useful in
predicting the enthusiasm of the public for other environmental protection
schemes.


>This case is more complicated than just destroying a population.
>Because the otters were gone, sea urchins destroyed the kelp beds and
>that decimated the coastal fishing. The loss of fishing costs far
>more than the pelts ever gained.
>

Give some of the proceeds from the tax to the fishing industry, if this
externality really exists; or better yet, lock the representatives of the
fishermen and the otter hunters in a room, and let them sort out their
own compensation scheme.

>Or you could take the example of the urban sprawl that graces
>California. Have you tried to drive down 880 south in the morning?
>Or driven by miles and miles of suburbs and malls that all look the
>same? That has a cost. You can probably even give an economic cost
>to it by estimating how many companies, say engineering companies,
>relocate and expand in places with less suburban hell, say Oregon and
>Washington.


I do not understand what your point is with this example. Where would
you have people live? Are the people happy with their shopping malls?
How many trees is such happiness worth? Do you know how to ask this
question? My policy recommendation is to set aside some of the
undeveloped land as a reserve; tax very heavily the development of land
that is in the reserve. Do not block development entirely; do not leave
environmental protection entirely in the hands of some bureaucrats.
Give people a chance to figure out how much they REALLY want to
develop the land.

>You seem to suggest looking only at short term, single causal link,
>costs in deciding on governmental action. That's nice in theory, but
>the world is more complex than that. Eventually the long term costs
>will win. I suppose, though, if we follow your ideology the country
>will end up paved and subdivided into condos and shopping malls and a
>huge patchs of land where only one crop is grown: wheat, corn, douglas
>firs, and then when you've culled all the complexity then world will
>be as simple as you imagine.

You are describing a situation where (apparently) much more of the
nation's natural resources would have been turned into wealth, than has
been the case thus far. The country would probably be living at a much
higher standard of living than it is today; the citizenry would be better
off.

Please remember that development explicitly means exchanging trees for
condos, shopping malls and jobs. The Americans ought to consider explicitly
the way that it wants that equation to be implented. I criticize
Liberalism for neglecting this equation. I invite you to consider the
movement to remove styrofoam from McDonalds as an example of sloppy and
careless cost accounting by Liberals.

Thank you for reading.

ALfredo B. Goyburu

"Liberalism is a poor substitute for understanding."
"The Tenth Amendment is dead; get over it."
>Scott Ferguson | "All right," said the Cat; and this time it vanished

Robert Reed

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Oct 24, 1994, 1:21:14 PM10/24/94
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In article <38fiou$4...@rebecca.albany.edu> ak8...@albnyvms.bitnet writes:
|
|I would suggest a sales tax on the products of the firm industry; the tax
|would rise as the population of the sea otters would fall. If the demand
|for pelts were still high enough to cause the fur industry to destroy the
|population, then maybe the extinction of that race was necessary after all.
|
|The problem is that the supply of sea otters is not responsive to price,
|that is, the sea otters do not choose to have more babies as the price of
|the pelts increases; in fact, here is a case of rising prices actually
|reducing the long-run supply; so the scarcer are the sea otters, the more
|intensely they will be hunted; it is a vicious circle, that will end with
|the extinction of the race. A good solution is one that will reduce the
|quantity demanded of the product; a sales tax would fill the bill.
|
|A sales tax has the additional advantage of helping to generate a number that
|answers the question, "how much is the society willing to pay to stave off
|the extinction of the sea otters"; such a figure could be useful in
|predicting the enthusiasm of the public for other environmental protection
|schemes.

Unfortunately, there is a factor you're not considering here, the cost and
timeliness of your feedback loop. While with some threatened species (e.g.,
various species of salmon), getting an accurate count with little harm to them
is easy because you can just videotape their passage through fish ladders.
For other species, just the effort to get accurate numbers could be threatening
to the population, or the time it takes to do an accurate survey destroys the
responsiveness of the tax. Take for example the marbled murrelet, a seabird
which spends most of its life out to sea except when procreating, when it flies
as much as 10 miles inland to find a nice, large, flat branch in an old growth
Douglas fir on which to hatch its eggs. This seabird is only a recent addition
to environmentalist's concerns about population declines because it is so
secretive.

A tax such as you're suggesting requires timely information about such
populations to be an effective regulator.
________________________________________________________________________________
Robert Reed Home Animation Limited 503-656-8414
home: rob...@slipknot.rain.com West Linn, OR 97068
work: rob...@metheus.com 503-690-1550 x7284

I remember coaching my wife during childbirth, "Breathe, honey, breath!"
You have this myth that you're sharing in the birth experience--BULLSHIT!
Unless you're passing a bowling ball, I don't think so!
Unless you're circumcising yourself with a chainsaw, I don't think so!
Unless you're opening an umbrella up your ass, I don't think so!
You're not doing diddly squat! You're along for the ride!
--Robin Williams
________________________________________________________________________________

B. Scott Ferguson

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Oct 26, 1994, 11:25:32 PM10/26/94
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Kurt Warner (kwa...@cac.washington.edu) wrote:
: In article <Pine.A32.3.91a.94101...@homer10.u.washington.edu>, Christopher McKenzie <can...@u.washington.edu> writes:

: |> We have yet to see the
: |> practical application of this. It was tried during the early '80's, but
: |> while it was nice to cut back on taxes, nobody made the connection that
: |> spending is based upon revenue. Spending still went up (particularily on
: |> the military to fight the "Evil Red Empire"), and revenue went down.

: THIS IS ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE. in 1981 revenue to the Federal
: Government was 500 billion. When Reagan left office in 1988
: it was over 900 billion dollars. This can be verified through
: the department of labor and statistics.

Okay, I'll bite.

All the data is from gopher://sunny.stat-usa.gov. For some reason,
the constant dollars are from 1987.

Receipts Outlays Deficit
$$ 1987 $$ %GDP $$ 1987 $$ %GNP %GNP
1976 298 585 17.7 372 729 22.1 4.4
1980 517 728 19.6 591 832 22.3 2.8
1984 666 730 18.0 852 934 23.1 5.0
1988 910 878 18.9 1,064 1,027 23.2 3.2
1992 1,090 894 18.4 1,381 1,132 23.3 4.9

Looks to me like spending went up, revenues went down, and the deficit
ballooned.

[snip]

: And
: |> people these days wonder where are $4.6 trillion dollar debt came from.

: 1. increased social spending
: 2. failed savings and loans
: 3. military spending

Here are the outlays as a %GNP. The SS + Federal retirement and the
medical are already included in the social spending.

As % of GNP
Defense Social (SS+Ret Medical) Physical Interest Total
1976 5.3 12.1 5.7 1.9 2.3 1.6 22.1
1980 5.1 11.9 5.8 2.2 2.5 2.0 22.3
1984 6.2 11.7 6.2 2.5 1.6 3.0 23.1
1988 6.0 11.1 5.8 2.7 1.4 3.2 23.2
1992 5.0 13.0 6.1 3.7 1.3 3.4 23.3

It looks to me like the main problems are:
1. medical costs +1.8
2. interest on the debt +1.8
3. military spending

Oh, but I forget, "there is no health care problem in America."
Sounds like we need someone like Huffington to get in there and do
nothing about the growth of medical spending.

: You really need to stop spreading these unsubstantiated rumors. Oh
: but that's what liberals do. Now I understand.

I suppose I shouldn't have put the numbers in. Unsubstantiated liberal
rumors are much more fun, and facts have no place on USENET.

Wasn't part of the idea of supply side economics that the social
spending would automatically decrease because of the expected booming
economy? That certainly didn't happen.

--
Scott Ferguson | "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can
------------------+ make words mean so many different things."
"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master -- that's all."

