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The chances for a fiscal cliff deal in the next 48 hours are "exceedingly good," says Senator...

The chances for a fiscal cliff deal in the next 48 hours are "exceedingly good," says Senator Lindsey Graham, appearing on Fox News. "Hats off to the President, he won," Graham adds. "The President campaigned on raising rates and he's going to get a rate increase."
Comments (208)
  • Dad burn it..I wanted a sell off.....
    30 Dec 2012, 09:42 AM Reply Like
  • You'll get one, but not yet. Selloffs don't come when everybody's predicting one.
    30 Dec 2012, 09:47 AM Reply Like
  • None of this really matters. All these so called "cuts" are really just an attempt to slow down the growth of government spending. Even the Ryan budget has the Fed borrowing money until 2040.
    30 Dec 2012, 11:52 AM Reply Like
  • I know folks who've been waiting for a sell-off since April 2009. Waiting for sell-offs is a lousy investment plan.
    30 Dec 2012, 01:31 PM Reply Like
  • Wrong! I love people waiting for sell offs as they provide the sideline cash that the market needs to go up.
    30 Dec 2012, 01:32 PM Reply Like
  • Mac:


    I have commented extensively about why massive allocation of capital away from equities is very positive for the market outlook and will buttress any downside moves. Yes, it's that cash that will support dips and eventually drive things much higher when the risks entailed in "safe" bond investments becomes more apparent.


    But, the beneficiaries of this situation will be those invested, not those waiting for dips. In fact, most people who claim to be waiting for propitious entry points are usually just paralyzed and justifying their inaction. What occurs is that, no matter what develops, there's always a scary reason to avoid making a commitment. That's why there's a large contingent still on the sidelines since March 2009, or earlier.
    30 Dec 2012, 01:46 PM Reply Like
  • Those folks missed the Selloff in Aug of 2011....apparently sleeping on the job.
    30 Dec 2012, 02:53 PM Reply Like
  • February 14th, 2013. That's my prediction.
    30 Dec 2012, 03:12 PM Reply Like
  • Tack,


    I agree with your point.


    However, even assuming that a deal on the so called fiscal cliff is reached today and ratified through legislation within a week or so, we should expect this passion play to resume almost immediately over the sticker political issue of the US Federal debt ceiling. I understand that the current limit under this legislatively imposed ceiling will be reached within the next 6 weeks.


    One might now guess that the Republicans will make a tactical retreat over the fiscal cliff issue but dig in over the debt ceiling issue over which they may consider themselves to have greater political and strategic leverage.


    Arguably there is too much gaimsmanship within both Parties with the result that political trench warfare between the Parties replaces real policy debates over substance. The artificial crises such as those over the fiscal cliff and the debt ceiling arise with dull repatition and, because they are each largely political in nature (that is to say, arising from a legislated deadline) they are 'resolved' at the last minute as one or the other Party makes a small tactical retreat.. Thus, as you observe, we never see at junctures like now a full blown sell-off in the markets or other signs that a real crisis point has been reached.


    More darkly, we likewise never see coherent fiscal policy adopted and intelligently implemented on a sustained basis and this, over time, poses the greater risk of a more fundamental crisis occuring at some future date.
    30 Dec 2012, 03:47 PM Reply Like
  • I wasn't aware that the daily weekday show on TV 'Let's Make a Deal' has moved to showing even on a Sunday!
    30 Dec 2012, 09:48 AM Reply Like
  • > "hats off to the president, he won"


    Hhmm....the Republicans' definition of the President "winning" usually means that he got less than 10% of what he wanted and they got 90% of what they wanted.


    I suspect a poison pill, it will be interesting to see the details of this "deal". President Obama may not yet be experienced enough to recognize the extent of the douchebaggery that more seasoned politicians are capable of. :-)
    30 Dec 2012, 09:51 AM Reply Like
  • Very nice. Shouldn't we all use "Douchebaggery" and "Politicians" in the same sentence more often?
    31 Dec 2012, 02:37 PM Reply Like
  • Until Conservatives learn how to disarm the "Chicken Little/Sky Is falling" techniques of the left, they will keep losing and keep printing and spending----hurting the poor, of course....
    30 Dec 2012, 09:53 AM Reply Like
  • Incredibly.New York City turned most of its final votes yesterday...over 330,000 votes ...Obama now 51.06% ,,the first president since Ike to twice get 51% or more of popular vote.....
    30 Dec 2012, 09:54 AM Reply Like
  • That is a little bit misleading. Reagan got 50.7% of vote in 1980 but only because Anderson got approximately 9% of vote, he beat Carter by 10%...and then won with almost 60% of the vote in 1984. Think this more impressive than Obama winning percentages......Reagan's recovery off a deep contraction was certainly more impressive.
    30 Dec 2012, 10:12 AM Reply Like
  • Bret, the recession Reagan gets credit for getting us out of started after he was elected and was primarily a product of the Federal Reserve increasing interest rates to unprecented levels in order to induce a recession and bring down inflation. The Federal Reserve induced that recession and then subsequently, with some fiscal stimulus, reversed monetary policy and brought us out of the recession. The recession that Obama walked into was a crisis/bubble induced balance sheet recession that was structural in nature. Balance sheet recessions can only be fully recovered from by public and private sector deleveraging, which can take years, if not decades.
    30 Dec 2012, 10:45 AM Reply Like
  • @sctauffer - you are 100% correct. These balance sheet recessions take much longer to work off (e.g. 1929) and need government spending to offset the shoring up of private balance sheets. Of course the TGOP tries to pawn off the Bush near-depression as a standard recession so they can blame Obama for not fixing it fast enough despite constant obstruction from congressional teabaglicans (block job bills etc.).


    Sadly, it looks like Bret doesn't understand the difference.
    30 Dec 2012, 11:11 AM Reply Like
  • cstauffer, please explain what is meant by 'a crisis/bubble induced balance sheet recession'. Although I have advanced degrees in business, accounting and finance from a nationally ranked, East Coast university, I am not clear on the meaning of such a phrase. I do admit a bias toward plain and straight forward explanations. Are you stating the current economic situation was or is beyond the scope of government? Perhaps you imply that such economic deterioration is a 'natural' course of events? It appears to me that much of our current economic difficulties were created by government policies. Perhaps reversing these policies would expedite our recovery.
    30 Dec 2012, 11:12 AM Reply Like
  • So true


    And Reagan didn't need to depend on the MOOCHER vote ( the 47%)


    47,000,000 food stamps
    31,000,000 welfare check
    18,000,000 section 8 housing


    or , the Obama phone hand outs
    30 Dec 2012, 11:20 AM Reply Like
  • SO you're saying Regan came into office facing +10% inflation rate and took the proper steps? Put us into and then took us out of a recession? And that was an easier job than Obama's? Rampant inflation is still considered the most insidious and most difficult economic catastrophe to deal with. Lol, were you even around back then, Sonny?
    30 Dec 2012, 11:47 AM Reply Like
  • Perhaps you've forgotten about the recession in 1980 1st and 2nd quarters...... Jimmy Carter was the President.


    AND we had massive inflation to boot!


    And you missed including the short term effects of de-regulation that Reagan brought about.


    I'd take Reagan and Volker in a heartbeat over the lecturer in chief and helicopter Ben.
    30 Dec 2012, 01:29 PM Reply Like
  • Doesn't it burn you up that the American people disagree with you?
    30 Dec 2012, 01:30 PM Reply Like
  • Is it true that Reagan raised taxes?
    30 Dec 2012, 01:31 PM Reply Like
  • Congress raised taxes. President Reagan was promised tax cuts but lying leftists never cut anything. And I am fairly certain you were a child or unborn during President Reagan's terms.
    30 Dec 2012, 01:52 PM Reply Like
  • And Reagan didn't veto.
    30 Dec 2012, 01:52 PM Reply Like
  • Reagan's recovery proved you could stimulate the economy by throwing red ink at it. But the bounce never even paid for itself.


    In addition to the two trillion borrowed one must add compounding interest on that debt over thirty years ~4%, another 4.5 trillion to arrive at Reagan's true share of the national debt--6.5 trillion.


    In considering the good purchased by Reagan, one must remember we are still paying for his "recovery" to the tune of about 100 billion a year.
    30 Dec 2012, 01:54 PM Reply Like
  • Reagan raised some taxes. He also cut other tax rates. He led deregulation of some markets. He stood strong for all people's liberty and freedom.


    He governed. He made agreements with Democrats in Congress and led the country forward after a tough period. He partnered with Democrats to reform Social Security.


    He worked with and led our allies in exerting massive pressure on the USSR.


    He provided much needed leadership, worked with all parties at the table, got things done...... and there was that little thing of quickening the freedom for 10's of millions behind the Iron Curtain!


    So yeah lets compare Reagan and the college lecturer.
    30 Dec 2012, 01:59 PM Reply Like
  • Is it true that Reagan led with a 2 Trillion budget deficit, or about 4 Trillion if measured in today's dollars?


    I do agree that Obama's stellar education and academic career holds against him. We need B movie actors instead as Presidents. Educated people tend to do all the wrong things.
    30 Dec 2012, 02:02 PM Reply Like
  • Doesn't it burn you up that the American people disagree with you?




    If Reagan would have run against Obama he'd have mopped the floor with him.


    Obama's petty personal attacks and petty small solutions would have been exposed as...... petty and small.


    And lets be clear - Reagan worked with Tip O'Neill. He was no small minded guy. He was tough. Obama can't even work with a lightweight like Boehner.


    But thats because Obama just isn't in the heavyweight category when it comes to presidents. And no amount of anything you write can change that.
    30 Dec 2012, 02:04 PM Reply Like
  • Doesn't it burn you up that this lightweight became President twice, and both times with more than 51% of the vote, something even Reagan couldn't do?
    30 Dec 2012, 02:11 PM Reply Like
  • No it doesn't burn me up. Romney was a lightweight also IMO - he just had some actual experience that probably would have lead to many deals getting done to address many of the fiscal issues our country faces. As a leader I think he is largely out of touch and while I'm sure a very smart many - not one that really inspires.


    McCain I have mixed feelings about. No one can question him as a man. I think he's a good senator and very knowledgeable. But I don't think he is what the country needed in 2008.


    When Obama won in 2008 I wasn't upset at all. Bush's second term rivalled Carter's for being simply depressing. And the country needed to set a new course - unfortunately, we didn't get much more than lectures.


    And I don't think Obama is a bad guy - its just that being a community organizer, college professor and local legislator that votes present just doesn't give you the depth of experience to be able to get complex things done. He seems to have the idea that he just speaks and others do. It just doesn't work that way.


    How can a law professor allow the folks that committed massive fraud to walk - under the guise of systemic failure? We had systemic failure in the S&L crisis - we sent the systemic fraudsters to jail in droves - over 2000 people and fined many thousands more. This was worse. Yet the financial elite all walk away?


    I agreed with bailing out GM. But then he decided to make it a political play and hand out favors to the unions while ignoring the law. Rattner as his car bailout czar??? Mr. "I neither confirm nor deny I bribed pension fund managers" Ratner???


    We needed a stimulus - and rather than seize the moment - Obama hands it off to Pelosi and Reid - two more lightweights who ran directly to their campaign contributors to decide how to divy up the goods. Do you realize that with 800 Billion we could have built several nuclear power plants, a new electrical grid for half the country, AND devoted 50-60 billion to clean energy research!!! Think that would have created some real jobs??? But again, the president took a pass.


    Those are the types of things that burn me up and frankly its sad - because Obama had an opportunity where he had the vast majority of the country behind him - and he squandered it - not out of malice but simply out of not really being up to the task.
    30 Dec 2012, 02:26 PM Reply Like
  • Do you realize that history will remember Obama as the one who pulled America out of the Great Recession?
    30 Dec 2012, 02:30 PM Reply Like
  • Just like FDR pulled us out of the great depression, lol?
    30 Dec 2012, 02:39 PM Reply Like
  • 'In considering the good purchased by Reagan, one must remember we are still paying for his "recovery" to the tune of about 100 billion a year.'


    Really? The defeat of world-wide communism wasn't payment enough? Do you remember "duck and cover" in the classroom? I do, makes gun violence look like child's play. We grew up under the threat of total nuclear destruction, and Reagan lifted that burden from our lives. Sure, he had to outspend the Russians, sure the Europeans hated him, but it was worth every penny.
    30 Dec 2012, 02:44 PM Reply Like
  • 16,000,000 jobs created under Reagan ... compared to 18,000,000 added to food stamp roll , 7,000,000 added to welfare roll under Obama
    30 Dec 2012, 02:58 PM Reply Like
  • Come on, we all know that it was Hoover who pulled us out of the Great Depression by imposing austerity. Well, may be we all don't know that, but those of us that are well versed in alternative history know that.
    30 Dec 2012, 02:59 PM Reply Like
  • Do you realize that there are enough nukes pointed to America to blow us all to hell in a matter of minutes and that Reagan changed nothing on that front. Now, he did crush the unions, which resulted in a stagnant income growth for the middle class over the next 30 years. He also raised payroll taxes, a highly regressive tax that impacts the poor and the middle class far more than the rich. For that he deserves credit. He really showed the poor and the middle class who the Republican Party stands for.
    30 Dec 2012, 03:01 PM Reply Like
  • There you go again.


