Senate Fiscal Cliff Doomsday Countdown Thread

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Jabbadabbado, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    SURPRISE!!!

    Geithner reveals the debt ceiling limit will be reached months earlier than expected... in exactly 5 days... on December 31st.

    Link

    Geithner says they'll take emergency measures that will prevent a default for a month or two, but yeah, not a nice surprise.

    Will Boehner finally show some leadership, and be willing to allow the Senate Democrats' bill to come to a vote in the House? (it has enough Republican support to pass, just not a majority of GOP support)

    Or will it go to a conference committee, where McConnell will have the ability to filibuster any compromise between the House and Senate?


    So far, the Senate is back in session, but Boehner has refused to allow the House to even reconvene.
    Last edited by Summer Dreamer, Dec 26, 2012
  2. Joe Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 25, 2012
    star 6
    I think the Mayans were slightly off...the world's gonna end on December 31st, 2012, not the 21st.
  3. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    Reid just issued a statement saying no deal before the end of the year.

    Part of me is very worried, part of me thinks this is a sophisticated bluff.

    Oh, we'll go over, but I think once John Boehner gets re-elected speaker and the new taxes go into effect, that's when we'll see real movement, since anything that comes after that will be a "tax cut", even for higher earners. Obama, for example, could "meet in the middle" on taxes-cut the highest rate from 39.6 back down to 37%, for example-and the Teabaggers could still claim victory with their constituents.

    Not raising the debt ceiling, however, would be a catastrophe. America survived S and P's initial downgrade, but a drop to junk status would not be so easily dismissed, and that's what will happen if we default.

    Stupid stupid stupid. We are giving Russia and China the ammunition that they need to pressure the IMF to issue gold-backed Special Drawing Rights as an alternative reserve currency to the US dollar, which would also be catastrophic to our standard of living. If that happened, the dollar would instantly be devalued by about 30%, overnight.

    Hope they reach a deal after January 3rd.

    Peace,

    V-03
  4. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    It's good to see that President Norquist is doing the job he was elected to do.
    Jedi Merkurian, Ramza and Vaderize03 like this.
  5. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    He needs to be abducted by aliens, preferably from the far future and from Planet Tax.
  6. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    This is the Y2k of financial 'disasters'.
  7. AAAAAH Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2012
    star 4
    o: yo geithner

    g: yo

    o: hey is there any way we can move the debt ceiling forward to new years eve with everything else?

    g: yeah probably. yeah we can do that.

    o: ok nice. hey geithner

    g: wha

    o: fiscal cliff lol

    g: lol
    Vaderize03 likes this.
  8. Billy_Dee_Binks Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 29, 2002
    star 4
    Great, and I just bought plane tickets to the U.S. for March.

    Though, maybe the U.S. will go through it's "Mad Max everyone for himself wasteland phase" in a mere two months, so when I arrive there's already a working government under the rule of the new President, Humongous.
    DarthBoba likes this.
  9. Narutakikun Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2012
    star 4
    A partial transcript from a recent Radio Derb podcast by John Derbyshire. There are things I disagree with Derbyshire about, but he's smart as a whip, and coldly rational, and I think that on this, he's right on target:



    I have to say, I find this argument most persuasive. Tax and spend may be bad; borrow and spend is worse. As a nation, we have to start learning to pay for the things we want. Because eventually, we'll have to anyway.
    Last edited by Narutakikun, Dec 27, 2012
  10. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    You want wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? Pay for them.

    If rich Americans want all these tax cuts, well, let them damn well forget it.

    We do. We've been paying into it our whole lives. You want to snatch the money to pay for your wars and tax cuts? Go to hell.
    Last edited by Arawn_Fenn, Dec 27, 2012
  11. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Yeah, the remark about the DOD overseas budget is off. For one thing, those countries actually partly pay for those bases; for another, it's the wars that are actually paid for with borrowing. The stuff we've been doing for 50 years in NATO countries and Japan we already pay for.

    And seriously, Coolidge? One of the greatest economic nincompoops of all time if I'm not mistaken. Germany's reparations were a big part of how Hitler got a toehold in the German psyche and they finally finished paying that off just a year or two ago. I'm guessing France and England's own economic growth 'paid' for war costs a hell of alot more quickly than that ever did.
  12. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    Smart as a majority whip, more like.
  13. AAAAAH Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2012
    star 4
    that's a good idea. i'm going to snatch some money for some tax cuts.
  14. Narutakikun Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2012
    star 4
    Yup. Did you think this was arguing against me, or Derbyshire?

