Jump to content

US Election 2012...the aftermath


Recommended Posts

There was a good discussion going on in the last thread. Lets keep it going but more with a focus on the cause and effect of the election and what comes next. Plus I'd be very interested to hear what everyone thinks on what investment prospects are going to be like in the next four years both in the US and around the world.

  • Like 1

Get off my lawn!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to start off, Obamacare is now the unstoppable, irreversible law of the land. Plus Obama's promise to drive the coal energy industry out of business now looks to become reality.

 

To set the tone the following companies have announced large scale layoffs and business consolidations immediately following the election. Some even came right out and said the results of the election were the reason why.

 

 

http://www.wkyt.com/wymt/home/headlines/Company-lays-off-workers-in-Pikeville-177766221.html

http://news.providencejournal.com/business/2012/11/providence-journal-lays-off-23-full-time-employees.html

http://www.kwch.com/news/aviationwatch/kwch-kah-hawker-announces-more-layoffs-20121107,0,4377101.story

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/boeing-cutting-30-of-executives-at-defense-unit-2012-11-07

http://pressrepublican.com/0100_news/x1499660097/CVPH-lays-off-17

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20121107/NEWS08/121109803/u-s-cellular-drops-chicago-cuts-640-local-jobs#ixzz2BYqD5a7V

http://www.tylerstarnews.com/page/content.detail/id/508789/Momentive-Inc--plans-temporary-layoffs-for-150.html?nav=5008

http://www.spacenews.com/article/rocketdyne-lays-off-100-ahead-of-aerojet-merger#.UJ_hP4awX5O

http://www.kentucky.com/2012/11/07/2398967/brake-company-in-stanford-laying.html

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-11-07/vestas-to-cut-headcount-to-16-000-by-end-of-2013-from-22-721

http://www.fiercepharma.com/story/bristol-myers-slash-480-sales-related-jobs-nj/2012-11-06

http://sayanythingblog.com/entry/restaurant-chain-considering-elimination-of-full-time-jobs-to-save-on-obamacare-costs/

http://www.ksl.com/?sid=22890041&nid=148&title=utah-company-blames-president-obama-for-102-workers-laid-off&s_cid=queue-1

http://www.kare11.com/news/article/997577/396/Caterpillar-to-close-Owatonna-plant-move-100-jobs

http://www.journaltimes.com/news/local/mount-pleasant-sentry-foods-closing-in-january/article_f6505b48-29e4-11e2-ab4d-0019bb2963f4.html

http://mansfield.patch.com/articles/grand-union-to-close-its-storrs-location

http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2012/11/09/banks-disappear-obama/?iid=HP_LN

http://www.wptv.com/dpp/news/state/john-schnatter-papa-johns-ceo-obamacare-likely-to-raise-costs-employees-hours-being-cut

http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/db84a27628aa40d3bc863933eeaf2173/NC--Parachute-Layoffs

http://www.wtvq.com/content/statenews/story/TECO-laying-off-90-in-coalfields/3K4pI851aE6XFjO8fnYSDQ.cspx

http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=426179

http://www2.timesdispatch.com/business/2012/nov/10/tdbiz01-dupont-to-cut-64-local-jobs-ar-2350703/

http://wnep.com/2012/11/09/layoffs-at-a-luzerne-county-business/

http://citizensvoice.com/news/harpercollins-to-close-down-area-warehouse-1.1400303

http://www.wbbjtv.com/news/local/McKenzie-Plant-Announces-Its-Closing-178259021.html

http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2012/11/09/mike-sells-closing-3-distribution.html

http://www.foxbusiness.com/news/2012/11/09/standard-bank-to-lay-off-up-to-15-staff-in-london/

 

I could post a dozen or so more. Now layoff and closing announcements are not unusual in this economy unfortunately but there have been an unprecedented number in the last four days. Most of the articles cite increased "increased regulatory costs" and "challenging economic environment" as the reasons. Some have flat out stated the President's re-election is the reason.

