Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Stalled on the Shape of the Bargaining Table

Assistant Village Idiot has been discussing discussing. No, that's not a typo. On June 6th, AVI asked "what constitutes a proper persuasive post on a blog?"--or, more generally, in debate. On June 1st, he wondered "how conservatives should seek to persuade progressives," quoting neo-neocon and other authors.

Good questions. My 2005 answer was that the most persuasive arguments are sourced, sound and supported. Surely everyone from progressive to paleo-con agrees.

Er. . .perhaps not. It's difficult to debate those who presume their opponents are dumb--another academic study "proving" conservatives are stupid was published last month. And it's impossible to argue with those whose ideological bias so distorts the facts that they refuse to acknowledge accurate sources.

Which brings me to the debate sparked by AVI's June 1st post. In multiple disparate and lengthy comments--none of which had hyperlinks--"copithorne" took the opposite view. He asserted that "contemporary conservatism has ceased to be a philosophy of public policy and has become entirely about a sense of tribal victimization." "copithorne" continued:
For me the main currency of a constructive political conversation is: government policy is X. Government policy should be Y. . .

Once again, I invited you to present policy arguments. And it just doesn't seem to be a subject that you or your friends here can marshal a response to. So, that will be a yawning gap between our understanding of what constitutes politics and what constitutes a meaningful conversation about politics.

It doesn't have to complex arguments.

The policy of the government was to torture people. We should not torture.

The policy of the government was to start wars. We should not start wars.

The policy of the government was to give tax cuts to the wealthy. We should not give tax cuts to the wealthy.

I could and did expand on any of those if they were unclear. But I was always interested in policies and outcomes.
I demonstrated in comments on AVI that copithorne made at least two errors:
1) The policy of the previous Administration was not to torture. Rather, they had a half-dozen lawyers carefully analyze the relevant definitions and reach logic-supported conclusions as to the scope of the prohibition. You may disagree with the outcome. You may dispute the reasoning. But you can't miss-characterize the facts, then accuse your opponents of wallowing in tribal victimization.

2) The policy of the previous Administration was to cut taxes for all income levels. And they did--although the share of taxes paid by the rich went up, especially when comparing the top and bottom income deciles. So don't over-simplify the other side to conform to your pre-conceived image of conservatives.
copithorne's response:
Yeah, Carl, I go by the definition of torture used by the Red Cross, the FBI, General Petraeus and the one used throughout American history. I understand your tribe has your own private definition that works for you. From the outside that definition appears to be a rationalization.

I don't understand how your remarks qualify my own policy views that it was a mistake to cut taxes for the wealthy which was a prime factor in moving the country from a surplus of 250 billion to a deficit of 1.3 trillion.
copithorne is debating blindfolded:
1) Please cite a legally-applicable definition "used throughout American history" that was violated. If the previous Administration's policy was pro-torture, why did Bush direct his lawyers repeatedly and agonizingly to research the law? If the intent was torture, the analysis would have been unnecessary. Contrary to your unsupported assumption, those memos tried to interpret the scope of the relevant legal limits. Please provide specifics of where such memos departed from settled law. Even lawyers who opposed waterboarding conceded it was lawful.

2) Please cite a source for asserting cutting taxes for the wealthy was "a prime factor" in moving from a $250 B surplus to a $1.3 T deficit. The Federal budget balance was dropping as Bush took office--a product of the recession Clinton bequeathed--and two years before his tax cuts were fully effective. Historically, tax cuts stimulate the economy and increase tax receipts, which is why even liberal Presidents have cut taxes. The Bush tax cuts were no different, and dramatically upped revenues and reduced the Federal budget deficit about 65 percent between fiscal years 2003 and 2007. Further, between 2003 and 2006, income tax receipts were up from both individuals ($250 billion) and corporations ($230 billion). The Federal budget deficit started increasing again in 2008. But that was the result of the current recession and credit crunch--tax rates remained essentially the same after FY07. And, of course, we're spending ever faster, so the deficit's now rising more swiftly--though most lefties still blame Bush. They ignore the fact that tax cuts were a more effective stimulus than spending hikes. By the way, Bush cut taxes for everyone--but the wealthy actually paid proportionately more. Between 2003-06, the share of income taxes paid by the top 5 percent of earners rose, while the share paid by taxpayers below the top 25 percent of earners fell (see Table 6). But copithorne still calls it a tax cut for the wealthy.
I doubt copithorne can be persuaded. But that's not the point. The question is: can anyone? Or has debate died?

