Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

2020 American Political Scene

Collapse
This topic is closed.
X
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • TopHatter
    replied
    Originally posted by DOR View Post
    TH,
    Why did you have to spoil an interesting op-ed with that last sentence of yours?

    Just because one party is criminally inclined doesn’t mean the other must be, too.
    Because Democrats are politicians and human beings too. And when the opportunity is there, they'll take it.

    Also you'll notice that the interesting op-ed said the exact same thing. Even bolded it.

    Leave a comment:


  • DOR
    replied
    TH,
    Why did you have to spoil an interesting op-ed with that last sentence of yours?

    Just because one party is criminally inclined doesn’t mean the other must be, too.

    Leave a comment:


  • TopHatter
    replied
    Op-Ed: Amend the Constitution to Prevent Another Trump

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Much of the relief felt from President-elect Joe Biden’s victory is in the return to a presidency based on behavioral norms. President Donald Trump’s years in office reminded us how important those norms are, and also proved that many of them have little or no legal force.

    One of the Biden administration’s first steps should be to propose a constitutional amendment to establish the most important presidential standards in law — an amendment that would be in keeping with American constitutional history.

    Trump began to break traditions from the start of his candidacy. From refusing to release his tax returns to interfering with Justice Department investigations, he's exploited the extent to which we have relied on personal restraint to protect institutions. By gutting the government's watchdog functions, the Trump administration eliminated many of the checks against bad behavior. The ultimate enforcement mechanisms — impeachment and indictment — don’t work in a Senate willing to countenance the president’s behavior and with a Justice Department that is directed to facilitate it.

    A 28th constitutional amendment could keep this from happening again. First, an amendment should work against conflicts of interest by making the disclosure of tax returns well before Election Day an eligibility requirement for federal offices. And it should expand the Constitution's emoluments clause, which bars the president from accepting gifts or favors from foreign states, to explicitly include the president and his or her immediate family, and cover businesses held directly and indirectly.

    The amendment should replace the Office of Government Ethics with a new entity that's responsible jointly to the president and both houses of Congress, charged not only with establishing ethics regulations but also with suspending officials who violate them. It should institutionalize the independence of the Justice Department by making the attorney general an officer who serves at the pleasure of both the president and Congress, thereby ensuring that attorneys general would not be able to do active harm for very long.

    Finally, the amendment should prevent presidents from pardoning themselves, their families, their staffs and campaign officials, and perhaps even major donors to their campaigns. It should eliminate the ability to grant pardons between Election Day and the beginning of the next presidential term.

    The actions of presidents and candidates have led to constitutional amendments before. The 12th Amendment, ratified in 1804, fixed flaws in the Electoral College system that were revealed in the elections of 1796 and 1800. The 22nd Amendment, ratified in 1951, established presidential term limits after Franklin D. Roosevelt broke a tradition set by George Washington by seeking a third and fourth term. The 25th Amendment, ratified in 1967, clarified rules for presidential succession and incapacitation that had been highlighted by Dwight D. Eisenhower’s health issues and the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

    In 2021, any proposed constitutional amendment would inevitably start off as a partisan effort: a Democratic repudiation of the Trump administration. But it need not remain so. Many Republicans in Congress demonstrated unease with many of Trump’s actions, even if most were unwilling to condemn them. At various points during the last three years, polls suggested two-thirds of Republican voters have disagreed with the president on issues such as tax disclosure or self-pardons. And the prospect of a future Democratic president following Trump's template should make Republicans willing to act.

    In fact, the 22nd Amendment followed precisely this trajectory. Republicans tried unsuccessfully to make FDR's break with term-limit traditions a campaign issue in the 1940 and 1944 elections. Many Democrats were also uneasy with FDR’s decision but chose to overlook it thanks to FDR’s strong support among voters. When Republicans regained Congress after the 1946 elections, they immediately endorsed a constitutional amendment to limit presidents to two terms. Despite its partisan flavor, the amendment reached the necessary two-thirds vote in both the House and Senate because many Democrats supported it.

    Ratification by the states also started as a sharply partisan effort. Eighteen Republican-controlled legislatures approved the amendment within two months, but that was nowhere near the three-quarters of states (36 in 1947) needed to make it law. Over the next three years, the amendment began to be seen less as a protest against FDR and more as endorsing a long-standing tradition. It was eventually ratified by 18 more states — eight controlled by Republicans, nine by Democrats and one with split control — to become law in March 1951.