    Yeah, only the elite - born into the "right" families or attending the "right" universities should run the country.


    Yeah, Reagan was a B movie actor. And he graduated from college. He held actual private sector jobs.


    He was also the head of the screen actors guild for 5 terms
    Oh, he was also the governor of California for 2 terms.


    Oh, you mean he actually had worked and lived in the private sector, had actual leadership experience, and had a proven track record before being elected president.


    Educated elites tend to believe they are better at running other people's lives than the people are! Which leads to losses of freedom and religion - while the "elite" enrich themselves.


    I'll take my freedom, you can have the elite.
    30 Dec 2012, 03:19 PM Reply Like
  • I was wondering when the loss of religion rant is going to come up.
    30 Dec 2012, 03:20 PM Reply Like
  • Reagan did not pull a rabbit out of a hat to "defeat" communism. The CIA provided Reagan with the intel for his "trash heap of history" speech.


    No surprise. Are you really one of the fake conservatives who think communism ever had any chance in hell of working?
    30 Dec 2012, 03:32 PM Reply Like
  • The common view among historians is that WWII pulled us out of the great depression. Some recovery started in 1933, but the "official" unemployment rate remained above 15% until1940, and GDP didn't come back until then.
    30 Dec 2012, 03:38 PM Reply Like
  • Yes, but an order of magnitude fewer exist today, and the last great totalitarian government, the Soviet Union, is no more. And his "Star Wars" plan, while ridiculed at the time, is slowly but surely becoming a reality. I give Nixon credit for the obsolescence of Chinese communism. Remember it is not just the weapons, but the people behind those weapons, that are the danger. It's why we are fighting against radical Islam around the world. Or do you think we're getting what we deserve, lol?
    30 Dec 2012, 03:52 PM Reply Like
  • Actually WWII only put the great depression on hold. It was the post WWII economy that repaid crushing war debt, without which, the great depression would have resumed.


    Now after a phony war on terror that cost more than WWII we have no post WWII economy, specifically, an economy in which the US was responsible for 50% of world GDP, was a manufacturing powerhouse, was the leading oil producer and was committed to a research R&D culture that invented half of the post war GDP.
    30 Dec 2012, 03:52 PM Reply Like
  • Looks like somehow I had two sentences become one - I wrote "which leads to losses of freedom and liberty - then the "elite" attack religion - all the while the "elite" enrich themselves.


    Stupid large cursor thing on my laptop does that sometimes (actually sometimes it erases everything I've written).


    But thats ok - I guess it allowed you to ignore the fact that Reagan had far far more actual experience than your preferred lecturer.


    By the way - Was Patton or MacArthur or Eisenhower among your "elites"? Truman? Ben Franklin? what about those college dropouts Jobs and Gates? Because - yeah - if you don't follow the path we lay out (the elites) then you are by definition here to be ruled by us - after all we are the elites! You don't need your freedom and liberty - you just need us!!!
    30 Dec 2012, 04:00 PM Reply Like
  • Nothing phony about the worst attack in American soil since Pearl Harbor, horribly killing over three thousand innocent people in a matter of hours. You may disagree with our response, easy to do in hindsight. Personally, I think the only way you defeat radical Islam is by instilling democratic principles right in the heart of the middle east.
    30 Dec 2012, 04:04 PM Reply Like
  • David, Can you tell me something? Why is it that those that love to attack Obama because he used to teach in University of Chicago always get so defensive when the lack of education qualification of someone like Reagan? Why start something if you cannot handle it?
    30 Dec 2012, 07:39 PM Reply Like
  • 1. I'm not defensive.


    2. Reagan graduated college so I'm not sure what lack of qualification your referring to.


    I bring up Obama's background because I believe its served him not so well in his current position. I believe I give people a fair chance - whether its people that work for me - people I used to work for - those in organizations that I'm a member of - those that are in public office.


    And I have no problem saying I'm tired of listening him lecture to the American public about small things. About the most obvious things. I don't need a lecture - we need some actual leadership - some truth about our fiscal state - and some actual tough choices that leads to a better future for our country.


    And I'd have to wonder why - given that he had an outstanding presidency and was a strong governor in California you'd be reaching for his education to try to denigrate Ronald Reagan??? I'd have to surmise that its nothing but elitism. That somehow those that aren't the "blue bloods" don't belong in public life. After all better to judge a man by what hangs on the wall than his work and deeds.


    If I recall - after college Obama worked 3 or 4 jobs before going back to Harvard Law. Then he was a visiting fellow at Chicago after graduation (to write his first book - seems a little early for a book but thats ok). And he was also an associate at a law firm for three years while at Chicago. Four years later he runs for state senator. two years later he runs for the House. Four years later he runs for senator.


    Doesn't seem like a lot of accomplishment there in that narrative. Congratulations for getting a law degree from Harvard and being an associate at a law firm for three year - and a lecturer at a university.


    Can you name anything he did in the state senate? I'm not aware of anything. Anything at his law firm? Popular guy on campus.


    So hey, nice guy - but doesn't seem to really stick with anything. Compare his accomplishments to Reagan's and its night and day..... unless you believe that only the "elites" should be in public life.


    So you can make fun of the Gipper's movies all you want. He had a solid set of accomplishments in leadership positions prior to becoming president. I dare say Obama didn't do anything but talk.... and that has continued to this day.
    30 Dec 2012, 08:05 PM Reply Like
  • David, Look, I do not need to refer to Reagan's career as a B-movie actor to denigrate him. I can point to more pertinent staff, like how he systematically dissolved the unions that caused wages for the middle class to stagnate for the next 30 years, I can point to how he raised a regressive payroll tax on the backs of the working poor, I can point to how he created massive budget deficits that we are still paying off, and not to turn around an economy, but to perpetuate a stupid cold war. So, no, I do not need to do any of that. Hell, I can bring up Iran Contra, but I won't even do that. I only made a reference to Reagan's B-movie actor career because you were making repeated references to Obama's career as a professor at University of Chicago, one of the finest academic institutions in the world. I would give an arm to get the opportunity to teach at UChicago, but I know that I am not that sharp.


    Obama's key achievement is and will be pulling America out of the Great Recession, in spite of all odds and ridiculous resistance from the Republicans. That's good enough for me. But, frankly, I didn't vote for Obama in the primaries. I voted for Hillary.
    30 Dec 2012, 08:15 PM Reply Like
  • Do you realize that there are enough nukes pointed to America to blow us all to hell in a matter of minutes and that Reagan changed nothing on that front
    Simply factually incorrect. There are fewer nuclear weapons.


    December 2012 estimate is that there are 17,300 in the world. Of those 4100 are considered operational.


    In 1990, Russia alone had over 30,000 operational warheads.


    So while, yes we still have far too many your statement is incorrect. Not to mention it totally ignores the fact that the folks on the other side of those weapons are no longer thinking about using them against us!


    You should stick to attacking George Bush (the second one) - because the Gipper's accomplishments tower over anything your lecturer in chief has or will accomplish.
    30 Dec 2012, 08:41 PM Reply Like
  • David, look, someone said that Reagan Reagan lifted that burden of total nuclear destruction from our lives. I merely pointed out that there are still enough nukes to blow the USA out of the world map. No more or less. I didn't say anything about the number of nukes then and the number of nukes now so why are you putting words in my mouth? I just pointed out a very simple fact. There are more than enough nukes to guarantee total nuclear destruction of the USA even today. The only thing that has changed is the public paranoia has gone down even though the facts haven't changed. Good news is that the Russians were never going to use nukes against the USA anyway. You think they are stupid and have a death wish? So frankly Reagan changed nothing but created a nice budget deficit in the process. Star Wars was and remains a stupid idea, something that only a B-movie actor can come up with.
    30 Dec 2012, 08:53 PM Reply Like
  • Well if there are 75% less nukes as a result of his actions then I'd say thats at least progress. And given that there isn't anyone on the other side dreaming up nuclear attacks on us - I'd say thats very good progress.


    I don't know how the Russians thought in the 50's, 60's , 70's, and we'll probably never truly know. I don't know how close we were during the Cuban Missile Crisis - we'd always like to think that at the end of the day reason would prevail - fortunately its just an academic exercise.


    Reagan inherited a budget deficit of 2.7% in Carter's final year. The debt was slightly over 700 Billion. When he left office the debt was slightly over 2 trillion.


    His deficits (in terms of % of GDP) were 2.5% 1st year, 3.8 2nd year, 5.9 3rd year, 4.7 4th year, 5.0 5th year, 4.9 6th year, 3.1 7th year, 3.0 8th year. Hmmm..... boy what we wouldn't do for 3.0.


    So you'd be correct if you said he increased the DEBT by 1.3 trillion - but his comparative deficits weren't outrageous. AND he achieved the goal of that defense spending!!! Freedom for 100's of millions of people. And an opportunity for a much more peaceful world.


    And the average real household income increased by over 4,000 during his presidency.


    While he wasn't able to shrink government, he did slow its increase. Under Carter government spending increased just over 4% a year - under Reagan it was 2.5%.


    Unlike any president since - Reagan was a president that took action on enforcing our trade agreements - at one point he was being accused of erecting too many trade barriers - and he rightly pointed out that trade agreements were a two way street.


    And finally, there was an energy and confidence that had slipped after the 70's - Nixon then Carter - Reagan restored that energy and confidence - something hard to measure but readily apparent to those that lived through it.
    30 Dec 2012, 09:22 PM Reply Like
  • David,


    These are the facts. Regan


    1) Raised taxes on the backs of the poor and the middle class
    2) Raised spending even more and increased the national debt
    3) Did nothing to eliminate the threat of nuclear annihilation


    No more, or no less. That's all I said, and the facts are on my side.
    30 Dec 2012, 09:29 PM Reply Like
  • 1) - where exactly are your numbers to prove this??? I believe the effective tax rate on the rich increased as a result of the tax reform act as their loopholes were cut. And marginal rates were DECREASED on the middle class and poor. So show me some data.


    2) Raised spending even more and increased the national debt)


    I gave you the numbers directly from the government's own figures.


    Government spending under Carter increased 4% a year during his term. Government spending increased under Reagan by 2.5% a year during his two terms.


    And lets be clear - he spent it on defense - which was slowly rolled back after the USSR came down. So he accomplished the goal and 100's of millions of people experienced freedom.


    3) Do you think that you are much safer today than when there were men in the USSR actively planning for full scale war??


    Come on - even the most liberal Democrat - even Walter Mondale - gives credit to Reagan holding firm and hastening the demise of the USSR. And we are all much safer as a result.




    And Reagan was a responsible leader. As part of reforming Social Security to make it more sustainable he supported tax increases. He also raised other taxes when it become obvious it was needed. So he was not some ideologue divorced from reality.


    And for all those folks screaming bloody murder about Obama not getting his way - lets remember that Reagan didn't get "his way" either. He wanted to eliminate the department of energy. He had his $50 Billion rollback plan of returning government service from the federal government to states shot down. And much more.


    Oh, and he also supported foreign aid and boosted our contributions to the IMF and World Bank.


    Its called true leadership. I realize it might not register for those only exposed to our modern "leaders" where they rely on polls and consultants to tell them what to say to which group on which day....


    Stick with attacking GW - The Gipper doesn't fit into your nice neat modern talking points.
    30 Dec 2012, 10:13 PM Reply Like
  • The "war" on our feelings of a few thousand Muslims was totally phony. For starters we could have a 9/11 every year and the threat would still be less than dying from bad meat. Certainly not something you spend more on than any war in our nation's history.


    And you go on to explain why. Exposing Muslims to democratic principles will come with TVs, internet and cell phones. It does not require nation building or baby sitting civil wars around the globe.
    31 Dec 2012, 12:59 AM Reply Like
  • David,


    Reagan jacked up the utterly regressive payroll taxes. A flat tax by definition is regressive. A flat tax with a cap is more regressive than any other tax. So, what did Reagan do? He identified the most regressive tax he could find. Then he jacked it up. On the backs of the poor and the middle class.


    And just for fun he gave some cuts to the rich while he was jacking up taxes on the poor and the middle class. I find it amazing that the middle class Republicans didn't see through this and spank Reagan out of office.


    I don't really care whether Reagan raised the spending at a lower rate than Carter. The point is, this adored doyen of Republicans still increased spending, but Republicans won't call that enlarging govt, now would they? That would require Republicans to shed their hypocrisy. Face it, a President who increases spending is increasing the size of the Govt, something you claim not to like.


    The excuse that Reagan increased the Govt in the right way is especially obnoxious. This goes to show that the so-called shrink the Govt Republicans are not exactly interested in shrinking the Govt. They are interested in shrinking the social safety net, and enlarging patronage to the military-industrial complex. In other words, more spending is fine, as long it is bombs before bread.


    I call that shameful.


    I have explained this earlier, but if you must force me to repeat it, here you go. USA was not under any threat from the Russians. Both parties had nukes and none were stupid. Both parties still have nukes, and none are stupid. So the situation has not changed in any way whatsoever. We were safe before and we are safe now.


    Finally, it is rather funny that they things that make Reagan a great leader in your eyes - trying to get rid of the Department of Energy, trying to get the Feds out of the business of providing service tot he people, service that the conservative states would have certainly dropped - makes him a dangerous person in my eyes. Thank goodness he did not get his way.