Get off my lawn!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it all depends whether a budget deal can be made or not. During one debate Obama said he's going to do Simpson-Bowles (the deficit reduction commission plan) We'll have to see whether it was just another lie or he's serious. If all they do is punt again and just pile on the deficit then by spring or so I'm planning to look up the 5-6 most competitive countries in the world and put most of my money in their currency, because the dollar will be wiped out.

"Moral indignation is a standard strategy for endowing the idiot with dignity." Marshall McLuhan

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to start off, Obamacare is now the unstoppable, irreversible law of the land. Plus Obama's promise to drive the coal energy industry out of business now looks to become reality.

 

To set the tone the following companies have announced large scale layoffs and business consolidations immediately following the election. Some even came right out and said the results of the election were the reason why.

 

 

 

What are your thoughts on the ones that are a result of decreased government funding?

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Some have flat out stated the President's re-election is the reason.

I'm pretty sure there's a lot of pre-planned layoffs that were either going to be done on the down-low if the right candidate won, or with much noise if he didn't. That's how the game is played. IIRC, even we here in the boodocks had a similar situation here during our presidential elections, where mass-firings were delayed until after the elections and then done with minimal fuss (because the right candidate won).

 

That said, I'm seeing a lot of mass hysteria, which coupled with the last groans of the big lobbying/PR machine is going to put the signal-to-noise ratio to an all time low.

  • Like 1

You're a cheery wee bugger, Nep. Have I ever said that?

ahyes.gifReapercussionsahyes.gif

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to start off, Obamacare is now the unstoppable, irreversible law of the land. Plus Obama's promise to drive the coal energy industry out of business now looks to become reality.

 

To be completly honset I think you are better off in the long run with both of those actions - it's time to seriously move towards renewable energy and coal is not a viable option. If the US wants to be the undeniable center of scientific progress and beacon of freedom and hope again, the left-wingers are imho much better equipped for taking you there. Republican policy will help you in the short run, but following their ideology you are basically competing on a commodity (the worlds premiere manufactures) that you have no hope of winning in the long run.

 

So I'm happy for you, but I also hope that Obama realizes that he needs to make concessions and reach across the isle. The amount of doom and gloom in your media is seriously hurting your internal strength and the growing wedge between the political parties and their supporters is a serious problem. To put things in perspective, compared to a European political spectrum, your parties only really cover the right (and are actually very close). If we had the democrats and republicans in Denmark, they would've formed a government together as their ideologies are basically the same compared to opposition.

  • Like 3

Fortune favors the bald.

Link to post
Share on other sites

1000 years of darkness and the extinction of freedom, the 'merican way, and puppies will happen because Obama won! Run while you can!

 

On a serious note, we will probably have to wait until at least January to see the effects of an Obama 2nd term. It is usually a good idea to wait until something starts to start critically dissecting it.

"I am the expert, asshat." - Hurlshot

"I'm fine with humanity being wiped out" - majestic

Link to post
Share on other sites

@ Alan: Several of those links are to companies that are downsizing due to mandatory budget cuts that were enacted as part of the last deal to extend the national debt limit. That they are in the situation they are in is the direct result of irresponsible federal government spending during the last ten years but the last four in particular. One of them is from the downsizing and eventual elimination of the US Space program. It is a shame that one of the nations that first pioneered space travel is now turning away from it altogether, at least as a national project. However I must give kudos to the Obama admin for encouraging and facilitating private companies to begin offering routine space lift services. That was well done. In the engineering field it is commonly said that is you are working on a government contract, don't buy a house. They cat cancelled or defunded all the time. It's just the nature of the business.