    The 22nd Amendment shows a path by which an amendment to restore presidential integrity could have a strong chance of success even though Democrats can't get it done alone. If congressional Republicans oppose it, the proposal would become a powerful weapon in the 2022 elections — one that would allow Democratic candidates to run on a position that could appeal to independents and Republicans. Any opposition by an ex-President Trump would help remind voters of aspects of his administration that Republicans would prefer them to forget.

    Above all else, integrity is precisely the kind of issue that a President Biden, with his emphasis on “the soul of America,” could make a hallmark, and which could attract the kind of Republican support that would help him demonstrate that collaboration can work. As such, it would not only improve the Constitution but also become a national, bipartisan issue in a nation that desperately needs one.
    __________

    Interesting proposals, absolutely needed in the face of an amoral career criminal like Donald Trump. And utterly DOA for as long as scumbags like Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell are in command of the Republican Party. Blatant and unchecked corruption will become the norm. Trump's banana republic administration has pointed the way forward for the Republican Party: Do whatever you want, as long as you and your party hold the reins of power, because that's exactly what your constituents want.

    And it's only a matter of time before some Democrat does exactly the same thing.

    Leave a comment:


  • DOR
    replied
    Originally posted by GVChamp View Post
    UBI pays out $X/month regardless of overall economic conditions, it isn't a counter-cyclical policy. If you wanted to make it counter-cyclical, you'd want 2X during recessions and .5X during business cycle peaks. However, this won't work: the preferred psychological justification is that this is a Freedom Dividend, and you don't pay out twice as many dividends when the government is running trillion dollar deficits.

    Better automatic stabilizers are things like unemployment benefits, which you can enhance if the economy is truly in the crapper. You can also do payroll tax cuts, boost EITC, juice food stamps, or just literally drop money from helicopters.
    Ah, the penny drops.
    The difference is between the universal basic income and this year's stimulus payout. That's where the confusion arises.
    The first would not change due to economic circumstances unless that was built into the law: COLA, for example, or an extra bump when unemployment hits a trigger point.
    The second, this year's version, is a one-off that no one expects to persist into the future, except in extraordinary, one-off type circumstances.
    I don't think the size of the budget deficit (trillions? percent of GDP? cost of servicing?) would matter in either case.

    Unemployment benefits are fine, and extendable, for those employed by companies that pay unemployment insurance for them.
    Payroll tax cuts, ditto, although it really is just stealing from the future.
    The Earned Income Tax Credit works a charm, for those employed to a pay level requiring taxes, and able to wait a year or more for some small relief.
    Food stamps are generally not considered part of economic stabilizers, but never mind: they provide part of the safety net come what may.
    Helicopters are a euphemism for the kinds of stimulus checks sent out this year: indiscriminate (no means testing delays), quick, and of a useful amount.

    Leave a comment:


  • GVChamp
    replied
    UBI pays out $X/month regardless of overall economic conditions, it isn't a counter-cyclical policy. If you wanted to make it counter-cyclical, you'd want 2X during recessions and .5X during business cycle peaks. However, this won't work: the preferred psychological justification is that this is a Freedom Dividend, and you don't pay out twice as many dividends when the government is running trillion dollar deficits.

    Better automatic stabilizers are things like unemployment benefits, which you can enhance if the economy is truly in the crapper. You can also do payroll tax cuts, boost EITC, juice food stamps, or just literally drop money from helicopters.

    Leave a comment:


  • DOR
    replied
    Originally posted by GVChamp View Post
    Money drops via UBI seem less effective then a lot of other options, particularly when the psychology behind them is "Freedom Dividends." You don't pay out more dividends when the nation is doing poorly, but that's when you want your money drops.

    Plus the arguments for UBI are more libertarian "get rid of all these programs" or more Yang-ish "we need these because a lot of people are about to get put out of work."

    There are better automatic stabilizers that we can use
    Such as?
    And, what do you mean by "You don't pay out more dividends when the nation is doing poorly, but that's when you want your money drops." ?

    Leave a comment:


  • GVChamp
    replied
    Money drops via UBI seem less effective then a lot of other options, particularly when the psychology behind them is "Freedom Dividends." You don't pay out more dividends when the nation is doing poorly, but that's when you want your money drops.