    But his Voodoo Economics nonsense remains and keeps haunting America, even after study after study proves it to be total nonsense.
    31 Dec 2012, 01:12 AM Reply Like
  • don't really care whether Reagan raised the spending at a lower rate than Carter. The point is, this adored doyen of Republicans still increased spending, but Republicans won't call that enlarging govt, now would they? That would require Republicans to shed their hypocrisy. Face it, a President who increases spending is increasing the size of the Govt, something you claim not to like.


    Ronald Reagan attempted multiple times to reduce domestic federal spending. He proposed closing entire agencies. He attempted to send back to the states more than $50 Billion in spending programs.


    If you want to ignore all that and ignore the fact he worked with a Democratic Congress led by Tip O'Neill then your free to do so.


    If Reagan would have had Republican Congress he would have reduced spending greatly. So thank goodness he didn't get his way but then blame him for not cutting spending??? Thats nonsense.


    In case you might not have been alive at the time - there were proxy wars being fought around the world. The Russians were still seeking to expand Marxist ideology. Were we as close to a war as in the 60's? No, but were we facing an active opponent? Yes.


    Reagan rose to the challenges of his times. He was tremendously successful - even the Democrats from his era agree with that. We'll never know how well things would be had he been successful in getting his full domestic agenda. And its a shame because he understood that freedom and liberty was the foundation for economic prosperity.


    And please get some facts - effective tax rates on the wealthy increased as part of Reagan''s tax reform. You can repeat made up claims forever and that doesn't make them true!


    But thats ok - you picked the wrong comparison. Chief lecturer versus the Gipper. Its over in a 1st round KO!!!!!!!!!
    31 Dec 2012, 01:24 AM Reply Like
  • David,


    This is getting a little tiresome. Let's put some facts on the table. Effective taxation rate for the top 1% was 33.1% in 1980. It ended at 29% in 1988. Compared to that, the effective tax rate for the bottom 20% was 7.4% in 1980 and went up to 7.9% in 1988.



    So yes, Reagan raised taxes on the poor and gave it to the rich. Case closed. I really don't want to debate this again unless you have some counter facts.


    As for spending increases, tears came to my eye about how the evil Democrats resisted Reagan's cuts on liberal political positions. Tell me this, when Reagan realized that he was not going to get much cuts, what should he have done as a small govt conservative? Raise defense spending regardless and enlarge the Govt, or just keep defense spending as is, or perhaps cut it, if he truly believed in small govt?


    This is like a couple fighting over money. Both claim to be fiscal conservative, and both want to balance the budget by cutting the spending of the other, while increasing their own spending. Neither are fiscal conservatives. Both are hypocritical opportunists. At least in this case the Democrats don't claim to be wanting small Govts. Republicans should start doing the same.


    As for proxy wars, please don't try to tell me that a massive Star Wars program was needed to fight those. Please don't. That was a Hollywood wet dream, something a B-Actor obviously would be excited about. And also please do not feed me the paranoia over the Marxists are coming. USA was the strongest military power then and at no risk whatsoever. Trying to stop the Marxists in Vietnam had just blown up. the right thing to do would have been to stop fighting those proxy wars.


    See, it is precisely paranoia of this sort that keeps US defense spending higher than the next 10-20 nations combined. You want small govt? Get rid of the paranoia that funds the defense, and stop excusing military spending as a legitimate reason to expand the Govt.
    31 Dec 2012, 01:49 AM Reply Like
  • Macro - please look at your chart.


    The 1986 Tax reform act certainly did reverse the decline in effective tax rates for the rich. It went from 24.6% in 1986 to 30.3% the next year. And the lowest quintile went from 9.2% to 8.1% and that started a long decline to 1% (with much additional legislation) today.


    So would you like to revise your statement about being tiresome being bothered with facts?


    As for the rest of your nonsense. The score is simple.


    The Gipper - 100's of Millions freed from oppression


    The Chief Lecturer - 3% tax increase on 2% of the population.


    Its a 1st round KO.... in about 20 seconds!!!!!!
    31 Dec 2012, 02:02 AM Reply Like
  • And why the obsession with going back to try to lose the Cold War that the Gipper won!!!!!
    31 Dec 2012, 02:04 AM Reply Like
  • David,


    You very conveniently ignore the 1981 tax cuts that Reagan enacted right after he became President. Why is that?



    You know, this kind of cherry picking - only pointing out cases where Reagan increased taxes on the rich and ignoring the cases where Reagan lowered taxes on the rich, or claiming that increasing spending on defense doesn't really count as increasing the govt - is something politicians do. But then politicians are liars.


    Reagan had many, many tax acts big and small in his 8 years. Look at all of them, good, bad and ugly. Net result? Tax rates fall on the rich and go up on the poor.
    31 Dec 2012, 02:09 AM Reply Like
  • The 1981 Act was a short term compromise and the agreement was that there would be a full blown reform coming. Its just that it took longer than expected.


    If I recall my history correctly Dick Gephard and another Democrat came out with a plan in 1982 - Reagan had the Treasury department craft one up for him in 82 or 83. But it wasn't until Reagan got re-elected that Democrats led by Tip O'Neill decided Reagan was right and decided to get it done. It took a little more than a year to hammer everything out to both sides satisfaction.


    To be clear - Reagan abhored the high marginal tax rates and he wanted them reduced. He also abhored the give-aways by politicians to certain people. So in 81 the compromise was to reduce the highest marginal rates to 50% and the lowest rates to 11% per your article. But no agreement was reached on getting rid of all the complexity.


    When the full reform was passed what was the effect? Higher effective tax rates on the wealthy. FEWER loopholes for them. Lower effective tax rates on those at the bottom.


    its not cherry picking. Its what actually happened. And the chart you provided clearly shows that. So if you want to criticize Reagan for not getting it done sooner - ok - but lets include good old Tip in that too. To want to ignore the main tax reform package and focus on other legislative actions that included tax just tries to misinform (not too mention again you ignore the Democratic Congress he negotiated with - funny how you only acknowledge their existence when "protecting" wasteful and needless public spending).


    What we faced then is similar to today. What do we need to reform? We have some "rich" people paying their share IMO - and we have some "rich" people that pay peanuts. So what should we focus on? Should we fight to the death to go from 36 to 39%? But leave all the giant loopholes to allow those currently not paying to keep not paying??? Or should we say - hey, we are going to set the rates and everyone pays. No more carried interests for hedge funds. No more family trusts for junior. No more fancy dancy off-shore partnerships.


    But no, its easier politics to tell people your soaking the rich by taking another 3% of their income. Thats the differene between the lecturer and the Gipper. The Gipper convinced people he was right - he did the tough stuff - he was willing to lose battles, and he did lose some - but he rose to the challenges of his times.


    Again, tax reform of 1986 did exactly as I said - effective tax rates on the wealthy rose - effective tax rates at the bottom declined.


    And no matter how many time you replay it......


    100's of millions freedom and liberty - the Gipper


    Raised taxes by 3% on 2% of the US population - the Lecturer


    Its still and will always be...... a 1st round KO!!!!! for the Gipper!!!!!
    31 Dec 2012, 02:31 AM Reply Like
  • So bottom line, Reagan's myriad dalliances with tax reform ended in the rich paying less and the poor paying more in effective tax rates, contrary to what you said. Now you claim that Reagan was delivered impotent for the first 6 years of his Presidency. That's your model leader.


    Got it now.


    Facts were this. Reagan cut taxes for the rich in 1981, and then realized over the years that Voodoo economics indeed doesn't work, and that he cannot pay for all his defense toys with the lower taxes. So he took some back in 1986. But he still left the rich with lower effective tax rates and the poor with higher effective tax rates. The numbers are clear on this. Why is it so hard for Republicans to admit this?


    Now you have moved to Reagan saved 100s of millions from Communism. That's not how this discussion started. It started off with me claiming that Reagan lowered effective taxes on the rich (check), raised effective taxes on the poor (check), all the while increasing govt spending (check), and adding massively to the public debt (check). These are all backed by numbers.


    And he is your hero as a small govt conservative. Nice.
    31 Dec 2012, 02:41 AM Reply Like
  • You simply ignore the number you don't like.


    He was extremely effective - thats why the 1981 bill got through. That bill basically simply lowered rates (I could point out that its effect was that the rich paid a higher percenage of taxes collected but that would be using your distract and divert tactic).


    Reagan attempted several times to drastically reduce spending. You seem to just want to believe that didn't happen, while at the same time praising Democrats for stopping what you don't want to acknowledge?? Thats very strange.


    He tried to eliminate the department of energy. He tried to send over $50 billion back to the states. At the time that represented more than 10% of all domestic federal spending - so it was no small proposal.


    And lets be clear - the only removal of giveaways to the rich in the tax code happend because Reagan championed it. Unfortunately in the past 35-40 years most of them have been written back in different forms. But he can't be blamed for that.


    I understand why the true believers want so much to put him down. After all he inherited a terrible situation - and through his leadership, hard work, partnering with those that didn't agree with him, he turned the ship around and we stopped taking on water. You seem to want to criticize his choice of how the water was removed while doing so.


    And as for your assertion that he burdened those at the bottom. The average family income INCREASED by 4000 during his presidency in real terms. So much for that nonsense. And as someone that was near the bottom at that time I can say firsthand things were much better under Reagan at the end of his first term than under Carter at the end of his.


    And if you want to ignore the fact that his defense spending and strength in foreign policy helped greatly to bring about the end of the USSR and bring liberty and freedom to 100's of millions you have the right to do so - you can also believe the earth is flat!!!


    Lets go to the replay.....


    100's of millions get freedom and liberty


    2% of the people pay 3% more


    Its still a 1st round KO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! For the Gipper!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!...


    And since I kind of feel bad that this is so easy (please I gave you the easy win with GW), ARP. I assume you've usually got spare cash to invest. In five years you can buy me and my wife a nice dinner.
    31 Dec 2012, 03:01 AM Reply Like
  • David, Please. I am looking at all the numbers, across Reagan's career as President. Over the 8 years, do you dispute that effective tax rate dropped for the rich and went up for the poor, spending increased, and national debt increased as well? If you do, I would like to see the numbers. You once claim he is super effective, and once claim he couldn't do anything. Look, I understand hero worship. I really do. But facts are facts. I will be happy to listen to your facts showing that over Reagan's tenure as President the 4 facts I mentioned are wrong. Till then, au revoir.
    31 Dec 2012, 03:06 AM Reply Like
  • You just choose to ignore what took place. And you ignore that Democrats were present and with power. If you don't believe what I right then speak to an intelligent democrat that lived through Carter and Reagan and get their opinion of the way things played out between the Gipper and the Democrats.


    The 1986 Tax Reform raised the effective tax rate on the rich. And lowered it on the poor. If you want to criticize him for not achieving that in his first term thats ok. But to characterize his actions as trying to raise taxes on the poor while reducing taxes on the rich is totally not ok and is wrong. He wanted EVERYONE to pay less taxes, and he wanted less spending. Thats what he campaigned on and that is what his goal was. The politics of the early 80's didn't allow him to get everything up front - he kept at it IMO. Also keep in mind your chart includes payroll taxes - as part of the social security reforms those were increased on both employee and employer. That was an agreement with your buddy Tip.


    I readily admit Reagan didn't get everything. He fought hard to send $50 billion to the States but he lost in Congress. He fought pretty hard to end the Department of Energy but again he lost. He did reduce domestic spending - and more than offset that with defense spending increases. Had he been successful with his domestic initiatives Federal Spending would have declined. As it was - the rate of growth went from 4% under Carter to 2.5%. So even with the defense spending the rate of growth was slower.


    Do you want to compare Obama's 8 years when he is done? Or (assuming his policies somehow work) will you, in thirty years, be explaining how his policies were implemented - when they were implemented - the challenges he faced implementing them etc. The fact that there was a giant recession when he came to office.


    When Reagan achieved what he campaigned on in regards to tax reform - the rich paid higher effective tax rates and the poor paid lower. Thats just a fact - in your own chart that you provided. If you want to criticize him (ignoring your buddy Tip) for it taking too long be my guest.


    Its not hero worship. There is a big difference between the Gipper and the Lecturer. The Gipper took what he believed and he fought for it - convincing people to listen to his point of view. He wanted that $50 billion to go to the state - thats what he believed in - he fought - he lost. Ok. Obama wanted a single payer health care system - He..... well he retreated before the battle and then surrendered when news a battle might take place. Obama wanted a stimulus....... and Reid/Pelosi....... Immigration reform.....the list goes on and on.


    See I have no issue with Reagan's losses. He told the American people what he believed and he fought for it. He did it in 72 - he lost. He did it in 76 - he lost (but came closer than they thought he could). He did it again in 80. He won. He then went and fought the battle - probably through about 87 when his health declined. He didn't win all the fights. He compromised to get things done - some of them he regretted some of them not. He won some too - He deserves the credit he gets for getting the economy growing again. He deserves the credit he gets for restoring America's confidence in itself. He deserves the credit for at least attempting to reverse the growth of government. He deserves the credit for a foreign policy of strength and pressure on the USSR. And he fully deserves credit for the collapse of the USSR and the freedom that brought to 100's of millions of people.


