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Author Topic: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party  (Read 4814 times)

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Offline TriesteTopic starter

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Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #25 on: December 01, 2010, 08:58:32 PM »
It's not actually the voters who are being morons. It's the voted. :P

So how about this: Explain, please, how cockblocking every single thing - indiscriminately, no matter what - is benefiting the larger population of the country? And why taxes, when the only dispute is over that 250k+ income bracket? Why not unemployment insurance? Oh, and what about that 'repeal and replace' thing I heard so much about a few months back? Oh, right: wildly unpopular.

How does doing this benefit people other than the 42 repubs in the Senate?

Offline Will

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #26 on: December 01, 2010, 09:05:41 PM »
Saying the 'average uninformed voter' is easily swept up and lied to hurts your argument just as equally as it hurts mine, possibly more. 

Counterpoint - Obama drew out more young and first time voters than any other politician ever.  The young and naive voters, the most gullable, the inexperienced, the ones caught up in the popularity of voting for Obama.  Now that those voters, the same ones that put Obama into office, now have a better handle on what's really going on and they switch their vote to bring in conservatives, all of the sudden they're morons?
How does it hurt my argument?  Please elaborate on that, if you would.  Specifics are good.

I don't really know where your counterpoint came from... Those people that came out and voted for Obama without educating themselves only serve to reinforce my point; they were caught up in rhetoric.  That sort of momentary shift in public opinion is exactly why I would like politicians to educate themselves and make responsible decisions, not argue back and forth like children.  Oniya actually explained it much better than I did.

It would be nice.  Problem is that Washington and the governmental system is working largely on a 'you scratch my back, I scratch yours' mentality, as well as the fact that there a zillion (Not really, but it does seem like a lot) special interest groups all screaming out there about how they need equality for whatever people they're representing, or tax cuts so that their industry doesn't suffer.  Especially when the truth is that the thing desired is a fraud. 


And Will, remember, those politicians?  Human beings, just like you and me.
I'm unclear on what you mean, with the human beings bit.  And yes, I know that the situation in Washington is terrible; note where I said "bought by corporations" and "empowered by the party apparatus."  But, just because things are a certain way, doesn't mean they were MEANT to be that way, nor that it's right for them to be that way.  It doesn't excuse individuals for behaving that way, nor does it excuse specific instances of the behavior.

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Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #27 on: December 01, 2010, 09:07:48 PM »
Trieste, IMO...it's not.  The only people this action could potentially benefit are the Republican party, and even then it's not a sure thing.  To be honest, this is thing numero uno that I was worried about when I heard that the Republicans had taken the House - that they were just going to sit there for the rest of Obama's term and block every single piece of legislation that came along.

I talked to a lot of people about this - my parents, siblings, friends, and I never found the same opinion twice.  The range of responses ranged from "this is what's going to cause Obama to be a one-termer" to "this is what's going to guarantee Obama a second term."

Because the truth is that the country, as a general whole, aren't responsible, thinking, rational people anymore.  They wanna do what they wanna do, and to hell with everyone else.


And no, Will, it doesn't excuse people from behaving that way.  But that's the way that we have to work with, and improve.  It isn't going to suddenly turn around one night.

Offline Will

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #28 on: December 01, 2010, 09:16:07 PM »
And no, Will, it doesn't excuse people from behaving that way.  But that's the way that we have to work with, and improve.  It isn't going to suddenly turn around one night.

I agree completely, but bringing up that "that's the way it is" does nothing to help things along.  It's even counterproductive; it justifies the behavior and desensitizes people who might otherwise be enraged enough to speak up against it.

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Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #29 on: December 01, 2010, 09:19:04 PM »
But that's not what I'm saying.  What I am saying is the following:

A: The situation in Washington is not an excuse for how some politicians behave.

B: However, that is the way they behave.

C: But that isn't acceptable, and we need to work within the system to get people from Point B to Point A in terms of behavior.

You follow?

Offline Will

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #30 on: December 01, 2010, 09:21:25 PM »
C was entirely absent from your first post.

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Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #31 on: December 01, 2010, 09:23:12 PM »
Just to clarify: by 'first post' you mean the one that I ended with the 'Human Beings' statement, right?