    Plus the arguments for UBI are more libertarian "get rid of all these programs" or more Yang-ish "we need these because a lot of people are about to get put out of work."

    There are better automatic stabilizers that we can use

    Leave a comment:


  • DOR
    replied
    Originally posted by tantalus View Post

    Sorry i meant to get back to you on this earlier.

    He is referring to Modern Monetary theory https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_Monetary_Theory which I am sure you will agree doesnt fall into common sense as its not mainstream.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/02/ray-...nevitable.html



    The rabbit hole that leads to an entire warren.
    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/its-t...dern-ray-dalio

    i just what to say that all this discussion pre dates covid.

    Muhammed El Erian https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohamed_A._El-Erian made the point on bloomberg a few months back that the unthinkable has happened and the 2 big economic theories that are not mainstream and "impossible" to test MMT and UBI have been implemented in part due to the covid crises. Its fair to say thats a bit of an exaggeration but certainly also fair to say the spirit of what he was saying was that some elements of MMT and UBI have been played around in 2020. He suggested that in may not be so easy tp get the rabbit back in the hat in the years to come. Interesting times for those who study macro economic theories.



    tantalus,
    Modern Monetary Theory dates back to WWII, when Abba Lerner called it “Functional Finance,” so not that new. The core position is that congress should use fiscal policy to macro manage the economy, rather than the Fed using interest rates and bond issues. The main problem is that congress gave up on fiscal policy many, many years ago, and left it to the Fed (Volcker, Greenspan, Bernanke).

    Universal basic income as a macroeconomic tool (rather than as an anti-inequality or anti-poverty tool) arose out of the Bernanke's 2002 “helicopter” money drop speech, in which he said the last resort for dealing with deflation would be to dump massive amounts of money out of helicopters until people start to actually pick it up and spend it.

    Given that we have seen significant easing of the loss of demand following stimulus payments to households, it is very difficult to conclude that a universal basic income is not useful. And, given that both theories have worked, when conditions and policymakers were right, one has to ask why anyone would want to “put them back into the hat.”

    Leave a comment:


  • astralis
    replied
    lol, GVChamp and Paul Krugman agree on multiple things! :)

    Leave a comment:


  • GVChamp
    replied
    Your prior video link seems to have gone dead. I tried to click on it and an error popped up.

    MMT is a garbage theory . UBI is slightly less garbage, but unnecessary and the "humans will become replaced by machines!" argument is bunk. Andrew Yang buying into it is evidence that very smart people can believe very dumb things.

    Leave a comment:


  • tantalus
    replied
    Originally posted by DOR View Post

    Common sense: don't cut government spending until private spending can replace it.
    However, do bear in mind that it is the House, and not the Senate, that controls the purse strings.
    Sorry i meant to get back to you on this earlier.

    He is referring to Modern Monetary theory https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_Monetary_Theory which I am sure you will agree doesnt fall into common sense as its not mainstream.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/02/ray-...nevitable.html

    Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio says the coming of Modern Monetary Theory is inevitable to address wealth disparity in the U.S.

    The idea is backed by presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

    Critics say using zero interest rates to finance big government spending could lead to hyperinflation.
    The rabbit hole that leads to an entire warren.
    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/its-t...dern-ray-dalio

    i just what to say that all this discussion pre dates covid.

    Muhammed El Erian https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohamed_A._El-Erian made the point on bloomberg a few months back that the unthinkable has happened and the 2 big economic theories that are not mainstream and "impossible" to test MMT and UBI have been implemented in part due to the covid crises. Its fair to say thats a bit of an exaggeration but certainly also fair to say the spirit of what he was saying was that some elements of MMT and UBI have been played around in 2020. He suggested that in may not be so easy tp get the rabbit back in the hat in the years to come. Interesting times for those who study macro economic theories.
    Last edited by tantalus; 11 Nov 20,, 19:55.

    Leave a comment:


  • TopHatter
    commented on 's reply
    Originally posted by Oracle View Post

    What is the amount of his debt? Lol, he hires overseas guys to runs his hotels, resorts and such, and used to rant about immigrants taking away American jobs.
    It's pretty substantial, something like $1 billion. A good chunk of that is owed to Deutsche Bank, and he's personally guaranteed those loans.