    And while we will never know - I believe that Reagan would have been the first to decrease defense spending once the Cold War was won. And had Reagan controlled both houses of Congress in 1981 - there would not be a department of energy and that 50 billion would have been sent back to the states - along with even deeper cuts. But unfortunately we'll never know what could have been.


    So try to denigrate the Gipper all you want.


    Lets go to the tape one more time for our friends......


    100's of millions get freedom and liberty.....


    2% pay 3% more in taxes....................


    And still a 1st round KO!!!!!!!! For the Gipper!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!...
    31 Dec 2012, 03:46 AM Reply Like
  • Macro Investor,


    You are correct the national debt increased under Reagan. Many would point to the defense build up against the USSR as the main cause. Some would say it was worth it. Some would not. I personally think he had a positive effect on the fall of the Soviet Union and would give him more credit than most liberals do but less than many conservatives do as I also acknowledge there were major problems within the Soviet Union that were responsible for its demise.


    Effective tax rates under Reagan actually stayed fairly constant for both the rich and the poor.


    According to


    In Reagan's first year of office in 1981 the effective tax rate for lowest quintile was 7.9%. In his last full year in office in 1988 the rate was also 7.9%. The second lowest quintile saw a slight decrease from 14.7% in 1981 to 13.8% in 1988. The middle quintile saw a decent decrease in their effective rate under Reagan from 19.2% in 1981 to 17.8% in 1988. And the highest quintile and top 1% only saw slight decreases in their effective rates. The highest quintile saw a decline in their effective rate from 26.6% in 1981 to 25.4% in 1988. And the top 1% saw a decline from 30.4% in 1981 to 29% in 1988.


    So we see from the numbers that effective tax rates under Reagan:


    1) Saw modest declines for most of the population
    2) Maintained significant progressivity as the lowest quintile paid an effective rate under 8% for much of the time and under 10% for his entire tenure while the wealthiest 1% paid an average effective rate during his tenure between 25-30%.
    31 Dec 2012, 08:12 AM Reply Like
  • Matt, Thank you. It is a pleasure to talk to someone about Reagan who is willing to engage in facts rather than hero worship. I would rather compare 1980 tax rates to 1988 tax rates, but let's take 1981. As you facts show, the group that benefited most from the Reagan tax cuts were the top 1%, a full 1.4% decrease in effective tax rates. At the same time, the bottom 20% saw no reduction whatsoever. Now, conservatives may be proud of this, that the poor doesn't even get crumbs while the rich gets to buy another yacht. But they should be open about it instead of trying to spin.


    Thank you for confirming that Reagan was no small govt conservative either. He was very happy to borrow and spend as long as the spending suited his fancy. Conservatives seem to believe that borrowing and spending is fine as long as it is on the military. They should just say that instead of claiming to be in favor of small govt.
    31 Dec 2012, 10:26 AM Reply Like
  • Pre Tea Party, Reagan was considered the furthest right of Republicans. At its peak, Tea Party painted Reagan as a left and a socialist, especially when many Dems held up Reagan as an example to follow.


    It's interesting in this conversation that Reagan is being moved back to the moderately right...
    31 Dec 2012, 11:25 AM Reply Like
  • Moderately!? HE cuts taxes on the rich and funds it by raising it on the poor. In my book that's to the right of Gengiz Khan.
    31 Dec 2012, 11:29 AM Reply Like
  • I'm just talking sentiment!


    Reagan seems to be a good indicator of where the conversation stands, in terms of left/right.
    31 Dec 2012, 11:30 AM Reply Like
  • Many people say that the Tea Party makes even Reagan look good. I don't.
    31 Dec 2012, 11:39 AM Reply Like
  • 47,700,000 on food stamps as of the last numbers out in September. You can bet your rear end it will be 50,000,000 when the December numbers come out in a couple of months.


    In the defense of the moochers though, they don't have the job options that people had 30 years ago. There are no more manufacturing plants to make a decent living at for your entire career. Living off the system is better than working at some fad retailer for $9 an hour, waiting to be laid off, while your kids are in daycare.


    It's just math.
    31 Dec 2012, 02:34 PM Reply Like
  • You can say whatever you want.


    The facts are clear - freedom of 100's of millions was accomplished. The economy came roaring back. America exerted a strong foreign policy. We actually cut some domestic spending. We reformed (republicans and democrats) SS and the tax code.


    See big things were done and accomplished. YOu can go find two data points to support the idea that the earth is flat.


    And you never answer any of the points directed at your lecturer in chief. Reagan brought freedom and liberty to 100's of millions - he was roasted during his entire term for his strong foreign policy - burned in efigy (sorry if thats mispelled) around the world...... and then we saw the results!!


    And your guy - the guy you worship - the lecturer in chief thats never held a job for more than a couple years - that accomplished getting a law degree - his big claim to fame is going to be that he raised taxes on the top 2% by 3%. It makes me laugh! Not to mention that half of the 2% will still pay some stupidly low number because HE CANNOT DO THE TOUGH WORK required to get big agreements with those he disagrees with. Reagan did that on a consistent basis - and so while he didn't get everything he wanted - he made large improvements for our country.


    Reagan promoted freedom and liberty around the world - Obama champions a tax increase on 2% of the people!!


    And the beauty of it is - you can attack him till the cows come home - the accomplishments stand the test of times. They just bounce right off.


    Lets go to the tape one more time!!!!


    100's of million achieve freedom and liberty..................


    2% of the people pay 3% more..........


    1st round KO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! For the Gipper!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!...


    Stick to picking on the lightweights!!!
    31 Dec 2012, 02:37 PM Reply Like
  • David, I am happy to note that you have dropped all the false claims that Reagan was a small Govt conservative, that he didn't love to borrow and spend, or that he didn't screw the poor to enrich the wealthy.
    31 Dec 2012, 04:31 PM Reply Like
  • Macro,


    Thanks for the kind words. I get that you did not like Reagan. I do not share your dislike for him, just as I do not share the same dislike for Obama that many staunch Republicans have currently.


    I was merely pointing out that Reagan's tax policies were not so extreme, just as Obama's are also not so extreme. Reagan cut taxes slightly for the majority of the population. Its true the rich benefited slightly more so than the poor but the poor continued to pay a much lower effective rate under Reagan. The tax rates maintained their progressivity. Regardless what you think of Reagan, the effective rates under him did not crush the poor and were not so unfair. They actually remained remarkably stable despite the hyperbole on both sides.


    His deficits were brought about by defense spending. However, in his last year of office the deficit was reduced to 3% of GDP. Again, it is impossible to know for sure if the defense spending was worthwhile. But Reagan certainly inherited a mess and eventually brought down the deficit to a low single digit % of GDP, hardly an alarming number.


    I will also point out that I do not think much of the deficit is Obama's doing and the deficit today does not even alarm me. The unfunded liabilites do. If Obama wants to ensure a great legacy he must get a handle on unfunded liabilties, especially Medicare, which will crush us in 10 years if we do not act soon.
    31 Dec 2012, 04:31 PM Reply Like
  • Did you know that the military is one of the largest users of food stamps. those moochers! They vote conservative too. I wish their food stamps do get cut.
    31 Dec 2012, 04:32 PM Reply Like
  • 51% .... landslide !!!
    31 Dec 2012, 05:03 PM Reply Like
  • Hurts, doesn't it?
    31 Dec 2012, 05:04 PM Reply Like
  • macro


    You phony _______.


    It is not about all the children but only certain favorite groups of children and the children of the servicemen and women don't rate being on your list.


    So you only worry about certain favorite types of children that might be hungry and those that don't make your favorites list can go screw themselves.


    Really nice. Totally phony and hypocritical to say the least.
    31 Dec 2012, 05:16 PM Reply Like
  • Not really. People who vote for a Party that cuts food stamps shouldn't get food stamps for their kids, that's all I am saying.
    31 Dec 2012, 05:19 PM Reply Like
  • I most certainly have not dropped any claim.


    Your whole idea of debate seems to be to put words in others mouths and ignore any point your questioned about.


    Reagan cut domestic spending. Its a fact.


    Reagan tried to cut even more domestic spending. Its a fact.


    Reagan got passed tax reform that raised the effective tax rate on the rich and lowered it on the poor. Its a fact.


    so lets use your approach to Obama.


    In 2012 Obama deported over 400,000 illegal immigrants - including 90,000 parents of American born Children. In Four years he deported 75% of the amount Bush deported in 8! Almost twice as much. Using your reasoning this means Obama is a racist that hates Hispanics.


    Obama's 2011 budget proposal included cuts to programs that assist the working poor, help the needy heat their homes, and programs that expanded access to graduate studies - and thats the short summary of cuts. So Obama hate the old people needing heat, he hates those that want to get advanced degrees, and those working hard to get by. He gave tax cuts to the 2% so he loves the rich and hates the poor.


    Don't bother replying with any context - those are the data points and Obama hates Hispanics, old people, working poor, and students. After all if I can pull two data points it must be so.
    31 Dec 2012, 05:33 PM Reply Like
  • Well your lecturer in chief proposed cuts to all kinds of those things in his 2012 budget proposal - so I guess that means that both democrats and republicans don't get food stamps.


    Don't bother to reply with any context - he produce that document - its a data point. No reply will be considered.
    31 Dec 2012, 05:36 PM Reply Like
  • Matt,


    If you ever get the chance to spend time in Eastern Europe. Find yourself a big strong 65-70 year old former mill worker. Ask him if Reagan's policies towards the USSR were worth it. You'll find an amazing reaction - you'll probably be told of his kids and what they have been able to do in life - you'll be told of some of his grandparents that died at the hands of the Communists - you'll likely be invited to dinner to toast the Gipper. You'll have to do it soon as many of these folks are passing away.


    Freedom and Liberty - and what scares liberals so much about Reagan is that he has been the only politician that has been able to paint the picture to the average citizen why freedom and liberty must come first. Because when people realize that - then all those programs are secondary - and then not so important.


    The war on poverty - lets review the numbers. In 1960 we spent $465 per person in poverty to fight poverty (at the federal government level). Since then we have created 13 major programs to fight poverty. We now spend $8059 per person in poverty (not including Medicare which would add more than 7K per person). Thats over 32K for a family of four - not including Medicare. And yet the poverty level has been fairly constant at between 12-15% since LBJ declared "war".


    Now why is that I wonder? Is it that all that money is going to the bureaucrats that are "administrating" all these wonderfully meaning programs? Getting paid to have poor people fill out forms, move from line to line, to get their scraps?


    Seems to me that after 50 years its time to call off the war. Let go of the bureaucrats. Return the money to the local people. Remove the restrictions that have forced small private institutions to , give up taking care of their communities, and set the expectation that adults take care of themselves. Freedom and liberty for all I say!!!
    31 Dec 2012, 05:49 PM Reply Like
  • Tom, Let's drop this Reagan Obama nonsense and let's talk investments. This is after all an investing site. So, let me ask you two questions.


    A stock goes down 10% on Monday and then goes up 5% on Tuesday. The investor bought the stock at the close on Friday and sold it at the close of Tuesday. The investor comes bragging to his friends that he sold the stock after 5% gains on Tuesday. Is the investor right?


    Next, the same investor invests in two stocks. The first stock goes down in total value (i.e., price times number of shares) by $100. The second goes up in total value by $50. The investor again comes bragging that he increased his investments by $50. Is the investor right?
    31 Dec 2012, 06:51 PM Reply Like
  • No, No - you need to answer for Obama the Racist that hates Hispanics and hate old people needing heat, and hates those trying to get an advanced degree and hates the working poor who are breaking their backs to provide. Please explain how that can be????? I'm shocked. I found the data points so it must so!!


    Oh, geeze its all ok when you want to denigrate Reagan but when its your guy and he has zero serious accomplishments aside from a health care approach he said he didn't support, then lets change the subject and ask hypothetical question.


    So after you address how Obama came to be all those things above (and any lack of answer will be taken to mean you agree), then you can give me investment advice - which I would point I shared with yourself. But I've seen no reciprication - not a big surprise - I believe in helping others, you seem to believe the worst in people and believe in bureaucrats...... the same ones that seemingly have lost their war on poverty.


    So I'm waiting......
    31 Dec 2012, 07:00 PM Reply Like
  • David, I agree with everything you say about Obama. Can you please answer my questions now?
    31 Dec 2012, 09:09 PM Reply Like
  • You still haven't shared any investment advice.


    The answer to your question is that the investor is correct in what he told you about Tuesday, he just gave you a selective amount of information.


    If the second example is he increased his total investments then he didn't give you correct information.


    Neither question has anything to do with anything. So just make whatever contrived claim you want to make.
    31 Dec 2012, 09:57 PM Reply Like
  • Excellent David, excellent. So now if a politician cuts taxes on the rich and raises them on the poor by say 5% each, and then raises taxes on the rich and cuts taxes on the poor by say 2.5%, and then wants to come across as someone who cut taxes on the poor while raising it on the rich, is that politician making an honest claim or providing selective information aka lying through his/her teeth? Or, say, this same politician cuts spending on social issues by say $50B, and then raises defense spending by say $500B, and then wants to come across as someone who cut spending, is he/she making an honest claim or, again, just plain old lying?
    31 Dec 2012, 10:02 PM Reply Like
  • Your make believe isn't what Reagan did. So why don't you go and think about those 90,000 kids who had their parents deported last year by Obama. And then think about the 3 million that received amnesty in the Gippers Immigration Reform act. All because Obama just doesn't have it - not really up to the task - better to save the issue for the next election - after all him being re-elected is far more important than those kids. Thats the guy you support.