    Sure. But the fact remains that there simply isn't enough money in the "rich" to make a meaningful difference in something as astronomical as the federal budget. They have a lot of money individually, but there simply aren't enough of them. The real money is in the vast middle class - in taking a little (money) from a lot (of people) instead of a lot from a little.

    "Soak the 1%" simply isn't a realistic solution to this country's very deep and fundamental fiscal problems. It sounds great, and it feels good because it's simple and only hurts people that few have any sympathy for, but I'm afraid that workable solutions to problems like this just aren't that easy.

    I don't. Neither does Derbyshire. But the fact remains that Medicare is not a fiscally sound program, and it definitely isn't if you take away all the money we borrow to keep it and all our other government programs going. This is critical, as the fact is that that way of doing things is simply unsustainable. Again, if we want it, we're going to have to start paying for it, and if we're already paying some, we'll have to start paying more.

    "Partly" - key word.

    And the plain fact is that wars or no wars, our huge military and its seemingly endless commitments are astronomically expensive, and require enormous amounts of debt to maintain. It's certainly not sustainable either, but if people want to keep it going until the bottom falls out, they're going to have to, as Derbyshire says, damn well start paying for it themselves.
    I'm rather reminded of H. L. Mencken's obituary for Coolidge:

    "In what manner he would have performed himself if the holy angels had shoved the Depression forward a couple of years - this we can only guess, and one man's hazard is as good as another's. My own is that he would have responded to bad times precisely as he responded to good ones - that is, by pulling down the blinds, stretching his legs upon his desk, and snoozing away the lazy afternoons.... He slept more than any other President, whether by day or by night. Nero fiddled, but Coolidge only snored.... We suffer most not when the White House is a peaceful dormitory, but when it is a jitney Mars Hill, with a tin-pot Paul bawling from the roof. Discounting Harding as a cipher, Coolidge was preceded by one World Saver and followed by two more. What enlightened American, having to choose between any of them and another Coolidge, would hesitate for an instant? There were no thrills while he reigned, but neither were there any headaches. He had no ideas, and he was not a nuisance."
    Last edited by Narutakikun, Dec 27, 2012
  15. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    And this has what to do with voting for Obama, as opposed to the alternative ( who suggested an increase in the defense budget that our military didn't even ask for )?

    Because the alternative is significantly worse? Because some people believe that health care should be accessible to those who don't happen to be extremely affluent? ( Did somebody say something about "immoral"? ) Because some people don't believe that punishing the middle and lower classes for the crimes of the Bush administration is the right thing to do?

    The "plain fact" is that Republicans posing as the party of either fiscal responsibility or moral superiority could be considered a joke... except jokes are meant to be funny.
    Valairy Scot likes this.
  16. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    And the plain fact is that wars or no wars, our huge military and its seemingly endless commitments are astronomically expensive, and require enormous amounts of debt to maintain. It's certainly not sustainable either, but if people want to keep it going until the bottom falls out, they're going to have to, as Derbyshire says, damn well start paying for it themselves.

    That would be incorrect also. Seriously. The only part of the DOD budget that comes from borrowing is the war in Afghanistan now. It's a bad decision that shouldn't have been taken, I'll admit, but to paint the entire DOD budget as being solely debt spending is quite wrong.
  17. Narutakikun Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2012
    star 4
    Social programs of the type Obama voters tend to support are unsustainably expensive; certainly without much higher taxes. Yes, Bush and his Medicare expansions, and yes, the Republicans and the unsustainable military - but because one side is unrealistic, does that make the other realistic? Or maybe are they both delusional?

    In the end, the point Derbyshire is making, and that I agree with, is that none of it is really sustainable, we'll need higher taxes to pay for any of it, and most likely, all of it will face cuts. We can't keep spending money we don't have. Whether we like it or not, that imply isn't realistic; it can't and won't go on forever, or even likely for very much longer at all.

    First, saying that only "extremely affluent" people have access to health care is "extremely exaggerated", and you know it. Second, Obamacare is a lousy, ramshackle plan - we'd be better off with single-payer if we were going to go down that route. Thirdly, and most importantly, how are we going to pay for all this crap? That's not a minor question, as the way we've been doing it is not sustainable. We've been kicking the can down the road for years. We're about to hit a brick wall on that that no amount of Congressional book-cooking will be able to avoid.



    Barack Obama has done nothing to convince me he's serious about doing that - or indeed about reversing very much of the worst Bush gave us at all.

    And again, claiming that the Bush wars, disastrous and ruinous as they were, are the entirety of the problem is simply not dealing with reality. It feels good because it lets you blame everything on someone you don't like, but it's time for us to put away feel-good and start dealing with reality - because sooner or later (and probably sooner), reality is going to deal with us no matter how we feel about things.


