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Krugman deserves his own thread for this one

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by Batman Jones, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. Batman Jones

    Batman Jones Contributing Member

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    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/07/26/the-cult-that-is-destroying-america/

    July 26, 2011, 5:09 PM

    The Cult That Is Destroying America

    Watching our system deal with the debt ceiling crisis — a wholly self-inflicted crisis, which may nonetheless have disastrous consequences — it’s increasingly obvious that what we’re looking at is the destructive influence of a cult that has really poisoned our political system.

    And no, I don’t mean the fanaticism of the right. Well, OK, that too. But my feeling about those people is that they are what they are; you might as well denounce wolves for being carnivores. Crazy is what they do and what they are.

    No, the cult that I see as reflecting a true moral failure is the cult of balance, of centrism.

    Think about what’s happening right now. We have a crisis in which the right is making insane demands, while the president and Democrats in Congress are bending over backward to be accommodating — offering plans that are all spending cuts and no taxes, plans that are far to the right of public opinion.

    So what do most news reports say? They portray it as a situation in which both sides are equally partisan, equally intransigent — because news reports always do that. And we have influential pundits calling out for a new centrist party, a new centrist president, to get us away from the evils of partisanship.

    The reality, of course, is that we already have a centrist president — actually a moderate conservative president. Once again, health reform — his only major change to government — was modeled on Republican plans, indeed plans coming from the Heritage Foundation. And everything else — including the wrongheaded emphasis on austerity in the face of high unemployment — is according to the conservative playbook.

    What all this means is that there is no penalty for extremism; no way for most voters, who get their information on the fly rather than doing careful study of the issues, to understand what’s really going on.

    You have to ask, what would it take for these news organizations and pundits to actually break with the convention that both sides are equally at fault? This is the clearest, starkest situation one can imagine short of civil war. If this won’t do it, nothing will.

    And yes, I think this is a moral issue. The “both sides are at fault” people have to know better; if they refuse to say it, it’s out of some combination of fear and ego, of being unwilling to sacrifice their treasured pose of being above the fray.

    It’s a terrible thing to watch, and our nation will pay the price.
     
  2. Invisible Fan

    Invisible Fan Contributing Member

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    I consider my opinions to be center-left, but I'm pegged more as a liberal by others.

    I'm guessing that if you live in the South and travel outside city limits, talking points from the right sound less "extremist".
     
  3. Cannonball

    Cannonball Contributing Member

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    I've always thought it a shame that the "center" is considered the middle in between the two parties rather than the middle of the absolute extremes.
     
  4. hairyme

    hairyme Member

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    Thanks for sharing that article; it's nice to hear someone in the media actually address this behavior.

    The level of false equivalence presented in our news media is just absolutely sickening. It's as if each news outlet is so afraid of being labeled one-sided--save the obvious exception--that they rather distort the facts rather than actually call out a political party. Placing a critical eye on everyone is not the same as equally criticizing everyone; unfortunately, we're just getting the latter.
     
  5. greenhippos

    greenhippos Member

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    Weirdest thing, I'm 26 and have never voted, and I probably never will. It's not due me not caring, I watch a ton of political debates, I follow the news regularly. There seems to be not a single candidate on a national level that seems to be within a striking distance of what my beliefs are (Ron Paul comes very close, but he'll never win anything because of what he wants and believes)

    Some of positions are far left, some are just as far right, one candidate is either all on one side, or all on another. Because from what I know about the intelligence of the average person, and voter, I'd put a large amount of money that people vote strictly by the D or R next to a person's name.

    Things on the right side I strongly believe in are pretty simple. I don't believe unemployment should run as long as it does, I don't have the exact number of weeks but if I recall it's 50+ weeks (someone correct me if I'm wrong) I know it's what I would consider a pathetically long time. I say cut it to 13 weeks, or 3 months. I firmly believe rich people shouldn't have to pay more in taxes as a percentage than someone earning minimum wage. They obviously shouldn't pay a lesser percentage, but I don't like punishing someone who's been successful.

    As far as the left I'm as strong a supporter of gay marriage than anyone you'll find. If two guys want to get married, how that affects me, who I love or how I live my life is beyond me. I'm also pro choice, there are too many circumstances where I believe the best course of action is to not have the child. I also don't understand why big companies don't pay crap in taxes. There's one company (Shell?) where with their tax breaks the US government actually paid them at tax time.....not only did they pay zero in taxes on whatever billions they made in profit, but they were given an extra couple of hundred million. How Republicans defend that is asinine.

    Then there's the one idea neither side seems to want to take a stand on. EVERYONE needs to pay taxes. I saw a figure of around 40-50% of Americans don't pay anything. I won't deny it, I think I got back around 90% or maybe it was 100 when I filed my taxes from last year. I don't pay taxes, and I utilize public streets, rely on emergency professionals and will hopefully have kids one day who go to public schooling. Republicans want to raise taxes on people who are already paying them, Dems want to keep the percentages where they're at except for the rich people who they think should pay more.

    There's no one in the middle, and even if there was, they'd be too extreme for one side or the other and I don't see in my lifetime anyone other than a D or R being the president.
     