In comments on a previous post, AVI suggested that:
[L]iberalism has an enormous social component, the idea behind the study could be at least partly true. It takes skill and intelligence to read and adjust to social cues. People who have lots of brain material might indeed devote considerable resources to fitting in, not only to their immediate surroundings, but what they understand to be the culture as a whole and projected trends.

Isn't that how liberalism always sells itself, after all? This is where history is going. This is where coolness is going. This is where fashion and evolution and dominance and status are all going. Get on board, get on board.
New Yorker essayist Adam Gopnik chronicled a related insight about French leftists in his book Paris to the Moon (pages 96-97):
[I]t's apparent (to us Americans) . . . that the theories they employ change, flexibly, and of necessity, from moment to moment in conversation, that the notion of limiting conversation to a rigid rule of theoretical consistency is an absurd denial of what conversation is.

Well replace fact (and factual for theory) in that last sentence and you have the common French view of fact checking. People don't speak in straight facts: the facts change, flexibly and with varying emphasis, as the conversation changes, and the notion of limiting conversation to a rigid rule of pure factual consistency is an absurd denial of what conversation is. Not, of course, that the French intellectual doesn't use and respect facts, up to a useful point. . . Conversation is an organic, improvised web of fact and theory, and to pick out one bit of it for microscopic overexamination is typically American overearnest comedy.
Interviewed by Robert Birnbaum, Gopnik's analysis of the French applies equally to copithorne:
It's a society that values philosophers over lawyers. I like that about it very much. It also means that people can live in absolute isolation from reality. It's very hard to produce counter-evidence for an argument in France. You just make up another argument. I give the example in the book of fact-checking. No one I ever spoke to in Paris could understand what the point was of having a fact checker call to check the facts. The lovely thing about it is the tendency to always look for a way around it all.
Conclusion: Debate demands supported and sourced syllogism. copithorne provides neither source nor support. Absent that, even sound logic can yield wrong results.

copithorne says debate has become impossible because "Democrats will lead. Republicans will complain." Maybe they're complaining about his failure to fact-check. And didn't the Dems spend the last 8 years saying "no"?

The left denies the existence of certainty. It's all relative; objectivity is a myth; science slipped to "the publication of untested (and often untestable) hypotheses." No wonder copithorne both insists he didn't "ma[ke] many comments at all speculating about motivations" yet looks into Bush's soul to discover the intent to torture and enrich the wealthy uniquely. Because that's his opening assumption. Put differently, copithorne's argument would prove that if you think Bush is evil, then Bush is evil. The valid and sound syllogism would conclude only that there exists some people who think Bush is evil--or who think Republicans can't debate.

If debate is dead, the murderer was post-modernism. Yet the table's still there and still square; as Samuel Johnson said in an analogous context, "I refute it thus."

(via Don Surber, Maggie's Farm)

21 comments:

copithorne said...

Thanks, Carl.

Here's one link about the Bush deficit. Cooked up fresh today!

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/06/09/business/economy/20090610-leonhardt-graphic.html

copithorne said...

And here's a link saying that the Red Cross says we tortured.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/03/16/terror/main4869240.shtml

We are a signatory to the Geneva Conventions. The Red Cross says we violated it. Throughout our history, we have recognized the Red Cross as a moral authority. Tyrants and torturers have doubted the Red Cross. But Americans have stood behind it. This is confirmed by the FBI, and by General Petraeus.

Obviously, you've got your side and I've got mine. I'll stand with Western Civilization, thanks. You’ll stand with the lineage of tyrants.

It is you who upholds the position that there is no objective reality, there is no right and wrong. It is you who upholds moral relativism.

I say: torture is wrong. The behavior is objectively wrong. It doesn't matter if you ascribe good intentions to yourself. It doesn’t matter if you rationalized it before hand and made excuses for yourself. It is wrong.

copithorne said...

I made no comments on whether George Bush’s intention was to enrich the wealthy. I’m sure he thought he was helping the economy. And we see now how that worked out. I made no comments on whether George Bush is evil or not. I said that torture is wrong. Interesting how your fear of being judged interferes with your ability to talk about public policies and their consequences.