Offline Will

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #32 on: December 01, 2010, 09:24:20 PM »
Yep, that's the one.  That was rather vague.

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Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #33 on: December 01, 2010, 09:26:14 PM »
Well, first statements by me in P&R threads usually are.  I don't like to come out and declare my position right away, since at times that torques people off.

Offline Will

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #34 on: December 01, 2010, 09:27:21 PM »
Vagueness only leads to misunderstandings, which has a tendency to derail threads pretty handily.

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Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #35 on: December 01, 2010, 09:32:18 PM »
That's why I latch onto something said by another party, and offer my own perspective on it.

Offline Zeitgeist

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #36 on: December 01, 2010, 09:57:55 PM »
Okay, how about this. Go ahead and raise the taxes on those making more than $250,000. But let's put into law that that revenue must got directly to paying off the deficit or other outstanding loans, like to China. I don't want more money to be take from citizens just for the sake of a larger, more bureaucratic government.

Offline Brandon

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #37 on: December 01, 2010, 10:04:12 PM »
Okay, how about this. Go ahead and raise the taxes on those making more than $250,000. But let's put into law that that revenue must got directly to paying off the deficit or other outstanding loans, like to China. I don't want more money to be take from citizens just for the sake of a larger, more bureaucratic government.

That is an idea I could get behind!

Offline Serephino

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #38 on: December 01, 2010, 10:23:07 PM »
If they really want to serve the people as they claim, they'd grow the fuck up!  Each year politicians find more ways to piss me off.  I'm sitting here watching the news and Unemployment benefits just expired.  Republicans don't want to extend them until they find a way to pay for it.  Here's a thought....  Let the tax cuts for the wealthy expire.  There's your money!

Yeah, I remember how these people promised that their top priority was going to be getting 'Obamacare' repealed.  I guess they lied; shocker there...

How does it benefit the country to let Unemployment run out?  It just means that the people depending on that money until they find a job are screwed.  They won't have any income, and there will be more foreclosures and homeless people.  But I guess that doesn't matter as long as the rich keep getting richer.  Trickle Down Economics has never worked, and will never work.  People are too self serving.

The Republicans told angry voters what they wanted to hear, and now they're going to do whatever they want.  I wish there was a way we could throw all these retards out on their asses and start fresh, and I'm including Democrats in this. 

Online Vekseid

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #39 on: December 01, 2010, 10:41:00 PM »
Okay, how about this. Go ahead and raise the taxes on those making more than $250,000. But let's put into law that that revenue must got directly to paying off the deficit or other outstanding loans, like to China. I don't want more money to be take from citizens just for the sake of a larger, more bureaucratic government.

You need to be careful about that.

You can divide the country into three groups of people.

People who save or invest a decent fraction of their income. (top 5% or so in the US)
People who could save a small fraction, or otherwise spend it all. (next 15% or so)
People who can't afford to save a great deal (bottom 80% or so)

Now there are always going to be individual exceptions, based on education and individual ability. I'm referring to averages, here.

The top 5% earns 25% of the income, but spends 14%. This means they suck roughly 10% of the cash flow out of the country, each year. If nothing else is done, eventually, the dollar and the entire system will collapse, because eventually, no one can trade in dollars any longer, because it's all locked up in the top 10% or so - the wealthy find themselves worthless.

I believe there was a poll showing that two-thirds of those making more than 200k/year supported higher taxes for themselves.

It's not like they aren't aware of this. Unsustainable processes will stop. Simplest. Theory. Ever.



There are several ways wealth can be transferred from the top 10% back to the bottom 90%.

1) They can deposit it in banks, which then invest it in the population. However, banks aren't doing much lending.
2) They can invest it themselves. However, faith in the stock market has been rather poor until recently.
3) They can hire people themselves. Private sector hiring has only recently begun to increase.
4) They can donate it, in acts of charity. Charities are only now reporting increased donations.
5) They can lend it to the government (and are very willing to right now!) - in the form of government debt, who can then reinvest it for causes that (supposedly) benefit the country as a whole.
6) The government can tax them, for the same result.
7) The government can print money, again for the same purposes.