    Reagan raised the effective tax rate on the rich in the 1986 tax reform act. He lowered the effective tax rate on the poor in the same act. If you want to pretend that that didn't happen you can. If you want to pretend he didn't attempt to move more than $50 of spending to the states - you can. If you want to pretend he didn't try to eliminate the department of energy - you can. Perhaps you weren't alive then - perhaps you just like playing pretend. Play pretend all you want. If you don't believe in context of anything - thats fine.


    Fancy words, make believe scenarios, and flat out lying doesn't change the fact that Reagan met the challenges of his time. Has substantial accomplishments, stood for liberty and freedom, and hastened the liberty and freedom of 100's of millions.


    And your guy, is small. I saw him on tv today, very small.


    So again lets go to the tape...........


    100's of millions get freedom and liberty..................


    2% of the people will pay 3% more...ooops seems like maybe its what 1%???... anyways lets be nice and give him the 2.


    First round KO by the Gipper!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    You know its quite sad that you denigrate a man who stood for what he believed, convinced the American people that his way was the best way forward, worked with those that opposed him, got done many big things, and ultimately was proven correct on the biggest with the fall of the USSR. He didn't have to ridicule his opponents, demonize those that disagreed with him, pit people against each other - He had big ideas and big visions to stand on.


    And that 1.3 Trillion of debt Reagan added.... hmmm Perhaps up to a Billion people get freedom and liberty - thats $130 per person. Your guy spends 8K per year to win the war on poverty...... Yeah. And how much did he spend to deport the families of those 90,000 kids??????


    And you do it because the man you've put your beliefs in is small.


    Enjoy your New Year.
    1 Jan 2013, 12:28 AM Reply Like
  • David, why not just answer my question first? I didn't say Reagan did anything. I just asked an innocent question.
    1 Jan 2013, 12:31 AM Reply Like
  • I answered your question.


    I don't need to play games with you - you can live any pretend world want.


    I hope you think about those 90,000 kids tonight when you sleep. Both houses and the Presidency and Republicans that wanted reform too.


    How could it not happen? Very small leader.
    1 Jan 2013, 12:36 AM Reply Like
  • You did, David? I must have missed it. Here's what I asked.


    So now if a politician cuts taxes on the rich and raises them on the poor by say 5% each, and then raises taxes on the rich and cuts taxes on the poor by say 2.5%, and then wants to come across as someone who cut taxes on the poor while raising it on the rich, is that politician making an honest claim or providing selective information aka lying through his/her teeth?


    Or, say, this same politician cuts spending on social issues by say $50B, and then raises defense spending by say $500B, and then wants to come across as someone who cut spending, is he/she making an honest claim or, again, just plain old lying?


    So, I hope you will tell me if these two claims are honest or dishonest. Nothing to do with Reagan. Just an innocent question or two.
    1 Jan 2013, 12:46 AM Reply Like
  • The reply is directly above. If you can't see it thats ok.


    It will give you more time to think about those kids.
    1 Jan 2013, 02:17 AM Reply Like
  • I saw it. The only thing of relevance there to my question is you added that Regan did a bunch of deficit spending and increased the national debt by $1.3T. That's a start. That means you admit that Reagan was no fiscal conservative. At the minimum he could have pursued tax and spend to not incur a deficit. But he pursued tax cut and spend, which is against the fiscal conservative dogma as it is far away from balanced budget.


    But I didn't see the answer to my questions. You merely said that Reagan did nothing of that sort. May be, but that's not what I was asking. I was merely asking whether in my hypothetical example the politician would count in your book as honest or dishonest.


    I checked with a few other folks in the mean time and they all said dishonest. Let me know if you disagree otherwise I will assume that you agree.


    Did you catch the nice spanking Republicans got tonight? Taxes got raised on the wealthy by 89-8 votes.
    1 Jan 2013, 02:23 AM Reply Like
  • That means you admit that Reagan was no fiscal conservative.


    It means no such thing. He spent the money and he accomplished the goal.


    Care to compare to the money spent on the war against poverty?


    Reagan certainly was a fiscal conservative - Tip O'Neill certainly was not. Take a look at Reagan's record in California. And look at all the domestic spending he was able to reduce as president. The fact he didn't get everything doesn't mean he's not a conservative - it just means we needed more of them in the House at the time.




    At the minimum he could have pursued tax and spend to not incur a deficit


    He Did - now I know you didn't live through Reagan's term - or at least not as an adult. In 1982 he signed the largest tax increase since 1968. And he championed it. And I quote "Would you rather reduce deficits and interest rates by raising revenue from those who are not now paying their fair share, or would you rather accept larger budget deficits, higher interest rates, and higher unemployment? And I think I know your answer." Reagan when challenged in 1982 by his own party. See Reagan wanted real tax reform - he wanted lower rates - and he wanted folks to pay those rates - not make believe tell the people I'm soaking the rich when they still have all their loopholes!


    And as part of that deal, the Democrats promised him $3 in spending cuts for every dollar raised that year in taxes. Those spending cuts never materialized. He didn't get his $50 billion back to the states. And he considered his compromise in 1982 his biggest regret in terms of policy while president. He truly believed that if he got the tax increased passed the Democrats would keep their word. The tax increase was done because the budget deficit went up more than either Republicans or Democrats expected (since none of the complexities were taken out) as a result of the previous changes. And Reagan dealt with it. Yeah, how about that - real leadership.


    And I don't agree with any you hypothetical make believe world that you seem to live in.


    Reagan was perhaps the last of our honest politicians - in terms of telling people what he believed. He didn't raise his finger in the air and turn whichever way the wind is blowing, nor did he need a political consultant to tell him what was right. But thats ok - better to live in your fantasy land and keep believing in your lecturer.


    And if you want to celebrate how our government is functioning your free to do so.
    1 Jan 2013, 03:33 AM Reply Like
  • Hubert, you are mistaken. Deflation is a much more feared economic condition than inflation. Inflation actually induces consumption because if a consumer waits, the good or service will be more expensive. Whereas deflation can become embedded in consumer behavior and retard economic activity because consumers are actually rewarded with lower prices the longer that they put off consumption. Central banks, with monetary policy, have the tools to combat inflation very effectively, however as we have seen over the last several years, even using every stimulative monetary policy tool, central banks have not been successful in reiginiting sustainable economic growth and normal inflation rates.
    1 Jan 2013, 10:31 AM Reply Like
  • david, Volker was appointed by Carter and had already started increasing interest rates under Carter. The undisputable fact is that both of the early 1980's recession were brought on by restrictive monetary policy and the eventual recovery had much more to do with reversing those restrictive monetary actions than fiscal actions. Reagan's fiscal action definitely contributed to the strong GDP growth rates in the mid and late 1980's, although a meaningful contributor to that growth came from government spending, particularly Reagan's unprecedented Defense Department budgets..
    1 Jan 2013, 10:35 AM Reply Like
  • david, let me stipulate that I voted for Reagan twice. However, much of his tax cuts at the Federal level, were met with tax increases at the State level because Reagan cut many programs that provided Federal financial assistance to States.
    1 Jan 2013, 10:38 AM Reply Like
  • david, Reagan would not have been able to win the Republican primary today, he was much to moderate. Look what happened to John Huntsman. He was much closer to Reagan in terms of his record as Governor.
    1 Jan 2013, 10:40 AM Reply Like
  • david, you are absolute right about how stimulative that it would have been to invest in long-term multi-billion dollar infrastructure projects such as nuclear power plants. However, that would not have done anything to stem the 500,000 + per month job losses that we were experiencing in early 2009 when Obama signed the stimulus plan. We needed most of that $800 billion stimulus in the economy as soon as possible and the way they did it got the job done. Massive monthly job losses ceased a couple months later, the recession ended in June and we had monthly job creation by the end of year. I was convinced when the stimulus bill was passed that it was not large enough. It should have been $800 billion for two years and then there should have been another $700 billion that kicked in from year 3 to year 6. Had we done that I believe that we would be in much better shape than we are today. However, the Republicans fought the $800 billion plan and many thought that it should have been no larger than $300 billion which consisted mostly of tax cuts.
    1 Jan 2013, 10:52 AM Reply Like
  • Exactly and that is FDR is considered by most Presidential historians as the greatest President since Lincoln and on of the top three greatest Presidents of all time.
    1 Jan 2013, 10:53 AM Reply Like
  • David, Do you think that Reagan had any negatives whatsoever or is your hero worship completely pristine? See, I have no heroes. I do like Clinton because I made a lot of money under his regime, but I think what he did to welfare reform and finance deregulation were criminal. I do like Obama because he is pulling the economy out of the recession, but he is not perfect either. He should have pulled the troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq on day 1 of his first term. He should have opened up the doors for all poor immigrants, or return the Statue of Liberty to the French. He did pass Universal Health Care, which I applaud. He is starting to get his testicles back, which is good. He should have pressed the Republicans on anything and everything and try to showcase Republicans for what they are, reactionary lapdogs of the rich. Thank goodness he is finally doing that. Anyway, long story short, I cannot find a politician without glaring flaws. But it seems you have found your soulmate in Reagan. That must have been some love affair!


    I don't think there is any point in discussing this with you.
    1 Jan 2013, 10:55 AM Reply Like
  • david, please stop using the word elite in a derrogatory manor. I know what you are trying to say, but when someone diminishes that societal contribution of our best and brightest, it makes that person sound ignorant. The "elite" that you are stereotyping in a negative manner are the very same elite that you should be very thankful for. Everytime that someone's life is saved through cutting edge medical treatments or when Roosevelt wanted to put an end to WWII, he turned to the elite to develop the A-bomb. Those nuclear power plants that you talked about earlier would not exist without the "elite".
    1 Jan 2013, 11:00 AM Reply Like
  • Calades, please Google Richard Koo from Nomura. Richard Koo is a Japanese economist who coined the phrase "balance sheet recession" from his extensive research of the 20 + year Japanese stagnation/bear market. There are many papers written by Richard Koo that will explain the difference between a balance sheet recession and a typical business cycle induced recession that is was typically brought on by central banks raising interest rates.
    1 Jan 2013, 11:05 AM Reply Like
  • Remyngton


    "or , the Obama phone hand outs"


    Do you realize how utterly idiotic that statement is and how irrelevant it makes anything you say? It shows quite well that you have no political intellect and you only repeat moronic internet drivel.


    The federal "Lifeline" program was created during the Reagan Administration. Lifeline is a federal program created by the Reagan era Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1984.
    Thanks to SafeLink, Lifeline support is now available for wireless phones. Traditionally, the Lifeline program was only available as a discount on a consumer’s landline telephone bill. SafeLink Wireless was created by TracFone Wireless, Inc. when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently approved the company to offer Lifeline.


    SafeLink phones are not paid for by taxpayers or the federal government. TracFone Wireless pays for the phones.


    Fri Aug 15, 2008 3:20pm EDT (The George W. era)
    TracFone Wireless Launches SafeLink Wireless(R) to Aid 812,807 Low-Income Households.
    1 Jan 2013, 07:24 PM Reply Like
  • You're speaking of Obama again ... the "Liberal Republican "
    3 Jan 2013, 07:18 PM Reply Like
  • Obama has proven to be exceptionally adept at advancing the Progressive Movement even in the face of a mid term Tea Party surprise. He has proven that the American people will surrender liberty for comfort. To paraphrase the Founding Fathers, they deserve neither.
    30 Dec 2012, 09:54 AM Reply Like
  • That's the biggest load of bull I have heard this year.


    The extreme right has moved the conversation so far to the right any rebound toward the middle is just nature taking its course. You clearly have no idea of what the real liberal left agenda is if you think moderate stances like those taken by the President are "the Progressive Movement."