Attached is a reference describing how most of Bush’s tax cuts went to the wealthy. I feel I am providing a link documenting that the sky is blue, but if that is what you need, that’s what you need:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/08/washington/08tax.html

Tax revenues increased from the rich because all growth under the Bush years went to the wealthy. Middle class wages were stagnant and declining. Our approach is that policies that increase the disparity between rich and poor contribute to an unstable economy and contribute to bubble and bust that we see the effects of today. Stronger, more consistent growth is the product of balanced growth and the strengthening of a middle class. That’s our philosophy and that’s the direction you’ll see us take.

copithorne said...

If I get my lawyer to write a note saying it is OK to steal your car, will it then be morally acceptable to steal your car?

Is that how moral reasoning works in your tribe?

Because I can get my lawyer on the phone right quick and we can do this deal this week.

Jess said...

Ah, copi, you've mixed your Red Crosses.
The Red Cross known as the disaster preparedness/relief organization is affiliated with the
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The "Red Cross" you reference is a political organization...

copithorne said...

If you look at the article, I quoted the International Red Cross. The American Red Cross is an affiliated organization.

In the mainstream of Western Civilization, we hold the International Red Cross in esteem. They have won three Nobel Peace Prizes. In America, we have traditionally respected the Red Cross and seen them as a legitimate moral authority.

There is an alternate tradition including the Nazis and Mussolini’s fascists, and Stalinists and Maoists that have seen the International Red Cross as illegitimate. I understand you see yourself as within that tradition.

I don’t know that there is much of a way of adjudicating this dispute. If it is not obvious to you why standing with Western Civilization is preferable to standing with the enemies of Western Civilization I don’t know that there is much I can say to persuade you to do so.

But at least you know where I stand.

OBloodyHell said...

> Assistant Village Idiot has been discussing discussing

The term for this would be that he's having a "meta-discussion"

> The policy of the government was to torture people. We should not torture.
> The policy of the government was to start wars. We should not start wars.


WHY? I'm not saying I disagree with your assertions, or don't partly agree with them. But you can't make a bald-faced assertion as though it were a fact.

There is NO -- literally NO -- possible act you can think of that I can't describe a pathological (i.e., contructed and highly unlikely) circumstance in which that act is not the appropriate choice to make -- it will clearly be the lesser of two evils, no matter how evil it is.

In order to assess which act is the lesser of two evils, then, we must understand WHY it is wrong or evil.

"In politics, one can never do more than decide which of two evils is lesser, and there are some situations from which one can only escape by acting like a devil or a lunatic."
- George Orwell -


> I don't understand how your remarks qualify my own policy views that it was a mistake to cut taxes for the wealthy which was a prime factor in moving the country from a surplus of 250 billion to a deficit of 1.3 trillion.

1) Come off it. There was no "surplus" -- that was a Clintonian accounting trick that USED the social security/medicare slush fund to HIDE the deficit. Were the deficits less at that point? Sure. But stop lying about it -- The government does not use GAAP. They should, there'd be a lot less chicanery as a part of the process if they had to. And until we DO require all governments to do so (Look up what NY state did to bypass THEIR balanced budget requirement. Keyword Attica)

2) I hate to tell you but the problem isn't INCOME it's OVER SPENDING. The government has been spending money faster than the people have been making it for literally decades. This isn't a GOP or Dem issue, it's a Fed issue. This is some white guy who started in the trenches and has moved up into executive positions, but managed to acquire some dumbass trophy wife who can still spend it faster than he makes it, though he's making hundreds of times what he used to. The government is our trophy wife.

3) I'm sorry, I'm willing to bet you're an Obama supporter -- are you making the same noises about Obama and his overspending that, for just this year, exceeds that of Bush's first three years combined? No? (Really? Link me to a comment that you've made in the last 3 months that has decried his overspending) So you have a complete double standard, then?

> And here's a link saying that the Red Cross says we tortured.

Ah, yes, the INTERNATIONAL Red Cross (as opposed to the American Red Cross, which is related but not blatantly anti-American).

Sorry, not a credible source. They aren't as bad as The Lancet in "making shit up" but they're close.

> We are a signatory to the Geneva Conventions.

And are these terrorists? If our enemy does not abide by The Rules, by what sophistry are we required to do so? Even though for the most part we do it anyway...

OBloodyHell said...

> Attached is a reference describing how most of Bush’s tax cuts went to the wealthy.