When 1-4 break, 5-7 make up the major options. A lot of them don't even add to bureaucracy, but are extremely beneficial - sustaining unemployment benefits, for example.

Your stricture also makes one ask - well, can the government pay down its debt to itself with it? That is a massive chunk of the debt.

Offline Remiel

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #40 on: December 02, 2010, 12:03:02 PM »
Okay, how about this. Go ahead and raise the taxes on those making more than $250,000. But let's put into law that that revenue must got directly to paying off the deficit or other outstanding loans, like to China. I don't want more money to be take from citizens just for the sake of a larger, more bureaucratic government.

I'd support that.  I think drastic measures need to be taken now, or else we'll soon find ourselves in the same situation as Ireland and Greece.  Right now the only thing keeping China from demanding its money back is that its industry is so tied in to U.S. consumerism -- if we stop buying, they'll also be up shit creek. 

This situation can't last indefinitely, though, and we'd be fools to expect it to.   Warren Buffet has warned for years about the perils of deficit spending; I really don't want to see him proved right.  I'm all in favor of increasing taxes across the board so long as we match that with real cuts in education, welfare, federal programs, and yes, defense, and make a real concerted effort to pay down the debt.

Of course, that will never happen.  People don't mind indulging in the short-term even knowing that they'll have to pay for it, and more, in the long-term.  Why? Because the long term is, well, the long term.  A politician who increases taxes and cuts services will not last long.  And so America continues on its collision course with complete and total economic collapse, and the only question will be when it happens.

Sometimes I'm glad I don't have any kids.  :-\
« Last Edit: December 02, 2010, 12:04:06 PM by Remiel »

Offline TriesteTopic starter

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Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #41 on: December 02, 2010, 01:09:40 PM »
I'm all in favor of increasing taxes across the board so long as we match that with real cuts in education, welfare, federal programs, and yes, defense, and make a real concerted effort to pay down the debt.

I think this list is backwards, frankly. Our defense budget is overblown and bloated. It's full of suppliers who overcharge and then provide crappy products. It's bad. The defense budget needs to be slashed. Overseas military operations need to be obliterated. Let them come home, already, albeit only after some serious job growth (would hate for vets who fought a ten-year war to end up coming home to joblessness).

Federal programs: How about the fact that it's nearly impossible to fire a federal worker? Despite the fact that anyone who goes to a federally run office for help gets either snotty 'service' or the person doesn't know their job? Thank god for the small percentage of helpful, competent people in the federal workforce. I'm pretty sure they're the only folks who get shit done. So this needs reform, and badly.

Welfare: The 'welfare queen' is statistically nonexistent. She is a boogeyman to scare people into shying away from giving more funding to the welfare system, or from reforming it. She makes it easy for people to say, "The system is a failure. Rather than further funding it, or spending the money to reform it, we should just shut it all down." This is not the case. People who need help don't get it. They don't get the help they need because of spectres like the 'welfare queen'. If the welfare system were reformed to be more streamlined and less goddamn bloated with administration, its budget could be more efficiently spent and might even go down sometime eventually.

Education: Is deplorable. Needs more money. Needs reform. Needs help. We suck by world standards. End of story.

Offline Noelle

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #42 on: December 02, 2010, 01:24:10 PM »
Trieste, where have you found your stats for the existence of welfare queens? I know I've seen a few articles written about it before, but I've had trouble refinding the actual numbers lately, not particularly helped by the nonexistence of working internet around here D: Help a sister out?

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #43 on: December 02, 2010, 01:43:42 PM »
I think this list is backwards, frankly. Our defense budget is overblown and bloated. It's full of suppliers who overcharge and then provide crappy products. It's bad. The defense budget needs to be slashed. Overseas military operations need to be obliterated. Let them come home, already, albeit only after some serious job growth (would hate for vets who fought a ten-year war to end up coming home to joblessness).


Okay.. you shut down the military but radically cutting us FURTHER down from where we are. Shut down MORE bases... (check the impact in Maine with the departure of the Brunswick Naval Station on the economy).

Fun note Trieste, every dollar that is put into a base/facility/military station moves through the local economy at LEAST four times before leaving the area. IE.. you downsize as radically as you suggest, as much as half the resturants, gas stations, banks, stores, services, real estate rentals ect ect in the area go away.