 

@Nepenthe: None of these layoffs were thrown together in the last four days. I'm quite certain many would have happened anyway and were prepared contingencies from well before the election. However, with regards to regulatory costs the election of Romney might very well have made a difference for many of the folks receiving pink slips. Companies lay off employees to reduce operating costs. If increased regulatory compliance costs make doing business more expensive then the price of goods and products must go up or operations costs must go down. Or both. Overturning Obamacare was a long shot from the get go since it would have required the hat trick of getting the House, Senate and Presidency. The Senate was always a long shot. I did not mean to imply all of these (plus the ones I did not link) are Obama's fault (although some are for sure). It is noteworthy that so many are announced in such a short time following an election however.

 

@Ros: Pursuing green energy is an outstanding goal and certainly on worthy of pursuit but the technology to do it large scale does not exist yet. It is madness to cut off the least expensive and most reliable energy source we do have in the short term because of a benefit we might get in the long term. It's like drilling a hole in the bottom of your lifeboat because you think there might be a ship just over the horizon. As for you second comment, I can't really disagree with you there.

 

@ Kaine: You'll get a laugh out of this: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/peacefully-grant-state-louisiana-withdraw-united-states-america-and-create-its-own-new-government/1wrvtngl

 

@ WoD: Right now I've got all of my money invested in real assets. I strongly recommend you doing the same. Stocks, non asset backed securities, money markets are all subject to wipe out if there are currency devaluations. As Enoch correctly pointed out before it is unlikely that the dollar will collapse because 1) there is nothing to replace it with in the world market right now, 2) It is still the most stable currency. However, if the Obama admin begins more rounds of Quantitative Easing i.e. flushing non-existent money into the economy then it will devaluate. That will be a problem beyond inflation.

 

Actually I should be a fan of Obama's. As soon as it looked likely he was going to win in 2008 I got out of the stock market all together and began buying gold. It was around $800 then. I've kept buying it right up until about two years ago. That has worked out really well.

Get off my lawn!

Link to post
Share on other sites

The most important thing right now is that the two sides work out a deal before December 31st, to avoid this so called 'fiscal cliff'. Now there are a lot of opinions going around about whether that is the best term for it, but even though it is probably not apocalyptic like some sensationalists like to claim, it is a bad thing. With the Eurozone teetering on the brink, we can't afford such a big problem here too. After that is settled, then I imagine he will continue pushing through more healthcare reform, and try to get the budget under control.

Twitter: @Chrono2012

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it all depends whether a budget deal can be made or not. During one debate Obama said he's going to do Simpson-Bowles (the deficit reduction commission plan) We'll have to see whether it was just another lie or he's serious. If all they do is punt again and just pile on the deficit then by spring or so I'm planning to look up the 5-6 most competitive countries in the world and put most of my money in their currency, because the dollar will be wiped out.

 

Well the Australian dollar is what you want (the AUD is the third most traded currency after the Euro and USD), but be warned: Australia is far, far more socialist than the USA, thank glob.

 

We've got a federal-level carbon-methane-nitrous tax in response to global warming, an extra tax on mining profits because we believe the resources in the ground belong to all Australians, universal publically funded healthcare, universal publically funded education (right up to and including university), we have strictly enforced speed limits on our roads, ditto drunk driving (the limit is literally like 1 or 2 standard drinks), owning guns here is difficult and heavily policed by the government, etc.

 

I think these things are all excellent, but to anybody complaining about Obama winning a second term they probabily represent a communist paradise (or is it dystopia to you?).

 

Further, in many states/territories, councils, and even federally, the centre-left Greens control the balance of power. This is because we use a far more enlightened electoral system than the USA's first-past-the-post and thus we're capable of maintaining third parties with real power indefinitely. In fact, the Greens would be the 4th party, with the 3rd being the socially conservative and fiscally agrarian socialist farmer party the Nationals (in coalition with the conservative Liberal party).

 

Oh, and close to 50% (or more) of Australians don't give a damn about religion, while about half of that number genuinely don't believe in god, magic, or mysticism at all. Heck, they don't not believe in it per se, they just never think about it because it's all pointless bollocks.