John Iacoletti

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Oct 27, 1994, 9:04:42 PM10/27/94
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In article <fergieCy...@netcom.com>, fer...@netcom.com (B. Scott Ferguson) writes:
|> Okay, I'll bite.

|> All the data is from gopher://sunny.stat-usa.gov. For some reason,
|> the constant dollars are from 1987.

It looks to me like your numbers match exactly what Kurt said: "in 1981


revenue to the Federal Government was 500 billion. When Reagan left office in
1988 it was over 900 billion dollars"

|> Looks to me like spending went up, revenues went down, and the deficit
|> ballooned.

Revenues went up -- both in real dollars and constant dollars -- by your own
figures.

|> It looks to me like the main problems are:
|> 1. medical costs +1.8
|> 2. interest on the debt +1.8
|> 3. military spending

The table you posted has to be missing quite a bit. Interest on the debt
doesn't go up all by itself without corresponding increases in spending, above
and beyond the revenue increases. Your numbers don't add up. Social spending
supposedly went down, but the components of it either stayed the same or
increased? What is "Physical"? How were these categories defined?

|> Oh, but I forget, "there is no health care problem in America."
|> Sounds like we need someone like Huffington to get in there and do
|> nothing about the growth of medical spending.

No, all we need is for the government to stop spending money on medical care.

|> Wasn't part of the idea of supply side economics that the social
|> spending would automatically decrease because of the expected booming
|> economy? That certainly didn't happen.

Of course not. Social spending increases were fixed into law before Reagan
took the presidential oath. The economy had nothing to do with them.

--
John Iacoletti IBM RISC System/6000 Division joh...@austin.ibm.com
My opinions do not reflect the views of the IBM Corporation
"Esta noche presentamos con mucho gusto informacion interesante acerda de LAS
LLAMAS" -- MPFC

B. Scott Ferguson

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Oct 29, 1994, 10:36:20 PM10/29/94
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John Iacoletti (joh...@austin.ibm.com) wrote:
: In article <fergieCy...@netcom.com>, fer...@netcom.com (B. Scott Ferguson) writes:

: It looks to me like your numbers match exactly what Kurt said: "in


: 1981 revenue to the Federal Government was 500 billion. When Reagan
: left office in 1988 it was over 900 billion dollars"

: |> Looks to me like spending went up, revenues went down, and the deficit
: |> ballooned.

: Revenues went up -- both in real dollars and constant dollars -- by
: your own figures.

But not as a % of GNP. Kurt's numbers are accurate but misleading, as
they are intended to be. Revenues have gone up in constant dollars
since at least the 60's and probably before. So the fact that the
revenues went up during Reagan-Bush says nothing about the efficacy of
Reaganomics. As a % of GNP the revenues went down and the outlays
went up, causing the deficit and the increased debt.

The debt as a %GNP has gone down steadily since the debt from WWII
until the Reagan-Bush years where it climbed back. Do you really want
to embrace that legacy of Reagan-Bush?

Receipts Outlays Deficit Debt - SS surplus Debt
1976 17.7 22.1 4.4 28.3 37.3
1980 19.6 22.3 2.8 26.8 34.4
1984 18.0 23.1 5.0 35.2 42.3
1988 18.9 23.2 3.2 42.6 54.1
1992 18.4 23.3 4.9 50.5 67.4

: |> It looks to me like the main problems are:


: |> 1. medical costs +1.8
: |> 2. interest on the debt +1.8
: |> 3. military spending

: The table you posted has to be missing quite a bit. Interest on the
: debt doesn't go up all by itself without corresponding increases in
: spending, above and beyond the revenue increases. Your numbers don't
: add up. Social spending supposedly went down, but the components of
: it either stayed the same or increased? What is "Physical"? How were
: these categories defined?

The national debt as a %GNP almost doubled during Reagan-Bush, and
the interest more than doubled. So we can blame 1.8 %GNP of the
annual deficit on the Reagan-Bush era. That's more than half the
deficit.

I wanted to make the social spending table smaller, so I didn't list
all the social components. From 1976 to 1988 the other social
spending dropped: unemployment -0.8 %GNP + student grants -0.3 %GNP +
welfare -0.2 %GNP = -1.3%GNP. They came back in 1992 by +0.7 %GNP.

Physical = dept of energy + natural resources + commerce & housing credit.
I assume this includes things like agricultural & mining subsidies.

You can look all this up in gopher://sunny.stat-usa.gov.

: |> Oh, but I forget, "there is no health care problem in America."


: |> Sounds like we need someone like Huffington to get in there and do
: |> nothing about the growth of medical spending.

: No, all we need is for the government to stop spending money on
: medical care.

That's one possible solution, but I doubt either party will propose
cutting medicare. Aren't the Republicans attacking Clinton on the
Rivlin memo? The increase is scary enough (1% GNP in 4 years)
that _something_ has to be done. This will make some apoplectic, but
Clinton was absolutely right that the main budget problem is health
care. It will not go away by itself as the Republicans in Washington
seem to think.

The "Republican Contract with America" is bogus. It would result in a
much higher debt that would drag the budget down for years to come.
The Republican claim of being the party of fiscal responsibility lacks
a sliver of credibility.

--
Scott Ferguson | "Then you should say what you mean," the March Hare said.
fer...@netcom.com | "I do," Alice hastily replied; "at least - at least I
| mean what I say -- that's the same thing, you know."

B. Scott Ferguson

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Oct 29, 1994, 11:39:18 PM10/29/94
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ak8...@albnyvms.bitnet wrote:

: In article <fergieCy...@netcom.com>, fer...@netcom.com (B. Scott Ferguson) writes:
: >ak8...@albnyvms.bitnet wrote:
: >: The question that ought to matter when a government considers a form
: >: of environmental protection is, "do we understand what the
: >: environmental measure costs and is it worth it?". Note that one of
: >: the major themes of my posts on Liberalism is that Liberals do not
: >: know how to ask this question; for Liberals, everything is either
: >: costless, or can be financed by the rich (and the rich only).
: >
: >Keep the flip side in mind. What is the cost of doing nothing?

: It is not clear to me that you are talking about an issue that I have

: neglected. [snip] Where do we disagree?

Okay, I didn't make my point well. My concern is that the
liberal/environmental costs are often discounted because they are much
harder to calculate and some of costs are ignored entirely.

o The cost is likely to be well in the future. It was easy for the
placer gold miners in the 19th century to discount the future value of
the agricultural land they destroyed.

o The causes and effects are less well known. Did the anyone know in
the 19th century that wiping out the otters would decimate the
fisheries? How could they possibly estimate the damage?

o The facts are harder to find. Robert mentioned the example of
counting the marbled murrelet population.

o Secondary benefits are often ignored. How much can you attribute the
high-tech expansion in Oregon/Washington to the remaining forests?
What is the value of that? What is the cost to the bay area of
building houses on all the hills? What is the economic value of
Golden Gate Park to San Francisto?

o Many things which destroy the environment are irreversible or
costly to reverse. Jurassic Park excepted, an extinct species cannot
be brought back. Fixing the damage due to the placer mining would
cost much more than the present value of the gold extracted. It takes
over 50 years for the kelp beds and fisheries to recover after otters
are reintroduced, and it's hard to reintroduce otters.

So I'm not disagreeing with you fundamentally about analyzing the cost
of environmental measures, but it's more likely for the long-term
benefits to get the short stick than the quick development gains.
Besides, the developers are more likely to get their point across
since they have more money to spend on lobbying.

: >The sea otter population on the west coast was almost destroyed for


: >economic reasons, the fur pelts. I suppose you would suggest no
: >regulation on otter hunting because of the cost to the fur industry.

: I would suggest a sales tax on the products of the fir industry; the


: tax would rise as the population of the sea otters would fall. If the
: demand for pelts were still high enough to cause the fur industry to
: destroy the population, then maybe the extinction of that race was
: necessary after all.