OF COURSE THEY DID YOU NIT.

THEY'RE PAYING *MOST* OF THE TAXES!!!

Geez how dense can you be?

If the money from a "tax cut" doesn't go back to the ones paying them, it's not a tax cut, it's a handout.

Stop ignoring the essence of the proposition -- the best way, by far, to "stimulate" any economy is to CUT TAXES. This is the only known technique which has EVER worked. The first handout, under Bush, did nothing. I predict the same will show up for Obama's.

> If I get my lawyer to write a note saying it is OK to steal your car, will it then be morally acceptable to steal your car?

Ah, but if you get Obama's lawyers to write you a note saying it's for the UAW to steal your interest in a company, that's ok?

Or were you loudly caterwauling about THAT? No? (Once more, prove it, please, with link)

> In the mainstream of Western Civilization, we hold the International Red Cross in esteem.

Not those of us who actually grasp what a tool it is of anti-American interests and promoters of lefty principles in defiance of actual facts and reasoning (During the Soviet era it was clearly getting a lot of input/marching orders from the USSR, and this has since been publicly demonstrated. All that has changed since are the actors, not the operating goals).

But that's not going to get through to you. Just ack that it's not, on our end, accepted as a reliable source, n'kay? We reserve the right to ignore claims made by them and organizations like The Lancet, so you'd best use them as a starting point to chase down better sources, if you plan to base your reasoning on them.

OBloodyHell said...

> If it is not obvious to you why standing with Western Civilization

I don't see how defending the use of Classical Greek Rhetorical Principles is acting against "Western Civilization".

I DO see how ignoring the THREATS made by enemies of America IS acting against Western Civilization.

The danger of Radical Islam is as great and as clear -- even more so with the history of Nazi Germany as a warning -- as any faced by Western Civilization and its principles. That you and the Left think that their "grudge" against us is merely against some limited actions of America is simply ludicrous and sad. That you fail to grasp how ridding the world of an overpowered thug like Saddam is to the benefit of the world, women, and even Islam itself is equally ludicrous and sad.

You whine about torture, but the fact is, despite the worst that America has done, even if it is worse than you or the IORC says, the world is free of Saddam's rape rooms and his successful efforts to eradicate vast numbers of the Kurds.

So that is a net benefit, not a loss. But you don't care about that, all YOU care about is making America look bad by claiming it's an imperial conquest or something. (Hint: in Imperial conquests, goods and money flow the OTHER way).

The problem here isn't that you stand with the good guys, and we stand with the bad guys -- that's part of your problem.

WE do understand the bad guys. We're the sheepdogs. We grasp that there are, indeed, wolves in the world, and they don't respond to sheepish invocations or abide by agreements with sheep.

In short, the sheep don't win against the wolves by doing sheepy things. But you also don't win against the wolves by putting your sheepdogs on a short choker leash and letting the wolves do whatever they want, just because they've put on sheep costumes.

And it defies logic to continue to believe otherwise in the face of the facts on the issue. As long as vast numbers of terrorists want terror, you're going to get terror. So you need to get at the terrorists, who don't abide by Geneva Conventions, and directly use our own legal codes against us.

One of the limited number of terrorists waterboarded was the author of a tract on resisting interrogation by Americans. He knew that there were specific rules against causing him harm, and waterboarding was one of the least harmful techniques for making him believe otherwise, its damage being mostly psychological and not physical. And if it made that prick, who was the mastermind for hundreds of deaths, if not thousands, "feel really, really bad" -- I'm not particularly distraught. I hope the SOB does wake up at night screaming in terror. I'm sure lots of his near-victims already do that.

You need to get over your arrogant presumption that "you're with the good guys". Just because you want to do good things does not MEAN you will do good things. As many do, you forget the paving material on the proverbial Road To Hell. One of the values of science, as well as classical rhetoric, is to examine where the Road Ahead leads.

copithorne said...

My own understanding is that torture is more evil than no torture. That’s why I prefer no torture as a policy.

The accounting standards under Clinton and Bush were consistent. It seems as though you aren’t willing to hold yourself accountable to any deficit figures because you regard facts themselves as unknowable. Again, I feel I am telling you that the sky is blue, but cutting taxes on the wealthy increased the deficit.

You may be pleased to know that the Obama administration did take steps to make accounting more transparent.