    More information has been trickling out than ever before, but his finances are still pretty murky, deliberately so.



    Click image for larger version

Name:	https%3A%2F%2Fd6c748xw2pzm8.cloudfront.net%2Fprod%2F72d4cf00-1a05-11eb-b10a-1fd22f2982b8-standard.png?fit=scale-down&source=next&width=700.png
Views:	90
Size:	203.5 KB
ID:	1568328

  • Oracle
    commented on 's reply
    Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
    Intelligence officials have found a silver lining to Trump's 'scant attention' in briefings

    President Trump could be a major threat to national security once he leaves the White House.

    While he's president, Trump is free to declassify and disperse any U.S. intelligence secrets he'd like. That privilege ends once President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in, but current and former officials tell The Washington Post Trump is likely to retain and spread those secrets once he leaves office.

    All U.S. presidents "exit the office with valuable national secrets in their heads," including deep knowledge of nuclear weapons processes, intelligence assets within foreign governments, and weapons development, the Post describes. But this is the first time an incoming president "has ever had to fear that his predecessor might expose the nation's secrets," the Post continues. Trump's boastful personality, his belief in "deep state" conspiracies, and his millions of dollars of debt set him up to be a "classic counterintelligence risk," the Post reports.

    One former official envisioned Trump bragging about Air Force One's technical capabilities or the locations of U.S. spy drones at a rally or in conversation with a foreign leader. John Fitzpatrick, a former intelligence officer, also acknowledged ex-presidents retain information about "special military capabilities, details about cyber weapons and espionage," and U.S. satellites.

    Then again, Trump has reportedly rarely paid much attention during intelligence briefings, which he rarely holds to begin with. "A knowledgeable and informed president with Trump's personality characteristics, including lack of self-discipline, would be a disaster," Jack Goldsmith, a Justice Department official in the George W. Bush administration, told the Post. "The only saving grace here is that he hasn't been paying attention."
    ________

    Trump's gotta make money somehow. It's not like he can rely on things like "business acumen" to pay his mountain of debt.

    What is the amount of his debt? Lol, he hires overseas guys to runs his hotels, resorts and such, and used to rant about immigrants taking away American jobs.


  • Oracle
    replied
    Originally posted by astralis View Post
    well, SECDEF just got fired via tweet; looks like “Yesper” wasn’t “Yes” enough for him.

    should someone tell Trump that making a bunch of personal enemies as he goes out the door is probably ill-advised?
    Some old proverb says, ‘one can bring a donkey to the pond, but one cannot make the donkey drink water from the pond‘. I remember making this point some years back that making enemies is not the right thing to do, more so for a shady businessman turned POTUS.

    Leave a comment:


  • TopHatter
    replied
    Intelligence officials have found a silver lining to Trump's 'scant attention' in briefings

    President Trump could be a major threat to national security once he leaves the White House.

    While he's president, Trump is free to declassify and disperse any U.S. intelligence secrets he'd like. That privilege ends once President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in, but current and former officials tell The Washington Post Trump is likely to retain and spread those secrets once he leaves office.

    All U.S. presidents "exit the office with valuable national secrets in their heads," including deep knowledge of nuclear weapons processes, intelligence assets within foreign governments, and weapons development, the Post describes. But this is the first time an incoming president "has ever had to fear that his predecessor might expose the nation's secrets," the Post continues. Trump's boastful personality, his belief in "deep state" conspiracies, and his millions of dollars of debt set him up to be a "classic counterintelligence risk," the Post reports.

    One former official envisioned Trump bragging about Air Force One's technical capabilities or the locations of U.S. spy drones at a rally or in conversation with a foreign leader. John Fitzpatrick, a former intelligence officer, also acknowledged ex-presidents retain information about "special military capabilities, details about cyber weapons and espionage," and U.S. satellites.

    Then again, Trump has reportedly rarely paid much attention during intelligence briefings, which he rarely holds to begin with. "A knowledgeable and informed president with Trump's personality characteristics, including lack of self-discipline, would be a disaster," Jack Goldsmith, a Justice Department official in the George W. Bush administration, told the Post. "The only saving grace here is that he hasn't been paying attention."
    ________

    Trump's gotta make money somehow. It's not like he can rely on things like "business acumen" to pay his mountain of debt.


    Leave a comment:

Working...
X