Another possibility is to sell off hunting rights for the population
above a sustainable population. This could be done for fishing rights.
One problem is that the estimates for a minimum sustainable population
are increasing, so you run the risk of setting that number too low.

I'm afraid I didn't explain the otter example very well. The otters
were hunted out long ago. The point of the example is to show
environmental causes are complicated and often unknown when regulation
would do any good. It also shows that the damage is sometimes hard to
reverse.

: >Or you could take the example of the urban sprawl that graces


: >California. Have you tried to drive down 880 south in the morning?

: I do not understand what your point is with this example. Where would


: you have people live? Are the people happy with their shopping malls?
: How many trees is such happiness worth? Do you know how to ask this
: question? My policy recommendation is to set aside some of the
: undeveloped land as a reserve; tax very heavily the development of land
: that is in the reserve. Do not block development entirely; do not leave
: environmental protection entirely in the hands of some bureaucrats.
: Give people a chance to figure out how much they REALLY want to
: develop the land.

I more or less agree. Halting development entirely is nonsense, but
why can't it be restricted to the already developed areas? The
_Economist_ pointed out that the size of the Chicago suburbs has
increased by 20% while the population has only increased by 4%. Why
chew up all that open space? When I was in Oregon (near Aloha) there
was still much farm land and open spaces, but also lots of
development. Will they keep any of that open space or turn the area
into another Orange County?

I wonder if the tradeoffs are really always jobs vs trees. Does
staring hard at the cost comparison blind us to solutions which
benefit both?

ak8...@albnyvms.bitnet

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Oct 31, 1994, 2:53:52 PM10/31/94
to
In article <fergieCy...@netcom.com>, fer...@netcom.com
(B. Scott Ferguson) writes:

>I more or less agree. Halting development entirely is nonsense, but
>why can't it be restricted to the already developed areas? The
>_Economist_ pointed out that the size of the Chicago suburbs has
>increased by 20% while the population has only increased by 4%. Why
>chew up all that open space? When I was in Oregon (near Aloha) there
>was still much farm land and open spaces, but also lots of
>development. Will they keep any of that open space or turn the area
>into another Orange County?

I am not really answering your post here, because you actually made
a lot of points, to which I cannot do justice, except after a few days
of thinking.

I throw two quibbles at you. One, I want the citation for the Economist
article; I do not really doubt you, I just figure that the same article
is likely to contain other interesting information.

Two, the statistic which you present is potentially deceptive if not
adorned with context. What if the sixteen percent of disparity of
growth were made up of shopping malls? Then the statistic would not
really be supporting the story that you are telling me.

>Scott Ferguson | "Then you should say what you mean," the March Hare said.
>fer...@netcom.com

Thank you for reading.

ALfredo B. Goyburu

"Liberalisn is a poor substitute for understanding."

John Iacoletti

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Oct 31, 1994, 8:03:48 PM10/31/94
to
In article <fergieCy...@netcom.com>, fer...@netcom.com (B. Scott Ferguson) writes:
|> John Iacoletti (joh...@austin.ibm.com) wrote:
|> : Revenues went up -- both in real dollars and constant dollars -- by
|> : your own figures.

|> But not as a % of GNP. Kurt's numbers are accurate but misleading, as
|> they are intended to be.

Not at all. He made no statement with respect to GNP. You have to explain
why this is relevant, other than the fact that it was in the table you found.

The reason he brought up revenue specifically is because of the Democrat
mantra that those tax rate cuts caused the deficit. This is demonstrably
false. You also have to account for the effect of the lower tax rates on
the GNP itself (ie more jobs).

|> The debt as a %GNP has gone down steadily since the debt from WWII
|> until the Reagan-Bush years where it climbed back. Do you really want
|> to embrace that legacy of Reagan-Bush?

In what universe does the president of the U.S. control how much is spent?

|> The national debt as a %GNP almost doubled during Reagan-Bush, and
|> the interest more than doubled. So we can blame 1.8 %GNP of the
|> annual deficit on the Reagan-Bush era.

More specifically, the House of Representatives DURING the Reagan-Bush era, and
actually before.

|> That's one possible solution, but I doubt either party will propose
|> cutting medicare.

It's a bad move politically. Old farts want their entitlements, and they
vote in large percentages.

|> Aren't the Republicans attacking Clinton on the
|> Rivlin memo?

Probably more for the hypocrisy than the cuts themselves. In fact, Clinton
rushed to disavow any connection to the Rivlin memo.

|> The increase is scary enough (1% GNP in 4 years)
|> that _something_ has to be done. This will make some apoplectic, but
|> Clinton was absolutely right that the main budget problem is health
|> care.

Only if you assume that the government has to pay for it, no matter what the
cost. If they would get the hell out of health care, the MARKET would control
the prices.

|> It will not go away by itself as the Republicans in Washington
|> seem to think.

You ignore 7 different Republican-proposed bills. Of course Tom Foley did
his best to keep you from finding out about them.

|> The "Republican Contract with America" is bogus. It would result in a
|> much higher debt that would drag the budget down for years to come.

This is Democrat misinformation. The Contract calls for a balanced budget
amendment. On the other hand, who tried to enact a health care bill without
any way to pay for it, and a "crime" bill without any way to pay for it?
Which party rejected the Penny-Kasich bill which would have actually CUT
spending this year, rather than just spouting off rhetoric ABOUT the need to
cut spending?

Bob Breivogel

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Nov 1, 1994, 11:29:41 AM11/1/94
to
joh...@austin.ibm.com (John Iacoletti) writes:

(...)


>|> The debt as a %GNP has gone down steadily since the debt from WWII
>|> until the Reagan-Bush years where it climbed back. Do you really want
>|> to embrace that legacy of Reagan-Bush?

>In what universe does the president of the U.S. control how much is spent?

The fact of the matter is that they did not even *propose* a balanced
budget, which was within their power. If they did this, then congress could,
with more justification, be given total responsibility for the deficit.

Reagan's real interest was "fighting Communism" (a holdover to his Glory
days) and cutting taxes for for his friends. He was willing to spend whatever
it took to accomplish this.


Bob Breivogel
Aloha, OR
<std_disclosure>

Robin Wilson

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Nov 1, 1994, 10:34:20 PM11/1/94
to
|> John Iacoletti (joh...@austin.ibm.com) wrote:
|> : Revenues went up -- both in real dollars and constant dollars -- by
|> : your own figures.
: <attribution was deleted>

|> But not as a % of GNP. Kurt's numbers are accurate but misleading, as
|> they are intended to be.

Boy this is a _dangerous_ philosphy to support! "Revenues" as a percentage of
GNP should go up? This is _exactly_ wrong. The sum-total of the dollars taken
out of the economy by the government should _always_ fall relative to the GNP!
If not, you are advocating that the government should take a larger (and
larger) portion of the economy away from the citizens.

The _fact_ is, "revenues" went up. Period. They went up faster than
inflation. Period. They went up faster than the population increased.
Period. By all "reasonable" measures -- this is a _good_ thing. By equating
revenues as a percentage of GNP, you are tying federal spending to a percentage
of our economy. Tying the _deficit_ to a percentage of GNP is a drastically
different subject, since it is a reflection of how much the government borrows
-- versus future income.


--
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
*** These are my opinions... Mine! All Mine! Minemineminemineminemine! ***
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Robin D. Wilson ro...@pencom.com Pencom Software
701 Canyon Bend Dr. 9050 Capital of Texas Hwy
Pflugerville, TX 78660 Austin, TX 78759

Tracy Monaghan

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Nov 3, 1994, 8:59:05 PM11/3/94
to
On Tue, 1 Nov 1994, John Iacoletti wrote:

> In article <fergieCy...@netcom.com>, fer...@netcom.com (B. Scott
> Ferguson) writes:
>
> |> The "Republican Contract with America" is bogus. It would result in a
> |> much higher debt that would drag the budget down for years to come.
>
> This is Democrat misinformation. The Contract calls for a balanced budget
> amendment.
>

Calling for a balance budget and actually producing one are two very
different things. The Congressional Budget Office (which even Dole
calls non-partisan) estimates the Republican "contract" will come short
of a balanced budget by about $1 trillion!