 

So yeah, invest your cash in the glorious Socilist States of Australia please! We'd love to take your money!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Krezack I'm happy that you're happy with the way things are going in Australia. I don't believe you have ever heard me say a bad word about it. I just don't want to do things that way in my country. I could certainly make some disparaging comments about it based on my own prejudices and preferences but then since I've never been there and know very little about it except what I read in the Sydney MH online or the Herald Sun online from time to time I figure I am not informed enough to comment.

 

Would that others were so wise. But then again what would you care about my opinion. After all you don't consider me a person anyway.

  • Like 1

Get off my lawn!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've heard people mentioning the 'fiscal cliff' a few times. Can anybody explain to a fiscal layman what's up?

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure where GD is getting the whole "driving the coal industry out of business" thing. Sounds like the kind of hyperbole that comes out of mine owners who want to be sure that their workers vote the correct way. A staggering amount of American electricity comes from coal plants-- that's not going to change anytime soon, regardless of who's in the White House. Policies like a carbon tax, a cap-and-trade setup, or additional anti-emissions tech at the point of combustion would push margins a bit, but the U.S. is still going to be burning a hell of a lot of coal. (The bigger threat to the Coal business than regulation is probably competition from cheap natural gas produced by the gas boom in the upper midwest. That's not going to shut down many plants, but it means that any new ones built probably aren't going to be burning the black stuff.)

 

Re: layoffs, it's tough to pull any kind of conclusion from anecdotal data. Aggregate employment numbers will come out in a month or two, but even that would be one data point in a rather long line that isn't as sensitive to what's going on in Washington as most would have you believe.

 

As for the healthcare stuff, that's not really my area of policy expertise. I'll say 2 things: 1) Most of it hasn't actually been implemented yet, so a lot of the effects are TBD; and 2) The pre-PPACA healthcare system in America was already, to my admittedly layman's eyes, really quite broken. Something needed to change. There are some smart people who think that it will help, and some smart people who disagree. Most likely, they're both partly right and partly wrong. (As a complete aside, I did get a kick out of the level of bitching and moaning coming out of some folks I know in the healthcare business regarding the requirement to transition to electronic records. Saying it out loud would've been a bit of a faux pas in this particular context, but really wanted to roll my eyes and say something like "Welcome to what every business that has to deal with actual price competition and accountability went through in 1994!")

Edited by Enoch
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I've heard people mentioning the 'fiscal cliff' a few times. Can anybody explain to a fiscal layman what's up?

 

There are a number of current policies that are due to expire early next year (around the time the new Congress takes over). Among those are the tax cuts passed early in the Bush administration and a temporary reduction in federal payroll taxes that was passed as a fiscal stimulus measure a couple years ago. There is also a mandatory "sequester" of funds appropriated to federal agencies for their operation-- essentially a reduction in the money that existing legislation had already provided to the agencies. (Congress passed this last one as a consequence that would automatically kick in if a particular effort at budgetary compromise didn't produce an agreement. It didn't.) There are also a couple of annual rituals (the Medicare "doc fix" that prevents Medicare compensation rates from actually following the standing law limiting their change to the rate of inflation, and an Alternative Minimum Tax "patch" that prevents an oddball tax provision originally designed for plutocrat tax-dodgers from hitting a lot of upper-middle-class-ish households) that generally get passed without much controversy every year that haven't yet been done. (This is done in annual "patches" because an actual change in the underlying legislation would be "scored" as having a huge negative effect on the long-term deficit and debt situation. Doing it one year at a time essentially does the same thing, but makes the long-term projections put together by CBO and OMB look prettier. And, yes, that is an incredibly stupid way to run a government.)

 

The essential point is that, if some new legislation isn't passed by sometime in January, a whole lot of taxes go up, and federal spending drops. Which would generally hurt the economy in an immediate sense and make a lot of people mad. The Republicans in the House are in an interesting fix-- they can either do nothing and allow a rather large tax increase to occur, or vote for a comparatively small tax increase as part of a compromise bill to address these provisions. (This is interesting, because a majority of their caucus has signed on to a "I will vote for no tax increases, ever" pledge pushed by a particular right-wing interest group.)