If you follow the link in my first post, you can correct your impression of Barack Obama exceeding Bush’s first three years combined. Some of that impression, I know comes from a chart that incorrectly attributes FY 2009 to Barack Obama when FY 2009 primarily reflects the spending of the Bush administration.

I understand that in your tribe the International Red Cross is not respected. You share this view with tryants throughout the 20th century. This is a place where we differ, obviously. I think the tradition of Western Civilization is preferable to the tradition of facism and despotism.

It is not moral reasoning to say that because others are evil, therefore everything is permitted to you. That is called making excuses.

No, I disagree that the best way to stimulate the economy is to cut taxes. Studies will show that that is the most inefficient way to stimulate the economy. If you understand that many people getting a tax cut will save the money, you can understand why it will be inefficient. Certainly, we tried that approach and ended up in the ditch.

I don’t accept your analogy of the UAW stealing my interest in a company, so I can’t respond to your question. Do I understand that you disagree with Carl that having your lawyer write you a note constitutes moral justification for any behavior?

I tried, but there isn’t much opportunity for me to respond to your third post. You are attributing a blizzard of views to me that I don’t hold, so it is hard to contend with the strawmen.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I have always said that liberals put more energy into the wit of the comment than its accuracy. I was thinking of Americans and others in the Anglosphere. Gopnik's observation about the French in conversation may be related, and a deeper truth. I will have to think on that. Thanks for putting me onto it.

OBloodyHell said...

> The accounting standards under Clinton and Bush were consistent.

Yes, but the tricks used to claim a "surplus" were not, and the fact that you don't address or ack this point is also telling.


> My own understanding is that torture is more evil than no torture. That’s why I prefer no torture as a policy.

That option wasn't offered. Either you had torture under Saddam, or you caused regime change. I pick the latter.

Millions of people with purple fingers for the first time in not just their lives, but the entire history of their people!! Beautiful.

Millions of people who, while still under threat of violence, can hope that their children may not live under that threat. Beautiful.

An Islamic state where maybe -- just maybe -- they might manage to establish a working social structure that is a positive contribution to human existence. Beautiful.

And my policy is clear and evident instigators of violence suffering more than innocent victims of violence. Torture, while avoidable where possible, takes back seat.

If I have to choose between the deaths of hundreds, or even thousands, as opposed to something as small as "torture by emotional trauma", particularly when applied to a known terrorist already responsible for the deaths *and* "torture by infliction of emotional trauma" on near-victims and friends and relatives of victims, I'm going to choose the application of emotional trauma on the single terrorist every time.

If I could get that same end result without the mental abuse (i.e., what you have decided is torture)? Yes. Damn tootin'.

That wasn't an option here. So you had to choose between the mental anguish of a known terrorist guily of harm to literally thousands, to prevent harm to even more thousands, or you could choose to allow the innocents to be victimized by said terrorist's cronies.

Hmm... just one little girl's nightmares over daddy not coming home because he died a horrible death in a fiery building collapse, or the mental anguish of a known terrorist.

But wait -- it's not just one little girl. It's thousands.

I know which of those I'm choosing. And, frankly, I think that's the civilized choice...

> If you follow the link in my first post, you can correct your impression of Barack Obama exceeding Bush’s first three years combined.

First off, this is BESIDE the point -- which is that spending on the part of the government is WAY OUT OF CONTROL. I don't give a rat's ASS about who does it. BOTH parties are guilty of this these days. The Dems are just far, far worse about it.

Second off, sorry, no, not buying it. Claiming these current spend-spend-spend policies "started under Bush" is just BS. The policies that involved the most spending were instigated by Obama. And, regardless of that: Obama has made NO -- REPEAT NO -- effort to rein in this clear and self-evident fiscal irresponsibility. And that is fully within his power.

No, instead, he's proposed spending mandates that will raise the deficit three fold in a matter of years.

> This is a place where we differ, obviously. I think the tradition of Western Civilization is preferable to the tradition of facism and despotism.

Yes, assign names and claim the high ground. Don't make any attempt to refute the fact that the IORC has been anything but an anti-American political organization for DECADES.

"Nanny nanny boo boo".

OBloodyHell said...

> It is not moral reasoning to say that because others are evil, therefore everything is permitted to you.

Not what I said. I SAID was that you have to CHOOSE. Either you decide you want to be a sheep, nothing but sheep and not allow your sheepdogs to protect you, despite the fact that the wolves are circling, or you can allow your sheepdogs to do what they need to do in order to save you.