According to Newt himself, there is no plan to balance the budget. Newt
believes once the balance budget amendment is passed, Congress will find
some way to balance the budget.

According to Dole, you can not balance the budget without addressing into
entitlements. Where in this wunder-contract are entitlements addressed?

Promising what they believe people want without facing the realities is
bogus.


Tracy <mona...@cac.washington.edu>
Information Highway Worker
University of Washington
Seattle, Washington

(Hey, Newt! If you want term limits, retire!)

B. Scott Ferguson

unread,
Nov 4, 1994, 1:59:57 AM11/4/94
to
Robin Wilson (ro...@pencom.com) wrote:

: |> John Iacoletti (joh...@austin.ibm.com) wrote:
: |> : Revenues went up -- both in real dollars and constant dollars -- by
: |> : your own figures.
: : <attribution was deleted>
: |> But not as a % of GNP. Kurt's numbers are accurate but misleading, as
: |> they are intended to be.

: Boy this is a _dangerous_ philosphy to support! "Revenues" as a
: percentage of GNP should go up? This is _exactly_ wrong. The
: sum-total of the dollars taken out of the economy by the government
: should _always_ fall relative to the GNP! If not, you are advocating
: that the government should take a larger (and larger) portion of the
: economy away from the citizens.

If you re-read what I said, you'll notice that I never promoted
increasing revenues as a %GDP. I do think that budget comparisons
only make sense as a %GDP.

The point is that revenues dropped rather severely during Reagan's
first term. The people who give the 1982-1989 revenue increases try
to deny this fact. (Did anyone else notice that the Reagan fans
believe Reagan was president for only 7 years?)

Granted, the decrease in revenues was not the only reason for the
Reagan debt. More military spending, increases in SS/Medicare, and
higher payments on the interest were at least as important.

Reagan era comparisons aside, the military, SS and interest payments
are moot. The main budget problem today is the rising health care
costs. Everything else is just lame political rhetoric.

--
Scott Ferguson | "That's a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said.
fer...@netcom.com | "When I make a word do a lot of work like that," said
| Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra."

John Iacoletti

unread,
Nov 4, 1994, 7:28:32 PM11/4/94
to
In article <Pine.ULT.3.91a.94110...@red1.cac.washington.edu>, mona...@cac.washington.edu (Tracy Monaghan) writes:
|> Calling for a balance budget and actually producing one are two very
|> different things.

If there were an amendment, they would HAVE TO produce one -- or have no
budget.

|> The Congressional Budget Office (which even Dole calls non-partisan)

It's not. It's run by Democrats.

|> estimates the Republican "contract" will come short of a balanced budget by
|> about $1 trillion!

Then it made some pretty big assumptions that aren't in the contract.

|> According to Newt himself, there is no plan to balance the budget. Newt
|> believes once the balance budget amendment is passed, Congress will find
|> some way to balance the budget.

Are you saying that the Democrats should have no say in how to balance the
budget, or is your point that Democrats love deficit spending, so they have
no intention of balancing the budget?

|> According to Dole, you can not balance the budget without addressing into
|> entitlements. Where in this wunder-contract are entitlements addressed?

You misunderstand the purpose of the contract. Republicans were always taking
heat about being "negative" about all the stupid Democrat ideas. They were
always hearing "it's easy to nay-say -- what do you stand for?". This is what
they stand for: a positive list of things they promise to bring to the floor
for debate should they get a majority. Remember, the Democrats have blocked
any discussion of Republican-originated issues. They won't even let any of
their ideas be debated. It is to the Republicans' *credit* that they don't
say how everything will be accomplished, because this cannot be done in a
vacuum.

The Democrats are outright LYING about what's in this contract to try to
scare votes out of people. It's shameful.

--
John Iacoletti IBM RISC System/6000 Division joh...@austin.ibm.com
My opinions do not reflect the views of the IBM Corporation

"Practice senseless acts of randomness"

John Iacoletti

unread,
Nov 4, 1994, 7:47:21 PM11/4/94
to
In article <fergieCy...@netcom.com>, fer...@netcom.com (B. Scott Ferguson) writes:
|> If you re-read what I said, you'll notice that I never promoted
|> increasing revenues as a %GDP. I do think that budget comparisons
|> only make sense as a %GDP.

Make up your mind: GNP or GDP?

Even if you think that's the only way they "make sense", you haven't explained
why, and this doesn't entitle you to lie about what other people say.

|> The point is that revenues dropped rather severely during Reagan's
|> first term.

They didn't. They went up:

In billions of dollars:
year receipts
==== ========
1982 617.8
1985 734.1

Stop lying.

|> The people who give the 1982-1989 revenue increases try
|> to deny this fact. (Did anyone else notice that the Reagan fans
|> believe Reagan was president for only 7 years?)

1982 was the first fiscal year budget that Reagan signed. 1989 was the last.

|> The main budget problem today is the rising health care costs. Everything
|> else is just lame political rhetoric.

This is not true. The inflation in health care costs has slowed down and is
around 5% a year now. What is lame political rhetoric is that these costs
will go down if the governemnt takes over the industry.

--
John Iacoletti IBM RISC System/6000 Division joh...@austin.ibm.com
My opinions do not reflect the views of the IBM Corporation

John Iacoletti

unread,
Nov 4, 1994, 7:35:37 PM11/4/94
to
In article <395qdl$i...@ornews.intel.com>, bre...@ornews.intel.com (Bob Breivogel) writes:
|> The fact of the matter is that they did not even *propose* a balanced
|> budget, which was within their power

This is true, but irrelevant. Congress in under no obligation to even READ
the OMB proposal, much less use any of it. And in fact they proclaimed most
(if not all) of the Reagan-Bush proposals "dead on arrival".

|> Reagan's real interest was "fighting Communism" (a holdover to his Glory
|> days) and cutting taxes for for his friends. He was willing to spend whatever
|> it took to accomplish this.

His "friends" paid more total taxes than they did before, so he didn't have to
spend anything on that. As for fighting Communism, he did a damn good job in
retrospect. Was it worth it in the long run? Your buddies in Congress spent
twice as much fighting poverty, and poverty is now at an all time high. You
tell me who wasted money in the 1980s.

--
John Iacoletti IBM RISC System/6000 Division joh...@austin.ibm.com
My opinions do not reflect the views of the IBM Corporation

B. Scott Ferguson

unread,
Nov 4, 1994, 10:38:28 PM11/4/94
to
John Iacoletti (joh...@austin.ibm.com) wrote:

: In article <fergieCy...@netcom.com>, fer...@netcom.com (B. Scott Ferguson) writes:
: |> If you re-read what I said, you'll notice that I never promoted
: |> increasing revenues as a %GDP. I do think that budget comparisons
: |> only make sense as a %GDP.

: Make up your mind: GNP or GDP?

The reports say GDP, but I'm used to saying GNP. Mea Culpa.

: Even if you think that's the only way they "make sense", you haven't


: explained why, and this doesn't entitle you to lie about what other
: people say.

Well, %GDP indicates how much of a drag the taxes are on the economy,
how much of a stimulus the spending is, and how much of a drag the
debt really is. The numbers you gave below don't even take inflation
into account, and the constant dollar numbers ignore the effects of
population growth.

If you want to reduce the role of the government in the economy, then
the size of the government should shrink as a %GDP. That's fine, but
it's not okay to increasing the size of the government by borrowing
from the future.

I don't see where I've misrepresented anyone's views. I'm just
pointing out that whether "revenues increased" depends on your metric
for revenues. We're using the term differently. Where have I called
anyone a liar?