    Well, they are in comparison to Democrats, though that's admittedly a very, very low bar.

    Both parties suck, and refusing to look reality in the face so you can keep waving a banner for one or the other of them just won't turn out well.
    Last edited by Narutakikun, Dec 27, 2012
  18. Narutakikun Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2012
    star 4
    At best this is delusional; at worst, it is accounting fraud, which seems to be just about the only thing this country is genuinely good at producing anymore. The money we take in in taxes, the money we borrow, and the money we print is all more or less (Social Security is, at least theoretically, an exception) fungible - if we put less of it into X, we can put more into Y, where Y can be your choice of social programs, tax cuts, or just borrowing less money to pay for all this crap.

    As I said, pretending that our enormous and unsustainable military isn't a key part of the problem is not dealing with reality. You can cook the books by claiming that all that money that goes into your favorite expensive government project only comes from the money we don't borrow, but in the end, that really is just a species of fraud. The bottom line is that if we didn't have to pay so much money for the upkeep of the military, the government wouldn't have to come up with as much money to cover its bills as it does, and as borrowing is a major way it comes up with that money, it would have to borrow less.
  19. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2002
    star 7
    it never ceases to astound me that you can get away with this statement unchallenged for even a single solitary second in a country where 10% of the population control fully 80% of the financial wealth
  20. Narutakikun Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2012
    star 4
    Define: "control". Do you mean "have as personal wealth in cash or liquid assets under their own name"? Or do you mean "have a stake in businesses that represent that wealth"? If you believe the first, you're simply wrong - 10% of the population does not have 80% of the money in this country as cash personal wealth, as if they all had some version of Scrooge McDuck's money vault in their backyards that they put on swimsuits and dive into on Saturday afternoons. The fact is, we could take every dime that every rich person in this country has as personal wealth, and it wouldn't even scratch the paint of our fiscal problems.

    If you mean their businesses, well, then what? You can raid the businesses they have stakes in Boesky-style, drain every dime those businesses have, put it all into the Treasury, and leave them busted - if you'd like a 60% unemployment rate. I guess you could nationalize their businesses, Soviet-style, but then you'd end up with Soviet-style businesses. Unlike you, I'm sure, I actually spent some time in the Soviet Union before it finally fell apart. There's nothing that will mint an ardent capitalist like actually seeing Communism in person. None for me, thanks.

    Speaking of which, why am I arguing economics with someone who still believes that Communism is a workable economic system twenty years after it collapsed into smoking fiscal ruin? If you're not going to be convinced by, y'know, history and reality and stuff, then convincing you is beyond my rhetorical powers.
    Last edited by Narutakikun, Dec 28, 2012
  21. Likewater Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2009
    star 4
    I don't believe alot of "cut the military butget" view point holders are taking national psychology into consideration.

    The American psychology is that of insecurity without a powerful military. I know, odd of a nation so rarely invaded and not surrounded by hostile nations, but when you consider the international and national prestige garnerd by the Second World War, and combined with the hightend tension of the Cold War right after alterned the Psychology of the American....National Mentality.

    It will take lot(Something akin to the ww2 or the cold war in scale/damage/prestige loss or gain) to change the view in washington, especially emoughst the hawkish crowd that cutting military spending is what is best for the US long term.
    Jedi Merkurian likes this.
  22. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2002
    star 7
    so all these bales of straw spun to say, essentially, that im right, you lied, and passing the burden on to the middle class is not, in fact, where the cash cow lies. putting that grad degree to work i see

    also i loled at characterizing the twilight soviet union as "Communism". good one
    Last edited by Rogue_Ten, Dec 28, 2012
  23. Narutakikun Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2012
    star 4
    Ah, I see that No True Scotsman has started playing his pipes.

    Oh, I am.

    It would be better to declare victory and retreat from World Policeman duty in an orderly fashion, but we probably won't. The military will be reigned in when the money runs out. Which it will. Meaningful cuts in the military will probably only happen the day that the President (whoever it may be when this happens) has to go on television and tell the American people, in essence: "The military, or Medicare: choose".
  24. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2002
    star 7
    i really am far too charitable at giving you room for deflection

    for the viewers at home: (continuing to) pass the burden on to the productive classes cannot possibly be the answer when all the wealth is in the hands of the capitalist class

    ...as if sovereign debt in global capitalism were anything but a dog and pony show to begin with
    Last edited by Rogue_Ten, Dec 28, 2012
  25. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    ....which will happen on the day that our creditors decide to stop buying US Treasuries.

    It might not be as far off as you think.