    Comedy incarnate.
    30 Dec 2012, 10:06 AM Reply Like
  • I understand quite weel. The extreme left is Marxist. Progressives are socialists. "The road to communism goes through socialism." Lenin.
    Incrementalism is the only road available to the left because of checks and balances. Nevertheless, they have moved the ball quite far.
    30 Dec 2012, 10:12 AM Reply Like
  • Why can't we govern from the middle where most US citizens are and take advantage of the greatest economic engine ever where all benefits? Rhetorical question, the real answer is absolutely depressing.
    30 Dec 2012, 10:33 AM Reply Like
  • Obama a moderate? You are not a sane man. It's medication time.
    30 Dec 2012, 11:58 AM Reply Like
  • Yes, because by doing so, we must spend way more than we can afford. The "middle ground" has morphed into all manner of government guarantees, benefits, and safety nets. And the more the government insures our private lives, the less responsible we become for our private well-being.
    30 Dec 2012, 12:03 PM Reply Like
  • The primaries pretty much insure a left right divide. Imagine a party comprised of social liberals and fiscal comsevatives.
    30 Dec 2012, 12:40 PM Reply Like
  • @TG: Orthogonality. The next decade will determine the might of this voting block, which carries some of the classical liberalism of TJ, TP, AS, JL and others.
    30 Dec 2012, 12:56 PM Reply Like
  • Because the progressive Marxist despise economic growth, energy, and success. The same ones telling you guns are bad are the same who send their children to schools secured with armed guards- Obama and David Gregory, NBC. I can go on but why bother.
    30 Dec 2012, 01:35 PM Reply Like
  • I will tell you, he really hates growth, which is why he pulled the US economy out of recession and the people voted for him.
    30 Dec 2012, 01:39 PM Reply Like
  • Obama is economically illiterate. He has done no such thing. Govt. is monitizing all debts. Most of the problems this country suffers from is because of government intervention.
    30 Dec 2012, 01:54 PM Reply Like
  • I fully agree. Govt intervention is only good if we are trying to ban abortions and same sex marriage. By the way CommMarine, you seem to be very angry today.
    30 Dec 2012, 01:56 PM Reply Like
  • So Govt intervention is good when it supports same sex marriage and pays for abortion and contraception? More hypocrisy from you. Abortion is legal; I support abortion. Same sex marriage is not legal and I support that.
    30 Dec 2012, 02:09 PM Reply Like
  • I think Govt intervention is always good if it helps the needy and the oppressed.
    30 Dec 2012, 02:12 PM Reply Like
  • If you believe this deal is good for us i have a bridge to sell you. Heard this same crap about deals over the pond...


    Now i REALLY expect a sell off in the near future..All will rejoice a deal has been cut, then when they look at it i bet it will basically be kicking the can down the road...


    If the POTUS were in trouble !!
    30 Dec 2012, 09:56 AM Reply Like
  • Lindsey has been wrong before. In fact, he's wrong quite often. Let's see what the House has to say.
    30 Dec 2012, 10:00 AM Reply Like
  • Time to buy some SPY....
    30 Dec 2012, 10:03 AM Reply Like
  • Well, cool.....we solve 7% of the problem. Will anyone tackle the other 93% (AKA, Govt spending)?
    30 Dec 2012, 10:13 AM Reply Like
  • Spot on! Thank you, Bret, for a dose of common sense. All the spilled ink debating how to squeeze the 'rich' for a few percentage points more in taxes is silly. It is disappointing how many otherwise intelligent people ignore the fact that deficit spending is not even addressed. We can tax those whom contribute to society at 100% and not do more than pay two weeks worth of deficit spending. So, why not follow the lead of France? Those who favor taxing the so called 'wealthy' should argue for a 70% tax rate.


    Apparently, that is not the purpose of the tax increase, as it does nothing to solve our greatest issue. The purpose appears more consistent with 'spreading the wealth around'. If so, why not at least be honest and direct in the discussion?
    30 Dec 2012, 11:03 AM Reply Like
  • 47,000,000 food stamps
    31,000,000 welfare check
    18,000,000 section 8 housing


    this will only continue to rise under Obama


    Bought and paid for , the Dems are no longer the party of Clinton , but the party of Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro
    30 Dec 2012, 11:23 AM Reply Like
  • @Remyngton: You forgot SS disability payments to those who worked the qualifications or were signed up in vote buying drives. But I digress.
    30 Dec 2012, 01:01 PM Reply Like
  • or the article in today's papers covering EBT scams in NYC
    30 Dec 2012, 02:59 PM Reply Like
  • And this "deal" does what to solve trillion dollar plus deficit spending?


    Absolutely nothing.
    30 Dec 2012, 10:31 AM Reply Like
  • it brings the deficit to $1.2 trillion from $1.3 trillion ...


    which of course commenter Macro Investor 's obsessive rants will blame on the Tea Party and GW Bush ... as Macro and other commenter Limitless believe "Obama's the messiah "
    30 Dec 2012, 03:02 PM Reply Like
  • I don;t think I ever said that reducing the deficit is important, now have I? I am in the Dick Cheney camp. Cheney believed that deficits don't mean anything. Who else here is with me and Cheney?
    30 Dec 2012, 03:04 PM Reply Like
  • Mrs. Cheney?
    30 Dec 2012, 03:13 PM Reply Like
  • What about you, Geoff? Do you think Cheney was wrong when he said that budget deficits do not matter? Of course, he said that when a Republican President was in office, and many of my Republican friends have since reminded me that budgets do matter then a Democrat President is in office, but not when a Republican President like Reagan or Bush creates budget deficits. So, what's your stance on this?
    30 Dec 2012, 03:15 PM Reply Like
  • Republicans say government is incompetent, then gain power and prove it.


    The Bush policies left us with a broken economy and an unnecessary $trillion war then the TGOP blames Obama for not fixing it fast enough while simultaneously blocking every jobs bill he pushes.
    30 Dec 2012, 03:42 PM Reply Like
  • Deficits are relative. Paul Krugman thought they mattered under W but not under Obama. If you follow my posts, you know I am a fiscal conservative. If you run surpluses when times are good, you should be able to run deficits when times are bad. The problem with politicians is they want to run deficits all the time if it suits their spending priorities. They think they are Keynesians but they are really just irresponsible.
    30 Dec 2012, 03:55 PM Reply Like
  • I slightly disagree. Republicans want to run deficits in good times by giving tax cuts tot he rich and starting meaningless wars. However, in bad times, they want to balance the budget by cutting spending on the poor. Don't blame the Republicans for always wanting to run a deficit.
    30 Dec 2012, 04:03 PM Reply Like
  • Elections have consequences, all good to a lame duck president who has absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain is why they will oft times swing for the fences.


    Obama will have it his way, win win no matter what the Rep want and or do, they are dealing from weakness he is dealing from strength.


    Deficits, debts, taxes to Obama are of no consequence and or concern to him only the perception of fairness by those who dont know the difference between fact or fiction and want it that way.
    30 Dec 2012, 10:37 AM Reply Like
  • Perhaps, enigmaman, but history will be a very harsh judge. Obama came into office upon high expectations for unifying our country. Sadly, those promises were abandoned for political interests. His administration will be held accountable for enhancing the divisiveness and accelerating the economic decline. Obama may well win the battle for 'spreading the wealth around' but lose the war for economic vitality. If our 'bold experiment' in representative government is to survive, his policies will be judged as counter-productive to that ideal.
    30 Dec 2012, 12:24 PM Reply Like
  • Cal- you said " Obama may well win the battle for 'spreading the wealth around' but lose the war for economic vitality."


    Obama knows this, but economic vitality was never his objective or concern, spreading the wealth was and still is his primary focus. He has said this in one way or another time and again, he also has been very direct chastising how Americans were living far to well in relation to the rest of the world which he obvious took issue with and was going to correct.


    To even think Obama cares one lick about preserving representative government only goes to show how well he had bamboozled the masses
    30 Dec 2012, 12:56 PM Reply Like
  • I am pretty sure that Obama doesn't care about representative Govt. After all, he only won more than 51% of the votes in both elections, something no one since Ike has done.
    30 Dec 2012, 12:58 PM Reply Like
  • Agreed. What mystifies me is why there is so much support in the media and among the otherwise 'enlightened' academia for a deliberate decline in the economic vitality of our country. If we give them credit for being intelligent, why do those that support such policies aspire to degrade their country? The evidence is abundant; Venezuela, Argentina, Spain, Italy, France, former USSR...... Those who ignore the harsh lessons of history are doomed to repeat them. Are we so naive as to think 'this time is different'?
    30 Dec 2012, 01:05 PM Reply Like
  • Both parties want to cut spending and to indicate that one party doesn't is incredibly biased. Problem is, they can't agree what to cut. That's the issue. Both are responsible for this mess and it will take both to resolve it.
    30 Dec 2012, 10:43 AM Reply Like
  • bgold
    "Both parties want to cut spending and to indicate that one party doesn't is incredibly biased"


    Incredibly naive and totally factually wrong comment.
    30 Dec 2012, 10:59 AM Reply Like
  • Both parties want to cut spending? Obamacare is a massive new tax; He wants higher tax rates on those already paying hefty tax bills. He has spent over trillion dollars more than Gov't takes in every year for the past four years. What planet have you been living on?
    30 Dec 2012, 12:02 PM Reply Like
  • The only way to make serious inroads into the deficit is to cut entitlements. Neither party wants to make the first move because most voters are on the receiving end. Politicians are reelected by spending money. Cutting spending isn't going to happen under either party.
    30 Dec 2012, 12:10 PM Reply Like
  • Wyo..... You have been predicting Armageddon for the last 4 years. If you invested based on your comments over that time span, I do understand your anger. If you and those of your like are even unwilling to have a moderate stance, like most citizens, you are not worth my time.
    30 Dec 2012, 12:11 PM Reply Like
  • About 47% of them. You are right.
    30 Dec 2012, 12:22 PM Reply Like
  • The disconnect in those repeating the 47% comment, is that that was one of the most significant causes of Mitt's loss to Obama.


    I heartily recommend the extreme right stay that course.


    Please continue, gentlemen.
    30 Dec 2012, 12:35 PM Reply Like
  • I concur. This should be the rallying cry for Republicans for the 2014 elections. Demonize the many and come out strongly as the Party of the few, and that will bode very well in elections.
    30 Dec 2012, 12:40 PM Reply Like
  • The same planet where you discount history and the reason spending had to be increased. Get a clue.
    30 Dec 2012, 12:42 PM Reply Like
  • bgold
    More naive and inane comments.
    So, things have been really super the last four years? Yeah, that summer of recovery 2009 really worked out fine if you are on food stamps; for others not so well.
    30 Dec 2012, 12:58 PM Reply Like
  • Demonizing seems to work well, based on the past election. Perhaps we should suspend elections, save all that money and make Obama President for life? Based upon the personal attacks, it appears that would please you.
    30 Dec 2012, 01:09 PM Reply Like
  • No need to do that. The Republicans should just be open and honest in campaigns, that they want to cut the social safety net deeply so that people who need help can stand on their own two feet or die. That's all I am asking for. That should be enough to ensure a prolonged Dem political dominance.


    Now that the Republicans are bending over to Obama, watch out for the next 4 years. Obama has realized that bullies like the Tea Party Patriots respect only one thing. Strength.
    30 Dec 2012, 01:27 PM Reply Like
  • The social safety net? Always the same lie. You push the same propaganda over and over. Try another tune, fool.
    30 Dec 2012, 01:30 PM Reply Like
  • Methinks Macro is a Democrat apparatchik. He tows the party line whilst many of us decry the symbiotic two party system that brought us this mess.
    30 Dec 2012, 01:44 PM Reply Like
  • I am just a greedy investor who has studied macro economics deeply and knows what leads to economic growth and what doesn't.
    30 Dec 2012, 01:46 PM Reply Like
  • Krugman says the same thing. I'll pass.
    30 Dec 2012, 01:55 PM Reply Like
  • Geoffster,


    You said "The only way to make serious inroads into the deficit is to cut entitlements."




    Take Social Security out of the budget entirely, both payroll tax and disbursements, and you won't do anything to cut the deficit.


    Next take Medicare out of the budget entirely, both payroll tax and disbursements, and you still won't come close to cutting the deficit.


    Finally, take Unemployment Compensation out of the budget entirely, both tax and disbursements, and you still won't get close.


    It is both silly and deceiving to state that entitlements are the prime cause of the budget deficits.


    Like it or not, letting the Bush tax cuts and payroll tax cuts expire is a necessary first step for a serious solution.


    There are four separate trust funds for Social Security and Medicare.


    For Social Security, the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) Trust Fund pays retirement and survivors benefits and had a surplus in 2011.


    The Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Fund pays disability benefits and had a slight deficit in 2011.


    OASDI is the designation for the two trust funds when they are considered on a combined basis and had a surplus in 2011.


    For Medicare, the Hospital Insurance (HI) Trust Fund pays for inpatient hospital and related care and had a slight deficit in 2011.


    The Supplementary Medical Insurance (SMI) Trust Fund comprises two separate accounts: Part B, which pays for physician and outpatient services, and Part D, which covers the prescription drug benefit and had a slight surplus in 2011 due to income from general revenues.


    Total the reported surpluses and deficits and there is a net surplus of $49.8 billion. Subtract the $222.8 billion from general revenues transferred to the SMI Trust Fund and the net is a deficit of $173 Billion. That is the maximum amount that could have been saved in fiscal year 2011 without Social Security and Medicare entitlements.




    The only way to get out of this mess is to restore taxes to the levels before the Bush tax cuts. Going over the cliff is a way for the politicians to save face. Then make the necessary cuts in spending. Though, as pointed out above, most of the cuts will have to be in non-entitlement areas
    30 Dec 2012, 02:49 PM Reply Like
  • I'm in the camp that thinks we have a spending problem, not that we tax too little. The so called trust funds are off the books IOUs which dwarf the stated debt. I also think our entitlement system is too generous, but I am not a socialist.
    30 Dec 2012, 03:20 PM Reply Like
  • @CommMarine - Please share your stellar economic credentials. They must be impressive given your certainty that you know more than a Nobel economist.
    30 Dec 2012, 03:44 PM Reply Like
  • Wyo..... Its sad that you have to continue with your elementary name calling. Yes, the last 4 years have been the best years of my investing life, thanks for asking.