: |> The point is that revenues dropped rather severely during Reagan's
: |> first term.

: They didn't. They went up:

: In billions of dollars:
: year receipts
: ==== ========
: 1982 617.8
: 1985 734.1

Receipts
year $$ $1987 %GDP
==== ===== ===== ====
1982 617.8 738.2 19.8
1985 734.1 777.6 18.5

(from gopher://sunny.stat-usa.gov in budget85/historical)

My numbers match yours. Where am I calling you a liar?

Just for fun, here's the breakdown in outlays for those years as %GDP.

year Mil Health Medicare Welfare SS Interest Other Total Deficit Debt
==== === ====== ======== ======= === ======== ===== ===== ======= ====
1982 5.9 0.9 1.5 3.5 5.0 2.7 4.4 23.9 4.1 29.4
1985 6.4 0.9 1.7 3.2 4.7 3.3 3.7 23.9 5.4 37.8

In the years you picked, defense spending increased while the
"liberal" programs decreased. Does this mean that if the Reagan
deficits were due to spending it's still Reagan's fault?

(Why did Reagan beat up on education? It's a tiny part of the budget,
and it's got to have a good ROI. Certainly better than SS+Medicare.
Don't the Republicans support upward mobility?)

: Stop lying.

Where have I lied?

: |> The people who give the 1982-1989 revenue increases try


: |> to deny this fact. (Did anyone else notice that the Reagan fans
: |> believe Reagan was president for only 7 years?)

: 1982 was the first fiscal year budget that Reagan signed. 1989 was
: the last.

Yes. So if you're computing the average _growth_ in real GDP for the
Reagan years you've got to subtract the 1981 GDP from the 1989 GDP.
How would your method determine if Reagan's first budget raised
revenues?

: |> The main budget problem today is the rising health care costs. Everything


: |> else is just lame political rhetoric.

: This is not true. The inflation in health care costs has slowed down and is
: around 5% a year now. What is lame political rhetoric is that these costs
: will go down if the governemnt takes over the industry.

year Health Medicare SS Total Spending
==== ====== ======== === ==============
1990 1.1 1.8 4.5 22.9
1991 1.3 1.8 4.7 23.3
1992 1.5 2.0 4.9 23.3
1993 1.6 2.1 4.8 22.4
1994est 1.7 2.2 4.8 22.3

I don't have the actual 1994 numbers. I assume you mean to say that
the health and Medicare numbers remained constant or got better this
year? Do you have any data?

You can suggest any proposal for solving this you want; I'm not tied
to any particular solution. Digging our heads in the sand, however,
is unlikely to be a particularly effective solution.

--


Scott Ferguson | "All right," said the Cat; and this time it vanished

fer...@netcom.com | quite slowly, beginning with the end of the tail, and
| ending with the grin...

John Iacoletti

unread,
Nov 5, 1994, 2:33:47 AM11/5/94
to
In article <fergieCy...@netcom.com>, fer...@netcom.com (B. Scott Ferguson) writes:
|> Well, %GDP indicates how much of a drag the taxes are on the economy,
|> how much of a stimulus the spending is, and how much of a drag the
|> debt really is. The numbers you gave below don't even take inflation
|> into account, and the constant dollar numbers ignore the effects of
|> population growth.

This is all very interesting, but it has nothing to do with whether "revenues
increased".

|> I don't see where I've misrepresented anyone's views. I'm just
|> pointing out that whether "revenues increased" depends on your metric
|> for revenues. We're using the term differently.

No. Revenues increased. Revenues as a percentage of the GDP decreased. So
if you say "revenues decreased" and nothing else, you are wrong.

|> In the years you picked, defense spending increased while the
|> "liberal" programs decreased.

Again, something is being left out because the defense increase doesn't
account for all of the debt increase.

|> Does this mean that if the Reagan
|> deficits were due to spending it's still Reagan's fault?

No. Congress writes the budgets.

|> (Why did Reagan beat up on education? It's a tiny part of the budget,

He did? Define "beat up". By the way, education is almost entirely funded
at the state and local levels. The feds provide funds for disabled
students and school lunch programs.

|> How would your method determine if Reagan's first budget raised
|> revenues?

Ummm.....

If Revenue(fiscal 1982) > Revenue (fiscal 1981)
then revenue was raised.

|> I don't have the actual 1994 numbers. I assume you mean to say that
|> the health and Medicare numbers remained constant or got better this
|> year? Do you have any data?

No, just hearsay from the newspapers. Obviously there can't be final data
from 1994 until 1994 is over.

B. Scott Ferguson

unread,
Nov 6, 1994, 12:44:37 AM11/6/94
to
John Iacoletti (joh...@austin.ibm.com) wrote:
: In article <fergieCy...@netcom.com>, fer...@netcom.com (B. Scott Ferguson) writes:

: |> I don't see where I've misrepresented anyone's views. I'm just


: |> pointing out that whether "revenues increased" depends on your metric
: |> for revenues. We're using the term differently.

: No. Revenues increased. Revenues as a percentage of the GDP
: decreased. So if you say "revenues decreased" and nothing else, you
: are wrong.

(see .sig)

: |> In the years you picked, defense spending increased while the
: |> "liberal" programs decreased.

: Again, something is being left out because the defense increase doesn't
: account for all of the debt increase.

Defense didn't account for all of the increase. The tax cuts,
increased interest payments, and a medicare increase helped.
Everything else declined. That hardly sounds like the liberal agenda
was the major cause of the deficit growth.

Where the increased deficit came from. 1982 to 1985 as %GDP

revenues: 1.3
interest: .6
military: .5
medicare: .2
income security: -.3
social security: -.3
other (liberal?): -.7
---------------------
deficit 1.3 (This matches the increase from 1982 to 1985).

: |> Does this mean that if the Reagan


: |> deficits were due to spending it's still Reagan's fault?

: No. Congress writes the budgets.

In the years you picked, savings in "liberal programs" almost offset
the losses from the tax cuts. Interest, defense and medicare
increased. Savings came from the "liberal programs" and costs came
from Reagan's programs. Or do you want to blame congress for the
defense buildup?

: |> (Why did Reagan beat up on education? It's a tiny part of the budget,

: He did? Define "beat up". By the way, education is almost entirely funded
: at the state and local levels. The feds provide funds for disabled
: students and school lunch programs.

The payments to individuals for education dropped from $10.9 billion
to $10.1 billion from 1981 to 1989 in $1987. As a %GDP that's 0.29
to 0.20.

The feds also run the Pell grant, Perkin's loan and Stafford loan
programs which help lower income students pay for college. I said
"beat up" because I remember some rhetoric that the student loans
should be cut because "college students are using these loans to buy
new stereos." Isn't education spending one of those nasty liberal
programs that's causing the federal deficit? The result was to tax
grad student stipends and take 60% of summer earnings, which after
taking out rent and food leaves 0% left for working the whole summer.

Of course the states pay more for education. That's why I'm more
angry at Pete Wilson about education than Reagan.

: |> How would your method determine if Reagan's first budget raised
: |> revenues?

: Ummm.....

: If Revenue(fiscal 1982) > Revenue (fiscal 1981)
: then revenue was raised.

Yay! So in calculating revenue increases and GDP increases you need
to compare 1989 to _1981_ not 1982.

--
Scott Ferguson | "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make
------------------+ words mean so many different things."

Richard Wojcik

unread,
Nov 6, 1994, 1:27:15 PM11/6/94
to
In article <Cyrqn...@austin.ibm.com>,
John Iacoletti <joh...@austin.ibm.com> wrote:
[responding to Tracy Monaghan's comment]

>|> Calling for a balance budget and actually producing one are two very
>|> different things.
>
>If there were an amendment, they would HAVE TO produce one -- or have no
>budget.