  6. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    i find it rather astonishing that you, and Krugman, could portray republicans as extremists in this instance. since when is thrift an extreme position? why should an insistance that we live within our means be radical?

    and finally, compromise requires both side adjust it's expectations. Obama has adamantly refused to even offer a plan, nor has he negotiated in good faith. to the extent we find ourselves in a crisis, it's entirely w/in Obama's power to prevent. unfortunately, he's more focused on the politics, and apportioning blame, that doing what he was elected to do:

    lead.
     
  7. glynch

    glynch Contributing Member

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    Incredible, Batman, I logged into Clutchfans from my vacation abroad to start the same thread. This is very important and sadly we see this claim that both sides are equally partisan or the constant essential claim that "I am more moderate than you; therefore I must be correct" or the "truth is always in the center" etc. made on this forum all the time.
     
  8. mc mark

    mc mark Contributing Member

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    when it comes from a black, democratic president
     
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  9. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    you live on a different planet than i do.
     
  10. Kojirou

    Kojirou Member

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    1. Separation of powers. Something you learn in second grade, and something I thought those who proclaim their love for the Constitution so loudly would sort of be aware of. And Reid has proposed a plan.
    2. He has offered cuts on Social Security and Medicare ( which is a really big deal for leftists), we are actually having the potential to really discuss entitlement reform and the debt, and that's good thing. But it's being thrown away by radicals who act like tax cuts are the end-all be-all of American economic policy and that we can somehow just cut our way out of this deficit. It's not going to happen. Not to mention you have even bigger nutjobs like Bachmann who seem to be perfectly fine with not raising the debt ceiling period. Perhaps she thinks that defaulting will bring on the End Times.
     
  11. rhadamanthus

    rhadamanthus Contributing Member

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  12. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member

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    The republican position isn't thrift, it's forcing a default and a Second Great Depression - this has been openly mentioned by their leading intellectual voices as the desired state of affairs.
     
  13. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    name one.

    "potential to discuss." you write this as if this is some fantastic accomplishment.
     
  14. rhadamanthus

    rhadamanthus Contributing Member

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    republicans claiming "thrift" as a motive make me mentally vomit. Where the **** was this talk during the Bush tenure? Heck, where was this during the tax-cut-extension debate?

    Lying douchebags.
     
  15. GladiatoRowdy

    GladiatoRowdy Contributing Member

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    The US has never, not even once, been this close to defaulting on its obligations. One side (the Democrats) has bent over backwards to compromise while the other continues to follow Nancy Reagan's lead and is just saying "no." That is an extreme position that is very close to causing an extremely bad outcome for our country.

    It isn't, but that isn't what the GOP is asking for. They are asking for spending cuts with absolutely NO tax increases, which isn't compromise or negotiation, it is intransigence and ultimatum.

    You mean that liberals should put entitlement reform on the table (which they have) and conservatives should put tax increases on the table (which they have NOT)? I agree, but that is not what the GOP is doing.

    The echo chamber is strong with you, this statement flies in the face of reality and factual information that has been disseminated about the talks. Obama has put several plans out there, Reid has put a plan out, the freaking Congressional Progressive Caucus has put out a plan that balances the budget in 10 years where the most aggressive GOP plan (the Ryan plan) still has deficits in the neighborhood of 2% of GDP after that time.

    In addition, he has put everything on the table that the GOP has asked for. The GOP refuse to even consider raising taxes on the richest Americans at all. One side isn't negotiating in "good faith," but it isn't Obama, nor is it the Democrats.

    You mean, he could just acquiesce to the GOP's demands entirely? That wouldn't be within Obama's power because I doubt such a plan could pass the Senate.

    The GOP is more focused on making sure their rich friends don't get their taxes raised even one red cent than making sure that the "full faith and credit of the US government" continues to be the strongest, least risky investment in the world.

    As in, your "analysis is a balloon filled with ___________." I suppose I shouldn't expect any better from you.
     
  16. rhadamanthus

    rhadamanthus Contributing Member

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    To be fair, Obama (the constitutional scholar, mind you) has a rather glaring ace up his sleeve that he refuses to use.

    The 14th amendment clearly requires that we not default.

     
    1 person likes this.
  17. mc mark

    mc mark Contributing Member

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    Yeah I know

    it's called a reality based world
     
  18. GladiatoRowdy

    GladiatoRowdy Contributing Member

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    Again, to be fair, he has not been put into the position where he HAS to play his ace yet, we will know if he plays it ~ 8/2/11.
     
  19. jo mama

    jo mama Contributing Member

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    since about january 21, 2009.

    i live on a planet where "fiscal conservatives" like bush spend more than all previous presidents combined in 3.5 years and people like you not only supported him, but attacked those who dared to criticize his liberal spending policies...but the minute a democrat gets elected these very same people all of a sudden become concerned about spending and the debt.

    i dont believe any of yall are sincere.

    "deficits dont matter" - dick cheney
     
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  20. thadeus

    thadeus Contributing Member

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    Since basso will lose this argument (as he always does, because he believes something well before he bothers trying to rationally support it) and will then disappear from this thread (as he always does), I have a new game.

    What if we try to find the place basso gets his talking points from for each of his posts? They always come from somewhere. They're never his thoughts - they're the party's thoughts. His objections to things come directly from the talking points formulated by the right, almost without exception (I only say "almost" because I haven't bothered with his posts for the most part).

    Now, I'd guess that any objection he "makes" that has something to do with a current event is on a current webpage for at least one of the Tea-partier media. I think he runs away from the argument precisely when Tea-party websites no longer offer any new methods on how to make that particular argument.
     

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