Does the fat need to be cut? Certainly. Do we need to downsize overseas? (Nato bases we support in Europe for example, our continued role as the Japanese Military 'crutch') .. absolutely. Killing military spending without finding a way to bring things back to OUR country to replace them?

Nope.

Stupid move.

Also, I think the kneejerk reaction to kill anything tied to the military is a bad move. (Particularly given the fact we HAVE treaty obligations to uphold..unless you want to further mortgage what little remaining credibility we have outside our borders)


Offline TriesteTopic starter

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Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #44 on: December 02, 2010, 03:11:39 PM »
Okay.. you shut down the military but radically cutting us FURTHER down from where we are. Shut down MORE bases... (check the impact in Maine with the departure of the Brunswick Naval Station on the economy).

Fun note Trieste, every dollar that is put into a base/facility/military station moves through the local economy at LEAST four times before leaving the area. IE.. you downsize as radically as you suggest, as much as half the resturants, gas stations, banks, stores, services, real estate rentals ect ect in the area go away.

Does the fat need to be cut? Certainly. Do we need to downsize overseas? (Nato bases we support in Europe for example, our continued role as the Japanese Military 'crutch') .. absolutely. Killing military spending without finding a way to bring things back to OUR country to replace them?

Nope.

Stupid move.

Also, I think the kneejerk reaction to kill anything tied to the military is a bad move. (Particularly given the fact we HAVE treaty obligations to uphold..unless you want to further mortgage what little remaining credibility we have outside our borders)

I'm not sure if you missed where I said we needed to take care of job growth first, or misunderstood what I meant. Regardless, I'll clarify that what I meant by "after some serious job growth" was "after we make sure that the people we'd be bringing home from overseas have jobs to come home to".

Trieste, where have you found your stats for the existence of welfare queens? I know I've seen a few articles written about it before, but I've had trouble refinding the actual numbers lately, not particularly helped by the nonexistence of working internet around here D: Help a sister out?

I actually have never been able to find reliable stats online. Most of the stats that I've seen have been in resources that I was pointed to by the sociology department here. I'll see if I can hunt up some citations when I get home.

The citations I have at home are also a few years old, but unless there has been an utter explosion of welfare queens in the last five years... *shrug*

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #45 on: December 02, 2010, 03:42:06 PM »
I'm not sure if you missed where I said we needed to take care of job growth first, or misunderstood what I meant. Regardless, I'll clarify that what I meant by "after some serious job growth" was "after we make sure that the people we'd be bringing home from overseas have jobs to come home to".


How are we to do that? Bring the jobs back I mean?  I've been looking for a job in my field for a year. Aside from five pending background checks the best I've seen is flight line maintenance for 8.50 a hour. (That's like 1/3rd the money I had before Lockheed let me go)

I'm all for shutting bases overseas down but there aren't a lot left. We don't really have much military left to downsize and still fulfill our treaty obligations in Europe, Korea and Japan. Thin them down by negotiation keep or manning at current levels and we could save a ton!

Offline Oniya

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Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #46 on: December 02, 2010, 04:00:52 PM »
It might be a good idea to see how much gets saved by trimming the fat, as Callie says.  It's possible that might count as 'slashing', especially if the overcharging suppliers get regulated.

Offline TriesteTopic starter

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Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #47 on: December 02, 2010, 04:03:02 PM »
I don't know, Callie, and you may have noticed that you aren't the only one trying to find a job in the last few years. I'm hardly the only one who's not sure how to stimulate jobs. If the thread was about that, I could probably throw around some ideas - but it's not, so I'm not going to start.

Additionally, our defense budget doesn't go entirely (or even, I suspect, mostly) to our overseas bases, personnel, and whatnot. I'm talking about contract reform.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #48 on: December 02, 2010, 04:28:54 PM »
I don't know, Callie, and you may have noticed that you aren't the only one trying to find a job in the last few years. I'm hardly the only one who's not sure how to stimulate jobs. If the thread was about that, I could probably throw around some ideas - but it's not, so I'm not going to start.