Too bad that we could not have seen the effect such an amendment would have
had on Reagan's "supply-side" budget proposals back in the 80's. We
wouldn't be in such a fix now if someone had hammered some fiscal
responsibility into the dunces who came up with the idea of reducing
revenues and increasing expenditures. I truly do understand why the people
who sold that snake oil to the American public are the very same ones who
sing the virtues of a balanced budget amendment now. They understand
themselves very well. ;-)

But fiscal snake oil is still snake oil. Now we are told that forcing the
government to hamstring its budget will cure our ills. The problem with
that idea is that the federal budget is not the same as a household budget.
The federal budget is a tremendous cash engine that drives the economy.
That is why Keynesian deficit spending methods work in the short term. A
balanced budget would certainly put an end to deficit spending, but the
price would be economic suicide. Politicians (especially Republican
politicians) love to offer up this latest gimmick as a smokescreen to cover
up past ineptitude, but God help us all if they screw up and actually
implement the idea. You think voters are angry now? Wait until they
balance the budget. Then you will see voters looking for real revenge.
And guess who will get blamed. Right. The liberals. %)
--
Rick Wojcik ri...@eskimo.com Seattle (for locals: Bellevue), WA
http://www.eskimo.com/~rickw/

The Grey Man

unread,
Nov 6, 1994, 8:49:35 PM11/6/94
to
Would you people mind NOT crossposting this stupid crap to the entire world.
If we wanted every politics newsgroup to have the same posts in it, we would
only have one political news group. The fact that there are
newsgroups for different states should give you a clue as to their
intent. Information about evil liberals, evil conservatives, stupid
libertarians and other political ignorami in Oregon, California, Washington,
Texas, Colorado and New York are of no real interest to me. We've got plenty
of our own here in New Jersey. If they were of interest to me, I would
seek out the newsgroups where information about them exists. I don't
need for it to seek me out.

Sadly, discussion of the various congressional races as well as local races
for Freeholder and council positions has been buried under this rubbish.

Charlie Armstrong
Cape May County, New Jersey

John Iacoletti

unread,
Nov 7, 1994, 7:24:35 PM11/7/94
to
In article <fergieCy...@netcom.com>, fer...@netcom.com (B. Scott Ferguson) writes:
|> (see .sig)

Excuse me, but you're the one practicing humpty-ism here. "An increase is
really a decrease. You just have to divide by the right number!"

|> In the years you picked, savings in "liberal programs" almost offset
|> the losses from the tax cuts.

I think your categories are cooked. What about other entitlements?

|> Interest, defense and medicare
|> increased. Savings came from the "liberal programs" and costs came
|> from Reagan's programs.

Interest is a Reagan program? Who left him the 20% interest rates?

Medicare is a Reagan program?

|> The payments to individuals for education dropped from $10.9 billion
|> to $10.1 billion from 1981 to 1989 in $1987. As a %GDP that's 0.29
|> to 0.20.

What kind of "payments to individuals", and what for?

|> The result was to tax
|> grad student stipends and take 60% of summer earnings, which after
|> taking out rent and food leaves 0% left for working the whole summer.

So the federal government should give people free money without getting
anything in return?

John Iacoletti

unread,
Nov 7, 1994, 7:33:32 PM11/7/94
to
In article <Cyuz9...@eskimo.com>, ri...@eskimo.com (Richard Wojcik) writes:
|> wouldn't be in such a fix now if someone had hammered some fiscal
|> responsibility into the dunces who came up with the idea of reducing
|> revenues and increasing expenditures.

Supply-side doesn't do either. You're picking on the wrong dunces.

|> The federal budget is a tremendous cash engine that drives the economy.
|> That is why Keynesian deficit spending methods work in the short term.

Short term? This country has been deficit spending as long as it's been a
country.

|> A
|> balanced budget would certainly put an end to deficit spending, but the
|> price would be economic suicide.

So let me see if I understand the Wojcik way to economic prosperity. Continue
to deficit spend and just don't worry about it?

|> You think voters are angry now? Wait until they
|> balance the budget. Then you will see voters looking for real revenge.

They can't have it both ways. We have to get past this notion of "what can
the government give me?".

boydk

unread,
Nov 8, 1994, 11:45:55 AM11/8/94
to
Just jumping in mid thread here, so I didnt edit groups (though I don't
understand why so many).

On Tue, 8 Nov 1994, John Iacoletti wrote:

> In article <Cyuz9...@eskimo.com>, ri...@eskimo.com (Richard Wojcik) writes:

[good point deleted]


>
> |> The federal budget is a tremendous cash engine that drives the economy.
> |> That is why Keynesian deficit spending methods work in the short term.
>
> Short term? This country has been deficit spending as long as it's been a
> country.

I hope we're goin' for hyperbole here, certainly the US never had a
"deficit" in it's begining years.

> |> A
> |> balanced budget would certainly put an end to deficit spending, but the
> |> price would be economic suicide.
>
> So let me see if I understand the Wojcik way to economic prosperity. Continue
> to deficit spend and just don't worry about it?

I think maybe rick is confusing the effects of a zero debt policy with a
zero deficit policy. Erasing the debt in one pesidential term would
surely collapse the currency (we can agree on this, right?) but erasing
the deficit is doable with a little uncomfortable belt tightening.
Erasing the deficit has got to be done, we cannot go on pouring the
country's productivity into _interest_ payments on debt and balancing
the budget is the first step to dealing with that.
All that said, the Repub contract is to _discuss_ a BB amendment, if
they actually passed it I would be bummed. Think we're ever going to
have a major war without debt? Think we'd survive major natural disaster
without federal debt? Just like when you buy a house or car, there _are_
economically healthy times for the Federal govt to run a debt, just not
_all_ the time.

> |> You think voters are angry now? Wait until they
> |> balance the budget. Then you will see voters looking for real revenge.
>
> They can't have it both ways. We have to get past this notion of "what can
> the government give me?".

Very well said. You can continue having your social security taxes upped
and used to make the deficit _look_ smaller then it is or you can survive
some cuts in social programs. You can continue to see ever larger
portions of the economy glommed onto by debt service or you can weather a
little more taxation. Let's do this before it becomes a matter of
economic triage.

> --
> John Iacoletti IBM RISC System/6000 Division joh...@austin.ibm.com
> My opinions do not reflect the views of the IBM Corporation
> "Practice senseless acts of randomness"

-Boyd Kneeland who's opinions are his own.

Tracy Monaghan

unread,
Nov 8, 1994, 1:27:14 PM11/8/94
to
On Tue, 8 Nov 1994, boydk wrote:

[selected snips for brevity]

> Just jumping in mid thread here, so I didnt edit groups (though I don't
> understand why so many).

ditto

> On Tue, 8 Nov 1994, John Iacoletti wrote:
>
> > In article <Cyuz9...@eskimo.com>, ri...@eskimo.com (Richard Wojcik) writes:
> [good point deleted]
> >
> > |> The federal budget is a tremendous cash engine that drives the economy.
> > |> That is why Keynesian deficit spending methods work in the short term.
> >
> > Short term? This country has been deficit spending as long as it's been a
> > country.
> I hope we're goin' for hyperbole here, certainly the US never had a
> "deficit" in it's begining years.

It did. One of the first acts of the first Congress was to assume the
debt incurred by the states during the war of independence.

[snip]


>
> All that said, the Repub contract is to _discuss_ a BB amendment, if
> they actually passed it I would be bummed. Think we're ever going to
> have a major war without debt? Think we'd survive major natural disaster
> without federal debt? Just like when you buy a house or car, there _are_
> economically healthy times for the Federal govt to run a debt, just not
> _all_ the time.

Most discussions about a balanced budget amendment include exceptions
for war, disasters, etc. It's the "etc." which critics claim will cause
the BB to go the way of Gramm-Rudman and other half-hearted attempts to
a) placate the voters, and b) reduce the deficit.