    I actually work at it rather than troll around name calling and dissing others all day long. Do a little work, you might benefit.
    30 Dec 2012, 03:54 PM Reply Like
  • I just wish I knew if these 'public servants' were buying puts or calls.
    30 Dec 2012, 12:15 PM Reply Like
  • I knew the Tea Party Patriots would drop their undies. It was just a matter of playing hardball.
    30 Dec 2012, 12:29 PM Reply Like
  • Have we actually got a deal yet? (Trying to work out what's going on from the UK)
    30 Dec 2012, 01:00 PM Reply Like
  • Will come in the evening.
    30 Dec 2012, 01:00 PM Reply Like
  • Last minute stuff :)
    30 Dec 2012, 01:03 PM Reply Like
  • Fiscal Cliff Or Not, The Economy Is Recovering:
    The Financials have risen in double digits since the November 14 lows.
    Bank of America BAC is up 28%, Morgan Stanley MS up 19%, Goldman Sachs GS is up 14%.
    Whether or not we fall from the fiscal cliff, the main effects will be where the government is most invested: the defense (4.9% of GDP), the social services: the welfare (35% of GDP), and the healthcare (15.2% of GDP). The rest of the economy will be only affected “second hand” through higher taxes and health care expenses.
    Good article on the issue published on
    ** I Know First ** site
    Happy New Year!
    30 Dec 2012, 01:16 PM Reply Like
  • The democrats' winning formula of raising taxes in the middle of recession, bombarding businesses with new regulation, and ignoring any suggestions of lowering government spending is such an economic no-brainer, that why they have been having such a hard time pushing it through is just beyond me :-)
    30 Dec 2012, 01:33 PM Reply Like
  • If the cliff happens is all Boehner's fault. He owns it 100%.


    These T-bags only want to see the US fail for political gains. Disgusting.
    30 Dec 2012, 01:36 PM Reply Like
  • Well reasoned argument. That was so progressive of you. Logic is obviously not a strong suit for your ilk!
    30 Dec 2012, 01:39 PM Reply Like
  • What is disgusting about the Left is that in their cynical pursuit of power they are willing to pick demagoguery over being responsible every time. For over a century, wherever their economic policies have been implemented, it has been a complete failure. Again, and again, and again. And the people who hurt most are the poor and the middle class.
    30 Dec 2012, 01:49 PM Reply Like
  • I fully agree. Remember how horrible it was when Clinton was President?
    30 Dec 2012, 01:50 PM Reply Like
  • "Remember how horrible it was when Clinton was President?"


    I am not against labels, but against policies. If the democrats of today balance the budget, start reforming entitlements, and begin to promote capitalism and free-trade like Clinton did (or put in a different way, if the democrats start doing the exact opposite of what they are doing now) they'll be OK in my book.
    30 Dec 2012, 01:59 PM Reply Like
  • So you are OK with balancing the budget by going back to Clinton era tax rates. Nice.
    30 Dec 2012, 02:02 PM Reply Like
  • Clinton did not have a cold war to pay, and he had an internet/technology boom he inherited. Also, if you would like to raise taxes to those levels again, I will agree only if spending is also the same.
    30 Dec 2012, 02:11 PM Reply Like
  • Let's cut defense spending then. After all, Reagan ended the cold war so why do we need to keep spending at such cold war levels?


    Just for the record, internet/technology boom was less than 20% of the GDP. Clinton did well because of one simple thing. He raised taxes.
    30 Dec 2012, 03:43 PM Reply Like
  • Also for the record, it was a matter of policy for Clinton to focus on domestic issues as opposed to international ones, and it was under the aegis of his administration and people in it that the internet was nurtured and led to the internet/technology boom. Neither was a matter of chance, but were considered courses of action.


    Clinton also presided over financial market de-regulation and other initiatives which later proved to be problematic, but let's give credit where its due instead of attempting to rewrite history.
    30 Dec 2012, 06:02 PM Reply Like
  • As long as we can go back to Clinton era spending levels and welfare reform ( that Obama dismantled )
    31 Dec 2012, 07:27 PM Reply Like
  • Clinton was a pro-business democrat as well , as opposed to Hugo Chavez ... I mean , Obama
    31 Dec 2012, 07:27 PM Reply Like
  • No


    He cut spending , that's why the private sector boomed
    31 Dec 2012, 07:28 PM Reply Like
  • I have a question for the Republicans here. Did you guys really believe that the GOP wouldn't bend over to Obama?
    30 Dec 2012, 01:50 PM Reply Like
  • Obama likes to raise taxes ... so you won ... congrats


    How's the deficit now ?
    31 Dec 2012, 07:28 PM Reply Like
  • At this point I could care less if rates rise, fall, or stay the same, as long as we don't go over the fiscal cliff. Washington's most dysfunctional politicians need to realize that regardless if every person gets their way, any deal is better than going off the fiscal cliff. I "give" 50% of my income away to either the government or in gifts to the needy/family; I don't think much is going to change for me. Personally, I prefer giving it to those who need help with their electric bill, buying their children clothes, or to pay off a credit card bill. The government is notorious for making bad decisions with money, and I don't think that will change either.
    30 Dec 2012, 02:11 PM Reply Like
  • Will it be 1330 or 1430 in AH Trading? $SPY
    30 Dec 2012, 02:32 PM Reply Like
  • Fiscal cliff deal= meaningless.
    Self preservation necessary.


    Why you need to be self sufficient for the future- If not your wealth will be confiscated to take care of these people: (who are becoming the majority of our once great nation)

    30 Dec 2012, 02:39 PM Reply Like
  • I don't know what you guys are smoking, but there is no deal yet. Don't get ahead of yourself here.


    PS- you guys sound like a bunch angry teenagers on here arguing with each other.
    30 Dec 2012, 03:03 PM Reply Like
  • Are you short?
    30 Dec 2012, 03:05 PM Reply Like
  • If only white people had voted on Tuesday, Mitt Romney would have carried every state except for Massachusetts, Iowa, Connecticut and New Hampshire, according to the news media’s exit polls. Nationally, Romney won 59 percent of the white vote, a towering twenty-point margin over Obama. (Exit polls were canceled in nineteen states by the consortium of news media that run them.)


    The pattern is not limited to the South, with its history of racism and segregation. Even in the deepest blue states, white voters went for Romney: 53 percent in California, 52 percent in New York, 55 percent in Pennsylvania.


    Liberals hoped that whites who opposed Obama in 2008 would learn toleration and acceptance of racial difference after four years with a black president in the White House. But what happened was the opposite: Romney won 4 percent more of the white vote in 2012 than John McCain won in 2008.


    In New York and Wisconsin, Romney won 6 percent more of the white vote than McCain in 2008; in California and Florida, he won 7 percent more; in New Jersey he won 8 percent more. Even in Massachusetts, where Obama’s margin of victory was 61 percent, Romney increased the Republicans’ proportion of the white vote by four percentage points over 2008.


    White men of course were more likely to support Romney than white women, and old white men the most likely of all.


    What’s the matter with white people—especially old white men? They used to run everything. But their share of the electorate has been falling steadily: twenty years ago whites were 87 percent of the electorate; this year they were 72 percent. Could it be that they resent their loss of power in a country that is becoming more racially diverse every minute? The rest of America wants to know.

    30 Dec 2012, 03:18 PM Reply Like
  • Or could it be that they judged the president on his first term and found him to be lacking in the leadership and judgement required?


    And if only black people had voted Obama would have won every state.


    Under your logic does that make black people racist?
    30 Dec 2012, 04:40 PM Reply Like
  • Blacks voted for Romney with a whopping 4 % of the vote ...


    They're enlightened
    31 Dec 2012, 07:30 PM Reply Like
  • Just got an update from CNBC. There is a major "setback" in fiscal cliff talks according to politco. So guys this guy lied essentially. What a shocker!
    30 Dec 2012, 03:36 PM Reply Like
  • Here I think the Democrats are doing something wrong. The Republicans want Social Security to used chained CPI, which is what everything else uses.
    30 Dec 2012, 03:42 PM Reply Like
  • Macro, you like to read what you type on the internet over and over again Huh?


    There are other ways to improve your self esteem, go outside, you know that place with sunlight and trees and make a few real life friends, meet a woman (Look up on the internet to learn what to do with one).


    Take a deep breath and understand that your poisonous vitriol is a symbol of what divides us and will keep us on this path.


    I believe you can be a better person Macro...
    30 Dec 2012, 03:38 PM Reply Like
  • You seem angry.
    30 Dec 2012, 03:38 PM Reply Like
  • He's super angry ... that's OK . Show him some love , he needs attention


    Some people are depressed and angry during Christmas and New Year


    Brings out some repressed feelings of inadequacy and not being loved as children
    31 Dec 2012, 07:31 PM Reply Like
  • What I'm finding so interesting about the right and left divide on the fiscal cliff is the paranoia on both sides, mostly on the right, I have to say. I can't help feeling that some of the racist undertones of Fox News have even permeated the intellectual right. The conflation of black, Marxism, and wealth redistribution. The philistine denigration of college professor vs. business owner. The endless abortion, gender, LBGT, welfare, food stamp tropes. Rove and Norquist and the whole fifth column Teabag contingency have, it seems, even made pawns of educated, upper-middle class Republicans. Most of the U.S. population is being used by these selfish, people-hating manipulators. The debate about taxes is about reverting to the tax rate from 10 years ago--a 3-4% increase. FRIGHTENING, CRIPPLING, THE END OF THE WORLD! And the right is acting like when that happens, all the dark people with dozens of out of wedlock babies and millions of illegal immigrants on foodstamps will start dining on lobster and filet mignon and malt liquor three times a day and be eligible for cosmetic surgery and two sex change operations a month on Obamacare while they sit home and play with their free iPads while waiting for their $10K weekly unemployment checks.


    I hate to be the bearer of good news, but the frightening truth is that we have a black President who generally cares about the middle class and who won the election fair and square two times. And, oh, that after the previous two-term president drove our economy and the world's off a real cliff, we are in the midst of a recovery. When the market opens tomorrow, I'm going to go long big pharma stocks because I think the anti-depression medication market is going to skyrocket through the roof.
    30 Dec 2012, 04:06 PM Reply Like
  • ptnyc,
    I think you sell conservative people short. I could care less about Karl Rove, Norquist, any talking head on tv of either side.


    All I want is to balance the budget and stop the assault on our freedoms and liberties. I'm perfectly fine paying whatever the tax rate is - want it to be 39% - find I'll pay it - just balance the budget with the 39%. As a note I'm shocked to hear that after years of hearing from Democrats that we can't afford the Bush tax cuts - now we can afford them for 98% of the population.


    George Bush deserves a lot of blame for a lot of things. But I'm not sure he's responsible for the world's economy nor the bureaucratic mess in the EU. Lets stick with blaming him (and Congress) for our own fiscal disaster, a terrible decision on Iraq, and massive spending.


    The recovery you speak of doesn't keep pace with population growth - which means lower standard of living for our country as we move forward.


    It is my sincere belief that we need to reduce the size and reach of our government (which helps to restore freedoms and liberty), reduce the power and pay of the same government (which should work to ensure we attract those that want to "serve" as opposed to enrich), and return the government to doing things it is not reasonable for an individual to do. Only then will we turn this ship around.


    And I might add - I also favor freedom for many of the people we jail - I favor spending money on NASA & NIH - I favor funding our public schools and paying top money to top teachers (and firing mediocre and poor teachers - and not after 5 years) - I believe government regulates markets (and wouldn't permit regulators to then work for those they regulated). I favor corporate governance reforms. So I have no view of the world without government.


    Just because someone is in favor of fiscal sanity and freedom, that doesn't make them some radical, hateful, anti-people.... that is a picture entirely created by the liberal media..... which considers themselves part of the "elite".


    I just want government of the people, by the people, for the people. And I believe we currently have government of the bureaucrat, by the politician, for the financial elite.


    And yes, Obama is president for four more years. Personally I think we should have given Romney a chance (actually we should have found a real leader but those are the two we chose from). IMO the President has already shown himself to not be a leader capable of governing. That doesn't make him a bad man - it makes him what he is - a well meaning college professor. His campaign consisted entirely of "that guy is bad - terrible - hateful - etc". I'm afraid we are following up one very poor two term president with another.
    30 Dec 2012, 04:35 PM Reply Like
  • david,


    "As a note I'm shocked to hear that after years of hearing from Democrats that we can't afford the Bush tax cuts - now we can afford them for 98% of the population."


    I will remind you that Obama last extended the tax cuts against the wishes of large portions of the Dem party, in the spirit of compromise, since the Republicans had been demanding it, and in fact some would say the Republicans pretty much bent him over the barrel to get them.


    The result was that it was then widely reported that Obama was a pushover and his 'politics of compromise' would ensure he would be a one term President, Carter style. He was roundly and regularly ridiculed and castigated by both right and left.


    Many, myself among them, suggested and proposed that extending the tax cuts was Obama's back door stimulus since further stimulus programs would not have made it through the legislative process at the time, especially in light of a lot of the 'green shoots' talk of that time.


    In fact, extending the tax cuts at the time has proven to have been a good decision, that Obama made - let me say again - against the wishes of many in his own party.
    30 Dec 2012, 06:09 PM Reply Like
  • kmi,


    If your talking about the top 2% then yes. But remember that the Democrats tried to pass a bill for all those below 250,000 and then below 1 million. Neither vote made it in the Senate. And in the final bill Republicans agreed to extend unemployment benefits for the long term unemployed.