 

 

Also, I should note that "cliff" is a poor metaphor. No immediate disaster takes place if they miss the deadline. It would cause some headaches for folks at IRS and other agencies that have to deal with the sequester, but most of the nation wouldn't notice much if the legislation to address this comes a week or two late.

Edited by Enoch
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to start off, Obamacare is now the unstoppable, irreversible law of the land. Plus Obama's promise to drive the coal energy industry out of business now looks to become reality.

 

To set the tone the following companies have announced large scale layoffs and business consolidations immediately following the election. Some even came right out and said the results of the election were the reason why.

 

 

http://www.wkyt.com/...-177766221.html

http://news.providen...-employees.html

http://www.kwch.com/...0,4377101.story

http://www.marketwat...unit-2012-11-07

http://pressrepublic...VPH-lays-off-17

http://www.chicagobu...s#ixzz2BYqD5a7V

http://www.tylerstar...0.html?nav=5008

http://www.spacenews...er#.UJ_hP4awX5O

http://www.kentucky....ord-laying.html

http://www.businessw...013-from-22-721

http://www.fiercepha...s-nj/2012-11-06

http://sayanythingbl...bamacare-costs/

http://www.ksl.com/?...f&s_cid=queue-1

http://www.kare11.co...t-move-100-jobs

http://www.journalti...19bb2963f4.html

http://mansfield.pat...storrs-location

http://finance.fortu...bama/?iid=HP_LN

http://www.wptv.com/...hours-being-cut

http://www.therepubl...rachute-Layoffs

http://www.wtvq.com/...FjO8fnYSDQ.cspx

http://readingeagle.....aspx?id=426179

http://www2.timesdis...obs-ar-2350703/

http://wnep.com/2012...ounty-business/

http://citizensvoice...house-1.1400303

http://www.wbbjtv.co...-178259021.html

http://www.bizjourna...stribution.html

http://www.foxbusine...taff-in-london/

 

I could post a dozen or so more. Now layoff and closing announcements are not unusual in this economy unfortunately but there have been an unprecedented number in the last four days. Most of the articles cite increased "increased regulatory costs" and "challenging economic environment" as the reasons. Some have flat out stated the President's re-election is the reason.

 

Kneejerk, reactionary conservatism at its finest. These are the people who've lived in the Fox News bubble for the last 15 years.

 

 

The essential point is that, if some new legislation isn't passed by sometime in January, a whole lot of taxes go up, and federal spending drops. Which would generally hurt the economy in an immediate sense and make a lot of people mad. The Republicans in the House are in an interesting fix-- they can either do nothing and allow a rather large tax increase to occur, or vote for a comparatively small tax increase as part of a compromise bill to address these provisions. (This is interesting, because a majority of their caucus has signed on to a "I will vote for no tax increases, ever" pledge pushed by a particular right-wing interest group.)

 

 

Also, I should note that "cliff" is a poor metaphor. No immediate disaster takes place if they miss the deadline. It would cause some headaches for folks at IRS and other agencies that have to deal with the sequester, but most of the nation wouldn't notice much if the legislation to address this comes a week or two late.

 

The conservative hardliners in the House don't have any problem with the accross the board cuts to social security, medicare, medicaid and so on, they've refused to budge this whole time on the basis of taxation of the rich. Government is so intertwined with the rich and corporate America, it's going to take serious problems to undo that marriage of wealth to power.

 

Funny story: Under Republican president Dwight Eisenhower, taxes for the top earners were 90%. And Tea Party conservatives often voice a desire to return America to the golden age of the 1950s. Once again, life in the Fox News bubble has left conservatives either a laughingstock or a threat to the nation's economy. Eisenhower, now there's a Republican I could vote for.

Edited by AGX-17
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Enoch. