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 The Town Hall Debate

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Kamma

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PostSubject: Re: The Town Hall Debate   Sat Oct 11, 2008 4:52 am

On the topic of what McCain has to give regarding economic policy... (ie tax cuts solve all problems)

From an interview with two economic historians, Christina and David Romer, published by the Minneapolis fed.

Quote :

Region: You recently wrote a very intriguing paper about the interplay between tax changes and government spending. Would you give us a brief description?

David Romer: Well, a major motivation that people have put forward for cutting taxes is their concern that government is too large. They think that the direct approach of going through the political process to cut spending is very difficult, and so the best strategy is to cut taxes. The idea is that this will reduce the revenues that Congress has available, and over time that will force spending down.

This is something that Ronald Reagan was very explicit about. It was one of the motivations for his tax cuts, and it goes under the name of the “starve-the-beast” hypothesis. The “beast” is government and its “food” is the revenues. Despite its importance, there's been very little empirical work on this, and most of that work boils down to looking at correlations: When revenues go up or down, do we later see spending move in the same direction? But a theme that runs through a lot of our work is that simply looking at correlation is often very misleading for getting at causation...

What we try to do in a lot of our work is bring in additional information from history to try to get at causation. In the paper on the starve-the-beast hypothesis, we go through the history of tax changes and take out the ones that are motivated by decisions that had already been made to increase spending, take out ones that are coming not from policy at all but from developments in the economy, and the like. We try to isolate changes in taxes that seem truly legitimate for testing the starve-the-beast hypothesis.

And what we find is no evidence for starve-the-beast. There's no systematic tendency for spending to fall after tax cuts relative to what it otherwise would have been...

Region: But you did find that tax cuts were followed by something else.

CR: Right. Tax cuts led, eventually, to tax increases. Basically, something has to give; there is a government budget constraint. What we thought gave when you cut taxes was spending, but we seem to find that in postwar U.S. history what actually gives is the tax cut itself. A substantial fraction of a tax cut is typically undone in the subsequent five years.

scratch <-- confused red neck NEEDS MORE study
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Korash

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PostSubject: Re: The Town Hall Debate   Mon Oct 13, 2008 12:20 am

McCain was never a strong candidate.

The right wing of the republican party never trusted him because he was more moderate and not as unabashedly religious as the conservative base likes. He has been that way for years and his stance on immigration in early-mid 2007 further alienated the right wing. However, it was these things that independents liked, his "Maverickness" (although truthfully he isn't that big a Maverick). This independent appeal is what made him a real contender in 2000 as the dark horse of the Republican primary. That's also why he lost to George Bush who did appeal to the Republican Base.

So in 2007, after learning his lessons from the 2000 campaign, he ran to right and really sucked up to religious conservatives (Jerry Falwell, James Dobson etc.) that he had previously called "agents of intolerance", backpedaled on torture and immigration and pretty much sold out what little claim he had to the title of Maverick. The problem was that the religious right still didn't trust him (I think they saw his pandering as exactly what it was), and his backpedalling on some key issues lost him his street cred with independents leaving him in a no-mans land without much passionate support from the base he was trying to court or the independents he once had.

This is largely the reason that he chose Sarah Palin as his running mate, he needed someone that would appeal to the base (although I think Huckabee would have been a far better choice from that standpoint) and hopefully she could pull in some independent women voters. Unfortunately for McCain she turned out to be a retarded monkey that was shaved down and given lipstick and serious republicans have noted her inadequacies (George Will, Kathleen Parker, David Brooks, Mike Murphy), all this called out the fact that her choice was a political calculation based on her expected benefit to the electoral map and had nothing to do with McCain's assessment of her fitness for the job. I think this transparently cynical choice has further eroded his credibility which is part of the reason why you have seen Obama's numbers surge forward (well that and the economic meltdown).

So again, barring any electoral malfeasance, Barack Obama will be our Next President...and I couldn't be happier.
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Peanutbutter

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PostSubject: Re: The Town Hall Debate   Mon Oct 13, 2008 9:37 am

Korrash I think I love you and I think we watch the same TV shows and read the same online news sites.
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Damacus

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PostSubject: Re: The Town Hall Debate   Mon Oct 13, 2008 11:32 am

couldn't have said it better pb Smile
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