[snip]

> > --
> > John Iacoletti IBM RISC System/6000 Division joh...@austin.ibm.com
> > My opinions do not reflect the views of the IBM Corporation
> > "Practice senseless acts of randomness"
> -Boyd Kneeland who's opinions are his own.
>
>

Richard Wojcik

unread,
Nov 8, 1994, 11:22:19 PM11/8/94
to
In article <CyxAv...@austin.ibm.com>,

John Iacoletti <joh...@austin.ibm.com> wrote:
>In article <Cyuz9...@eskimo.com>, ri...@eskimo.com (Richard Wojcik) writes:
>|> wouldn't be in such a fix now if someone had hammered some fiscal
>|> responsibility into the dunces who came up with the idea of reducing
>|> revenues and increasing expenditures.
>
>Supply-side doesn't do either. You're picking on the wrong dunces.

Unfortunately, those who raised the supply-side banner had to implement the
ideals in the real world. It was their rhetoric, if not their ideas, that
led us into this mess. One could easily defend communism on the grounds
that nobody ever *really* implemented it. Perhaps we should have another
go at it, eh? ;-)

>|> The federal budget is a tremendous cash engine that drives the economy.
>|> That is why Keynesian deficit spending methods work in the short term.
>
>Short term? This country has been deficit spending as long as it's been a
>country.

Not really. But Reagan sure was right when he said "You ain't seen nothin'
yet." Too true. Put all the past big spenders to shame. The marvel is
that the public still hangs the "big spender" sign on the Democrats.
Borrowing money just doesn't seem like spending real money, does it? Just
give 'em the little plastic strip, and don't worry about it. And what a
dandy little freebie that "star wars" program was, right?

>|> A
>|> balanced budget would certainly put an end to deficit spending, but the
>|> price would be economic suicide.
>
>So let me see if I understand the Wojcik way to economic prosperity. Continue
>to deficit spend and just don't worry about it?

Not at all. The problem is that almost all of our revenues would be needed
immediately to pay off the Reagan debt. Massive layoffs and economic chaos
are not necessarily good tradeoffs for instant solvency. BTW, wealth does
not exist independently of economic activity. You need to build capital
constantly in order to maintain your economic health. Clinton's aim is to
bring the debt down gradually while trying to build more capital. He uses
the "grow the economy" expression to get this idea across. Unfortunately,
people still see wealth as a limited, fixed resource that never expands or
contracts. In the naive view, it is just a question of who has the money,
not how the money supply grows or shrinks. Ironically, Clinton is a bigger
capitalist than the Republicans, even though his image seems the opposite.

John Iacoletti

unread,
Nov 10, 1994, 4:40:42 PM11/10/94
to
In article <CyzG5...@eskimo.com>, ri...@eskimo.com (Richard Wojcik) writes:
|> Not really. But Reagan sure was right when he said "You ain't seen nothin'
|> yet." Too true. Put all the past big spenders to shame. The marvel is
|> that the public still hangs the "big spender" sign on the Democrats.

Gee I wonder why? Let's see.....

Article I, sections 7-8, U.S. Constitution:

Sect. 7. All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the house
of representatives; but the senate may propose or concur with
amendments as on other bills.

Sect. 8. The Congress shall have power

To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the
debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of
the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be
uniform throughout the United States.

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

Now which party has controlled the House of Representatives for the last
40 years? Reagan didn't spend a dime, and you know it.

|> Clinton's aim is to
|> bring the debt down gradually while trying to build more capital.

Oh sure. 16 million for economic "stimulus", 30 BILLION to "address" crime,
90 BILLION for socialized medicine, investing the public debt in short term
bonds which will have to be renewed at higher rates in 6 years. That's
what I call bringing the debt down.

NOT.

John Iacoletti

unread,
Nov 10, 1994, 8:22:29 PM11/10/94
to
In article <Pine.HPP.3.90.94110...@elmer.wrq.com>, bo...@wrq.com (boydk) writes:
|> I hope we're goin' for hyperbole here, certainly the US never had a
|> "deficit" in it's begining years.

No hyberbole. The federal government ran an average $59,000 annual deficit
between March 4, 1789 and Dec. 31, 1800.

Janos Szamosfalvi

unread,
Nov 10, 1994, 8:57:55 PM11/10/94
to
Distribution:

boydk (bo...@wrq.com) wrote:

: I didnt make myself clear in my first message here, but I thought I had
: with this one. I wasnt claiming that we've never had high debts before, I
: am saying that they weren't large and continuing like this. Please correct
: this if I'm wrong.
: Nonetheless my point is it seems like several peole in seattle.politics
: have been arguing that large long term debts are either beneficial (as
: stimulus) or at least not detrimental. This is _wrong_. It ain't
: Keynesian, maybe it's Monahagnian or Wojnickian economics but Keynes it
: isnt. Keynes argued for the short term use of fiscal & public policy to
: stimulate at the bottom of a depression. Someone please show me where he
: said continuing public debt was desirable.

Actually, it depends on the growth rate of the econonomy.
If the economy can grow faster than deficit and this growth
is sustained by borrowing, then long term deficit is not
bad. But if the economy can't grow as fast as the deficit,
then long term debth is clearly detrimental.

Ben Miller

unread,
Nov 10, 1994, 5:50:28 AM11/10/94
to
In article <CyxAv...@austin.ibm.com>, joh...@austin.ibm.com (John Iacoletti) writes:
>In article <Cyuz9...@eskimo.com>, ri...@eskimo.com (Richard Wojcik) writes:
>|> You think voters are angry now? Wait until they
>|> balance the budget. Then you will see voters looking for real revenge.
>
>They can't have it both ways. We have to get past this notion of "what can
>the government give me?".

I've already resigned myself to never getting anything from the govt. I just
hope they don't take away what I have got too quickly. Why do we have to get
past that notion? We give them money, they give us services.

Ben

ak8...@albnyvms.bitnet

unread,
Nov 13, 1994, 11:37:33 PM11/13/94
to
In article <Cz2Mv...@austin.ibm.com>, joh...@austin.ibm.com (John Iacoletti) writes:
>In article <CyzG5...@eskimo.com>, ri...@eskimo.com (Richard Wojcik) writes:
>|> Not really. But Reagan sure was right when he said "You ain't seen nothin'
>|> yet." Too true. Put all the past big spenders to shame. The marvel is
>|> that the public still hangs the "big spender" sign on the Democrats.

>Now which party has controlled the House of Representatives for the last

>40 years? Reagan didn't spend a dime, and you know it.

>|> Clinton's aim is to
>|> bring the debt down gradually while trying to build more capital.
>
>Oh sure. 16 million for economic "stimulus", 30 BILLION to "address" crime,
>90 BILLION for socialized medicine, investing the public debt in short term
>bonds which will have to be renewed at higher rates in 6 years. That's
>what I call bringing the debt down.
>
>NOT.

You folks are really starting to test my patience with this rubbish.
Now which is it? Is the President at least a little bit responsible for
the budgets that are enacted on his watch or not? Apparently, when the
result is "bad" and you like the President, the fault is with the Democratic
House of Representatives. But when you dislike the President, and the
proposed budget is "bad", the fault is with the Democratic President
(I note that you forgot to give credit to the Democratic House of
Representatives for shooting down President Clinton's original budget).

Ladies and Gentlemen, look at the referenced post closely. You see
above, the work of a Conservatoid. A Conservatoid is a fellow who
proposes Conservative programs, and supports them with sloppy
Liberal-type reasoning. Rush and other Conservatoids will succeed in
destroying Conservatism for generations to come, unless their efforts
to disgrace the Conservative movement are halted expeditiously.

>--
>John Iacoletti IBM RISC System/6000 Division joh...@austin.ibm.com

ALfredo B. Goyburu

"Liberalism is a poor substitute for understanding."

ak8...@albnyvms.bitnet

unread,
Nov 13, 1994, 11:20:05 PM11/13/94
to

You are correct about the National Debt. In fact, the National Debt actually
predates the Republic. How do you think that they paid for the Revolutionary
War?