Your notion of Western Civilization itself entirely disappears with you, if you fail to grasp this, and succeed in holding off the sheepdogs at all costs.

> You share this view with tryants throughout the 20th century.

Actually, as I noted, the Russians were BIG BIG fans of the IROC. But you've ignored that point as inconvenient for you.

> No, I disagree that the best way to stimulate the economy is to cut taxes. Studies will show that that is the most inefficient way to stimulate the economy.

Oh, CITE ONE FRIGGIN' GENERALLY ACCEPTED STUDY YOU POMPOUS ASS. I will guarantee you even if you can, you will find far, far more detractors of it in ALL three major economic camps than supporters. It will also be easy to cite five studies making a hash of your ignorant, stupidly moronic claim.

> I don’t accept your analogy of the UAW stealing my interest in a company, so I can’t respond to your question.

Again -- REFUTE THE POINT.

"Nanny nanny boo boo, I'm not listening" is hardly a defense.

OBAMA's Lawyers have abrogated the rights of thousands of GM shareholders in clear violation of the Law. If you are going to claim this isn't so, cite why.

If you are going to claim it's irrelevant, cite HOW.

"No it's not!!" is not a refutation, it's mindlessly naysaying the point.

=========

And thus we see the essential problem with debating a libtard idiot. They don't grasp rhetorical rules, and happily pull absolute BS out of their rectal cavities to assert their counter points, while rejecting anything you say without bothering to justify doing so.

The only reason for doing so is for the edification of onlookers, who might be foolishly swayed by the BS ignorant claims of libtards like copi, who have no grasp of facts, no concern for them, and think that if they don't like it, it can't be true.


> it is hard to contend with the strawmen.

It's easy to contend with idiots who do nothing but stand on a soapbox and shout their ideas while refusing to justify them in the face of polite dissent. You ignore them.

Until you start citing and justifying your arguments, I'm just going to refer people back to this thread while calling you a completely lying, ignorant jackass.

OBloodyHell said...

P.S., two paras from a recent Thomas Sowell commentary post:

The August 18th issue of the distinguished British magazine "The Economist" reveals the economic progress in Brazil, Argentina, and other Latin American nations that has given a better life to millions of their poorest citizens.

Some of the economic policies that have led to these results are discussed in "The Economist" but it is doubtful that members of the political left will stampede there to find out what those policies were
.

Western Civ succeeds because it makes the whole world richer, not just Americans.

copithorne said...

Here's one study on the relative effectiveness of government spending and tax cuts as economic stimulus. This could be replicated endlessly:

http://www.epi.org/publications/entry/bp210/

For my own preference, I do see a government stake in bailing out the operations and manufacturing jobs attendant on the American auto industry. I don't see a similar stake for tax payers bailing out the bond holders. So, the outcome suits my values.

Obama's actions only helped GM shareholders. The company went bankrupt anyway. I think you are trying to tell me about your concern for bondholders of GM and Chrysler. Again, the only way things would get better for them is if the tax payers bailed out the bondholders. I don't think that is worthwhile and I doubt you do either.

It seems as though in the context of your fear that a conscience is a luxury you feel you can't afford. Things are too dangerous for you to refrain from torture. Character and integrity involve having a commitment to acting ethically even when it is difficult to do so.

It seems as though this conversation is upsetting to you. There is a torrent of meaningless name calling and insults. This is the 'emotional leakage' that was referenced in the original thread that inspired Carl's post.

Honestly, I worry that these conversations are damaging to your health. They are certainly damaging to your peace of mind, such as it is. It seems hard for you in the context of your emotional activation to have a reasoned discussion of public policy.

OBloodyHell said...

1) That's not a "study of effective techniques", it's a proposal for how the authors "expect" things to work. There's no data there arguing in favor of it, it's just pie in the sky speculation.

2) I quote: "Low- and moderate-income taxpayers are those who will be facing the most immediate budget squeeze due to the recession, and thus most likely to spend any extra money received through changes in tax policy."

-- This is flat out IGNORANT. People with low to moderate income are going to tighten their belts THE MOST. They are the LEAST likely to spend said money, instead holding it in reserve in case of personal problems, such as loss of job, accident, or unexpected health issues.

> It seems hard for you in the context of your emotional activation to have a reasoned discussion of public policy.