Additionally, our defense budget doesn't go entirely (or even, I suspect, mostly) to our overseas bases, personnel, and whatnot. I'm talking about contract reform.

Part (not all) of that bloat is to have the contractors hold onto the materials on hand. You do a contract for 300,000 widgets. You have to store them somewhere. Hammers, Jet Parts and everything else takes space and you don't know where they are needed or when (I've dealt with the War Locker clerks.. they're DICKS.. ) but this shit takes SPACE. GODS above does it.

Long term preservation methods for components take up space, require extensive packaging. SERIOUS packaging. An example: Long term preservation for an ESM antenna (about the side of as Mac Mini) requires the thing to be packed in a electro-static protective pouch, then in a moisture protective bag, THEN in crash padding box that comes up to my mid thigh. Which is sealed shut and double wrapped.

Which is stored in an environmentally controlled warehouse, and routed to the unit that needs it through a company maintained network to a point of contact for the military (someplace like San Diego, Philly, or such).

And let me tell you. This shit ain't cheap. There is bloat in the costs, yes, BUT it's still a lot of cash.

Now, consider. How much does it cost to run the storeage facility. Utilities. Inventory Control. Transportation. Securicty.

That is why I get twitchy with the 'cut it all since it's graft' comments. It's bloat..

And a lot of it is Payola to congressmen/senators to keep their districts happy.

Online Vekseid

Re: "GOP" needs to be changed to "OP": Obstructionist Party
« Reply #49 on: December 02, 2010, 08:31:08 PM »
Okay.. you shut down the military but radically cutting us FURTHER down from where we are. Shut down MORE bases... (check the impact in Maine with the departure of the Brunswick Naval Station on the economy).

Fun note Trieste, every dollar that is put into a base/facility/military station moves through the local economy at LEAST four times before leaving the area. IE.. you downsize as radically as you suggest, as much as half the resturants, gas stations, banks, stores, services, real estate rentals ect ect in the area go away.

Does the fat need to be cut? Certainly. Do we need to downsize overseas? (Nato bases we support in Europe for example, our continued role as the Japanese Military 'crutch') .. absolutely. Killing military spending without finding a way to bring things back to OUR country to replace them?

Nope.

Stupid move.

Also, I think the kneejerk reaction to kill anything tied to the military is a bad move. (Particularly given the fact we HAVE treaty obligations to uphold..unless you want to further mortgage what little remaining credibility we have outside our borders)

This, in a nutshell, is why government spending is not inherently economically bad (though rather than our enormous military budget, it would be more beneficial to provide universal healthcare and use our space program as an inspirational drive instead).

The trick is, you want to make sure government spending targets areas where central planning is a strength, rather than a weakness. Any good that doesn't obey the traditional supply-demand structure qualifies. Research and reporting (only a few people need to study and verify for the whole country or world to benefit), insurance programs (not just health care, but also national defense - and the only serious military threat to America right now is bioterrorism, so these are quite interlinked), identification assignments (ICANN and IANA, for example, provide the numerical groundwork for the Internet), ecosystem management.

Reading over US water management is awe inspiring. The amount of data gathered and analysis done to make sure the entire country gets its water. The amount of care and dedication given to perhaps humanity's most vital resource. Anyone who says that degree of research and management is 'waste' is a liar, plain and simple.

The rate at which money moves through an economic system is a function of both the savings rate (the more a group of people save, the slower money moves through them) and the tax rate (the more a group of people are taxed, the less they have to spend). If a group pays no taxes and saves 3% of what they make in a year, then a dollar will circulate among them (roughly) 33 times in a year (100%/3%).

Taxes have a similar equation - but they also funnel money back into the system, just slower. Money circulating only four times is, as I recall, actually pretty low. It could in fact be better spent elsewhere. Rates as high as 30x do occur in poorer groups.

That is the reason for the progressive tax system - it works. Everyone pays the taxes of the poor. Even the rich. The war on that over the past forty to fifty years has a lot to do with the current economic crisis - the savings rate fell below zero, and when that  ran out, it was over.

No one should be paying taxes on their first ~$60-70k of non-passive income. Because everyone ends up paying that - the rich see it as a loss in income. Just because they are paying less in taxes, does not mean that they are actually paying less.