It is scary to think that there are folks who know not even this much about the
National Debt, folks who (apparently) have never heard of the tremendous
debts that the Continental Congress ran in order to pay for the American
Revolution. It is even more frightening to think that some of these same
folks claim to understand enough about the National Debt, that they can
"see" the "danger" that it poses to the American economy. Oi Vey.

Jim Pritchett

unread,
Nov 12, 1994, 1:29:15 AM11/12/94
to
In article <fergieCy...@netcom.com>, B. Scott Ferguson writes:

> The "Republican Contract with America" is bogus. It would result in a
> much higher debt that would drag the budget down for years to come.

> The Republican claim of being the party of fiscal responsibility lacks
> a sliver of credibility.

Please explain how a "contract" that promises to have open House debate and
a floor vote on 10 issues can "drag the budget down for years..."

Scott's credibility is lacking here.

Would you hysterical liberals out there PLEASE read the "contract" before
posting this drivel?

Jim Pritchett


UUCP: rwsys.lonestar.org!caleb!jdp "For with God nothing shall
be impossible." Luke 1:37

Evan Hunt

unread,
Nov 14, 1994, 9:32:57 PM11/14/94
to

So joh...@austin.ibm.com (John Iacoletti) says:
>In article <CyzG5...@eskimo.com>, ri...@eskimo.com (Richard Wojcik) writes:
>|> The marvel is
>|> that the public still hangs the "big spender" sign on the Democrats.

[Constitution quotes snipped]

>Now which party has controlled the House of Representatives for the last
>40 years? Reagan didn't spend a dime, and you know it.

And then he says:

>|> Clinton's aim is to
>|> bring the debt down gradually while trying to build more capital.
>
>Oh sure. 16 million for economic "stimulus", 30 BILLION to "address" crime,
>90 BILLION for socialized medicine, investing the public debt in short term
>bonds which will have to be renewed at higher rates in 6 years. That's
>what I call bringing the debt down.

I perceive a cake-eating/cake-having situation here. If it's Clinton's
fault that money is being spent now (and the deficit _is_ decreasing
relative to the Bush administration projections, please do note), then
why _wasn't_ it Reagans fault that money was being spent in the eighties
(with deficits that got bigger and bigger each year)?

--
"The wages of sin are death. But after taxes
are taken out, it's just a sort of tired feeling." - Paula Poundstone

boydk

unread,
Nov 15, 1994, 3:25:18 PM11/15/94
to
What are we talking about here and how the _heck_ did all those funny
group names get up there??

Okay, _I_ am the person who made the ignorant statement above and I have
NEVER claimed to see any danger in carrying a national debt. I have
questioned what level is safe and pointed out that Keynes (who is the best
known economist to call _for_ debts) didnt see them as a permanent fixture.
IMPORTANTLY-> I _also_immediately_ sent a message to the group clarifying
what I had meant to say & admitting my mistake. I don't appreciate messages
getting chopped up (w/out indication[snip]), attributions getting
ignored and group editing getting undone. Yeesh, ya go away for a week
and come back to find you've been turned into the myth du jour.
-Boyd (my opinions disclaimed, they're brought by the opinion faery)
(an> ALfredo B. Goyburu > > "Liberalism is a poor substitute for understanding."
Indeed

Tracy Monaghan

unread,
Nov 16, 1994, 12:41:21 PM11/16/94
to
So joh...@austin.ibm.com (John Iacoletti) says:

>In article <CyzG5...@eskimo.com>, ri...@eskimo.com (Richard Wojcik) writes:
>|> The marvel is
>|> that the public still hangs the "big spender" sign on the Democrats.

>Now which party has controlled the House of Representatives for the last

>40 years? Reagan didn't spend a dime, and you know it.
>

Which party controlled the Senate from 1981-1987 while the deficit grew
and grew and grew and ... ?

Phil Ronzone

unread,
Nov 16, 1994, 2:35:51 PM11/16/94
to
In article <Pine.ULT.3.91a.94111...@red3.cac.washington.edu> Tracy Monaghan <mona...@cac.washington.edu> writes:
>Which party controlled the Senate from 1981-1987 while the
>deficit grew and grew and grew and ... ?

Doesn't matter since appropriations originate in the House.

And guess which party controlled the House then.


--
"I didn't do it, nobody saw me, and you can't prove it!" - B. Simpson

These opinions are MINE, and you can't have 'em! (But I'll rent 'em cheap ...)

David L. Cathey

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Nov 16, 1994, 12:25:48 AM11/16/94
to

The notion goes beyond that. The problem is that too many people
think they should get more than they give. While some always will, not
everyone can.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
David L. Cathey |Inet: dav...@montagar.com
Montagar Software Concepts |UUCP: ...!montagar!davidc
P. O. Box 260776 |Fone: (214)-578-5036
Plano TX 75026-0772 |http://www.montagar.com/~davidc/

John Iacoletti

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Nov 16, 1994, 9:35:19 PM11/16/94
to
In article <Pine.ULT.3.91a.94111...@red3.cac.washington.edu>, mona...@cac.washington.edu (Tracy Monaghan) writes:
|> Which party controlled the Senate from 1981-1987 while the deficit grew
|> and grew and grew and ... ?

It doesn't matter. The Senate can't originate a spending bill.

John Iacoletti

unread,
Nov 16, 1994, 9:39:21 PM11/16/94
to
In article <3a6pid$j...@rebecca.albany.edu>, ak8...@albnyvms.bitnet (ak8...@albnyvms.bitnet) writes:
|> Ladies and Gentlemen, look at the referenced post closely. You see
|> above, the work of a Conservatoid. A Conservatoid is a fellow who
|> proposes Conservative programs, and supports them with sloppy
|> Liberal-type reasoning.

You're the one with sloppy reasoning, my friend (or at least an inability to
read). There's no inconsistency here. The claim was made that Clinton's
"aim" was to reduce spending. None of his agenda has the slightest thing
to do with reducing spending. Yes, it's Congress's fault for implementing
his agenda.

--
John Iacoletti IBM RISC System/6000 Division joh...@austin.ibm.com

John Iacoletti

unread,
Nov 16, 1994, 9:45:09 PM11/16/94
to
In article <1994Nov15.0...@sco.com>, ev...@sco.COM (Evan Hunt) writes:
|> I perceive a cake-eating/cake-having situation here. If it's Clinton's
|> fault that money is being spent now (and the deficit _is_ decreasing
|> relative to the Bush administration projections, please do note), then
|> why _wasn't_ it Reagans fault that money was being spent in the eighties
|> (with deficits that got bigger and bigger each year)?

It's the House's fault in both cases, but read again what I was responding
to: "Clinton's aim is to reduce the debt". Proposing scads of new spending
does not equate to an "aim to reduce debt". Reagan's aims were to restore
the military, and reduce tax rates. His aims were NOT to increase entitlement
spending by 2 trillion.

Robert Cerpa

unread,
Nov 17, 1994, 2:34:54 AM11/17/94
to


The Constitution says that all bills for raising REVENUE shall
originate in the House. It doesn't say anything about where spending
bills originate. Is there some Congressional tradition that I am
unaware of that says the Senate cannot propose a spending bill?
If not, then it seems both parties share blame for the deficit.
The Republicans and Democrats seem to exert alot of effort passing
the buck on this issue...if the line-item veto is instituted, at
least final responsibility for the budget will rest with the
President.


Robert Cerpa
ce...@cgl.ucsf.edu

Tracy Monaghan

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Nov 17, 1994, 2:30:58 PM11/17/94
to
In article <CzE4I...@austin.ibm.com>, joh...@austin.ibm.com (John Iacoletti) wr