Don't worry about my friggin' health, little boy.

When you come up with a reasoned discussion, instead of a blather-filled expostulation of damnfool ideas, let me know.

Otherwise, stop wasting everyone's time.

You did nothing AT ALL to justify your claim that "tax cuts DON'T stimulate the economy" -- not one thing -- and which fact a ready search of the internet could easily turn up links to.

You just bloviated about some idiot proposal from a year and a half ago which had nothing to do with actually showing what worked or not, claiming it's a reasoned response.

Are you actually capable of reasoning at all? Do you grasp that "A, therefore B" there has to be some actual connection between A and B for it to be true?

"The sky is blue, therefore Obama likes to wear pink panties" is not a logical connection. But that's exactly the type of connection you just made, just not so blatantly absurdist.

=====

Once again, we see why libtards can't carry on a rational discussion. They don't grasp the basic principles of reason, and think that anything they connect in their pointy little heads is "logic". "A, because B, because C" only works when A and B are actually connected, and B and C are actually connected. If they aren't, the rules of logic will work on them regardless. This fallacy of logic is called "GIGO" -- Garbage In, Garbage Out.

The only way in which logic works is when you start with demonstrably true propositions and reason from there.

Since libtards won't agree to accept any proposition they don't want to believe in, they cannot grasp why their blatantly fallacious logical connections are false. And yet they are.

And, having abandoned true reason for an ersatz substitute, the rightful rulers of the world, like copi, can't grasp that, instead of "defending Western Civilization", they are, in fact, destroying it.

And once more, the barbarians bang at the gate while copi fiddles....

.

OBloodyHell said...

Hll, here's a couple:

Why Permanent Tax Cuts Are the Best Stimulus

New Evidence on Government and Growth

Tax rebates don't stimulate the economy. Cutting tax rates does.

Even India Gets it

Carl said...

I've been swamped at work, but I expect to wade back in here over the weekend.

copithorne said...

I did go to your links, Bloody Hell.

My perception is that these arguments have been falsified in the last quarter century. All you need to do is look out the window to see it. Reagan passed tax cuts on the wealthy. He exploded the deficit and ran the economy into the ditch. Bush passed tax cuts on the wealthy. He exploded the economy and ran the economy into the ditch. Clinton raised taxes, balanced the budget and the economy took off.

My perception is that government does have a role to play in supporting the development of a strong middle class that can lead to balanced, stable growth and a stronger society. Cutting taxes on the wealthy contributes to a speculative bubble and bust economy as it weakens the nation’s balance sheet. So, we’re going to be going in a different direction from the one you advocate that has failed.

Almost all of your sentences are empty name calling and the torrent of insults is meaningless to me. It’s like trying to have a conversation with a barking dog. This preoccupation is clearly not wholesome for you. Rush Limbaugh is damaging your health and it is up to you whether you will fight for your own life.

Carl said...

My reply is here.

OBloodyHell said...

> My perception is that these arguments have been falsified in the last quarter century.

My perception is that you suffer from a common condition for which the technical term is Cranio-Rectal Insertion Syndrome.

"Nuuuu-uuuhhhh!" is not a valid rhetorical response. This is rather obvious, but still you attempt it.

> Rush Limbaugh is damaging your health

And, we segue into meaningless insults and presumptious associations.

If I use an insult, it's because you've failed to make your case, to follow proper rhetorical rules, and acted smug about it. In each case, I told you WHY you were being insulted.

As to the presumptuous part, amazingly, despite your inability to parrot anything your massuhs haven't told you to say, there are a lot of people on the Right (of which I'm only an honorary member, being libertarian) who are quite, quite capable of having their own opinions independent of ANYTHING Rush has to say. That's not to say I disagree with him in any way, I just don't pay any particular attention to him. If there is anything of his commentary actually in anything I've said, it's a matter of two logical minds actually following an obvious and similar train of thought, not one of us getting marching orders from the other.

And when I hear you actually managing to express a thought that I haven't heard blathered equally incoherently from any number of libtards, that'll be the first time I've noticed it.

As Dr. Sanity describes (here and here, for recent examples), one of the chief flaws in liberals is their tendency to project their own behaviors onto their antagonists. Given that Dr. Santy is a licensed psychiatrist with sufficient background to have been the mission psychologist on the Challenger Mission, I think she's got the chops to make that observation stick.