    So if you want to say he compromised on 2% of taxpayers against the wishes of his party - ok - but he got something in return. But Democrats controlled both houses of Congress then and they wanted to keep the Bush tax cuts - that they had spent 8 years deriding and ....... now they paint it as them protecting the middle class.


    To me it shows exactly what is wrong with our government - you can't not support the tax cuts for 8 years saying we can't afford them - and then tell people your fighting to protect them by keeping the same tax cuts going forward.


    At this point I'm in favor of the existing legislation. At least our children and grandchildren will owe less money - there will be some actual cuts in spending. Maybe after paying higher taxes for a while people will begin to question why the government is involved in every aspect of life.


    So, I'll give you a very small point but I"m not overwhelmed by it. I've posted elsewhere where Obama could have shown real leadership during his first term and IMO he took a pass at almost every turn.
    30 Dec 2012, 06:45 PM Reply Like
  • Just to be clear,


    "The package, brokered by Obama and Republican leaders in the wake of the November elections, angered many Democrats, who have long argued that the Bush tax cuts were skewed to benefit the wealthy... Obama acknowledged that "there are some elements of this legislation that I don't like," and some that congressional Republicans and Democrats don't like. "That's the nature of compromise, yielding on something each of us cares about to move forward on what all of us care about," he said.


    Obama initially campaigned for the 250k cutoff, and compromised to make a deal. And yes, it was a bigger package because Republicans came to the table too. But everyone was mad. And I remember thinking, if everyone's mad at him, he must be doing something right.


    Another thing you can say for him is that he has been consistent on both, his insistence that 250k should be the cutoff as well as his willingness to compromise in order to move forward.


    The package that was eventually passed was bigger than just tax cuts, and you can't necessarily claim it was the same product as what he was initially looking for. So I'm not sure it's fair to look at Obama with regard to:


    "you can't not support the tax cuts for 8 years saying we can't afford them - and then tell people your fighting to protect them by keeping the same tax cuts going forward. "


    And another thing you make a point about: lots of folks have discussed the fact that he could have shown 'real' leadership and didn't, but I suspect that would have been at odds with the compromising attitude he has consistently held. I wonder, if Romney had been elected, how would his efforts at compromise be interpreted?
    30 Dec 2012, 08:51 PM Reply Like
  • Hi KMI,
    I don't recall Obama running in 2008 promising to reduce the bush tax cuts for people over 250k - I believe he did this past time around. It may have been the position he took up when negotiating when they expired. But if he did indeed - then I yield on your point.


    In regards to his lack of leadership. I fault him for:


    1. Total lack of prosecutions for fraud during/before the financial crisis. One thing done very well in the S&L crisis was that the Justice Department (along with the states) did a thorough job of going after all those that had commit fraud and other crimes. And that included a lot of rich connected people. I expected far far better from someone that was a LAW professor from Harvard.


    2. Turning the stimulus over to Reid/Pelosi. He's either very naive or unwilling to lead. This was a time for hands-on leadership. AND he could have gotten many things he claims to support. With the 800 Billion we could have built several nuclear power plants (to displace coal plants), we could have built a new electric grid for over half the USA, AND we would have had 50-60 Billion left over for green energy research. That would have been leadership - and it would have produced more jobs and a lasting infrastructure to benefit the country.


    3. I support the GM bailout. But rather than sticking to the bailout - he turned it into another political giveaway rather than following the law. I see that as failure on several fronts. 1. Its a very bad precedent. We have established laws and rules that govern marketplaces and to simply throw out them is a bad precedent. 2. Naming Steve "I neither confirm nor deny I bribed pension managers" Rattner was pathetic - we are in the mist of a financial crisis and he rewards the very behavior that caused it! 3. Chrysler meant that hedge funds got bailed out and then the assets sold to Italians. Its not as aggregous but again the wrong signal.


    4. What too big to fail institution has been broken up? We are constantly told of systemic risk and what we can't allow these banks to do - but not a single one of them that were basically BK were simply taken and broken into management pieces - leaving them as "not too big to fail". Rather we direct all kinds of "free" money to them.


    5. Immigration reform??? Or was that just "saved" for the next election.


    6. Ignoring his own deficit reduction commission and responding to it with a "plan" that was so vague the CBO said they couldn't score it. It was a time to take some of their recommendations and turn them into policy. He passed.


    IMO, our great and very good presidents rise to the challenges of their times. To me Reagan was a very good president. He rose to the challenge of the USSR and promoted freedom with strength, he rose to the challenge of our reduced confidence post Nixon/Carter, On the things he ran on - he reformed the tax code - largely giving up many of his desires for domestic spending cuts. His record compared to what he wanted is mixed - he didn't control Congress. But he met our challenges head on - certainly didn't take a pass. Much of his approach to the USSR was not met with praise at the time - remember the Minuteman missile deployment in Europe???


    And I'm not saying my list above is easy. Its damn tough work. But it seems to me thats the job.
    31 Dec 2012, 12:40 AM Reply Like
  • david,


    Your comment is very well stated. I agree with most points.


    I don't disagree Obama could have done better. I too wish he had. I cede you the above, and leave you with only one other thought:


    I believe in '08 Obama was the better candidate, and I don't think anyone will honestly disagree to that.


    In '12 I still think he was the better option. I'm willing to accept that it's much harder to assert that than for the '08 election, especially considering there were good people in the Republican lineup. There were people in the Republican lineup I would have happily chose over Obama. But Romney beat them.
    31 Dec 2012, 08:44 AM Reply Like
  • That's true
    He loves the underclass most of all --- a regular Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro ... and maybe even Robert Mugabe
    31 Dec 2012, 07:33 PM Reply Like
  • Harry Reid couldn't care less about Obama .
    He thought he was a lightweight in the Senate ... according to Bob Woodward's book anyway.


    Harry Reid cares about one thing ... Harry Reid ... except for payoffs from the Las Vegas mafia of course
    31 Dec 2012, 07:35 PM Reply Like
  • I would agree I had a lot of doubts about McCain's ability to be a good president.


    I do not in any way question him as a man, nor of his ability to be a strong Senator.


    And I've said many times I wasn't at all upset when Obama won. He had promised to be fiscally responsible and constantly assailed Bush for his spending. He wanted health care and while I don't agree with him, I do agree its an area that needs addressed. And he constantly promised to change the culture of DC.


    And I believe that virtually any American - in the office of the President will do their best in the area of foreign policy - so while this is the one area I would say McCain was stronger I wasn't very concerned.


    I believe I give people a fair chance in life (I'm obviously biased in that assertion). And I feel like Obama has had more than a fair chance. He controlled both houses of Congress but somehow didn't realize that the real issues that needed addressed - the economy, the stimulus, holding those accountable for the fiscal crisis. And that is just not ok. Rather than deal with "too big to fail banks" and simply breaking them up - he took a pass and left it to Frank and Dodd (whom I might add should have been prosecuted for his involvment in the friends of Angelo loan fiasco) to write 2000 pages of stuff - all of which I'm told doesn't change the too big to fail problem!


    When he found himself having to give a little with the development of Republicans taking the house - he proved unable to do so. And I found some of his actions to be insulting. The constant lectures about the most basic things simply isn't needed. The speech he gave after the Simpson-Bowles recommendation and after the House passed a budget was the day I decided he didn't have my vote in 2012 - it was small - actually I would use adjectives my wife doesn't like hearing me say.


    I viewed Milt Romney as someone that truly was born on third base. I do think he found his own way to home plate - so I'll give him that. I respect some of what he did at Bain - but he also was one of several folks that found a way to turn other people's debt into his equity. Financial engineering doesn't impress me. Irregardless of how smart you have to be to do it.


    But one thing Romney has done is make agreement after agreement in his life - undoubtedly some with people he didn't care for. And I am impressed with his performance at the Olympics - and it tells me that even though he's out of touch he actually is a good man and has some leadership qualities.


    Add Obama's making the election very very small and I just couldn't vote for him. When I watched the Democratic National Committee and I listened to a HIGHLY educated woman speak about how Democrats wouldn't allow women to be without birth control and how Republicans hated women I almost threw up. Thats one of the issues of our time? A thirty something year old woman with three degrees needs me to pay for her condoms when she wants to have sex???? As my wife said - she just gives women a bad name. She sarcastically said to me "oh, how lucky I am to have been protected by such a generous man all these years!".


    I don't think Romney believed much of anything other than he could get the job done. I don't think he believes in any political ideology and perhaps thats what we need in the immediate - get the deals done - no one will like them - take our medicine now - and protect the future of our children and grandchildren.


    I believe a vast vast majority of ALL Americans would gladly today - sign up for four years of Reagan and Tip O'Neill (hypothetically of course). Both those men realized there were things that had to be addressed - they did the tough work - they treated others with respect - and they didn't spend their time demonizing or scaring those that didn't agree with them. Reagan got some things he wanted, O'Neill others and some they met in the middle. And both dealt with the ground as it lay - not some ivory tower fantasy about how the world could be excluding all other variables. And both had experience - something our current Commander In Chief is severely lacking in - and it shows.


    From a historical perspective its saddening. From FDR through JFK we had very good leadership. LBJ was acceptable - I think he struggled with some things but accomplished others. Nixon and Carter we could have done without. Ford did what was needed for a short time. Reagan brought back that excellent strong leadership. Bush was similar to LBJ - acceptable but nothing great. Clinton was a great politician and at times effective - so again acceptable, better than Bush and LBJ but not quite at the Reagan level. But I'm afraid in 2016 we'll be wrapping up 16 years of weak leadership. And it won't be myself that suffers the consequences, it is my children and grandchildren - and that really upsets me.


    Anyways its all academic now. Enjoy your New Year.
    31 Dec 2012, 08:10 PM Reply Like
  • davidbdc, I appreciate your well-reasoned reply. You are obviously not the target of my sarcastic rejoinder. In fact, if you and I were the ones debating the FC in Congress, I'm pretty sure we could find a realistic compromise.
    30 Dec 2012, 04:45 PM Reply Like
  • "...Most people who claim to be waiting for propitious entry points are usually just paralyzed and justifying their inaction...That's why there's a large contingent still on the sidelines since March 2009, or earlier."


    While that speculation might or might not be true, it's a fact that the majority of investors who have been fully invested in stocks since 2000 have lost money since then after adjusting for inflation. (The majority of stock investors underperform the S&P500 over the long term, and you can check how the S&P 500 has done in inflation adjusted terms in the chart below.)


    I'm not a cash-sitter, but I recognize people in money market funds have done roughly as well (or poorly!) as the "All-In" stock crowd since 2000 with a lot less worry. Some of the most successful professional investors in the world are sitting on a mountain of cash right now, for instance, Seth Klarman and Bob Rodriguez.


    You might consider waiting for the S&P500 to break out of its 13-year bear market before ridiculing the cash-sitters.

    31 Dec 2012, 12:03 AM Reply Like
  • Looking at all these comments definately proves that we as a nation are fooled. Its hilarious seeing people argue about "left" and "right" politics when the system is a scam. Can't you see that this country fits the definition of fascist to a T? The financial and corporate sector has fully merged with the government. They have control over the media (cnn, fox, abc, cnbc, wsj, time,npr,etc).
    Dems vs Reps is utter BS! Its fake. Each party seems to differ sharply in useless aspects. In reality, when it comes to key aspects, they unanimously vote againts the people. The president is not the leader of the country, but a figure head. The financial elite want to enslave this country by INTEREST. That's why no matter who is in the white house or congress, the debt keeps climbing higher. On a private level, debts have grown to astronomical levels as well. Why? Because consumeristic behavior was created and shoved down our throats via media propaganda. Look, its all about SLAVERY. But instead of doing it like they use to(with swords and chains), you do it with imposing debt and laws.


    I GUARANTEE that no matter the president or congress/democrat or republican, these will happen: (they will unanimously agree)
    -increases in spending/debt
    -increases in taxes
    -more foreign wars
    -more domestic surveillance
    -more civil rights taken away from citizens(censorship,2nd amendment, internet freedom,etc)
    -breaking of promised programs (SS, pensions,etc)
    -using government funds to subsidize private losses
    -Plain and simple CORRUPTION


    That's right, no matter who you vote for, your getting these wether you like it or not. Many just can't accept reality, because its too painful. They would rather believe that they have control, or that the problem doesn't exist. Have you ever heard of a problem SO HUGE THAT YOU CAN'T SEE IT?


    W Bush was selected to contrast Clinton and impose a police state. He was the perfect president for 9/11 and the build up to the war.
    B Obama was selected to contrast Bush as a young "modern" and bi- racial guy. He was "trendy" and a good speaker(unlike Bush). Since the public was left with a bad taste from the irag/afghan war and financial crisis, Obama was the perfect "change" for the country. Obama will be used as a modern FDR, and will be used to strip citizens of more rights and increase the welfare state.


    The ultimate goal is to enslave the country and citizens via interest on debt. The constitution stands in the way, which is why it has been under so much attack.


    This is the truth. But, again many are to foolish to see it. Or, refuse too.
    31 Dec 2012, 05:51 AM Reply Like
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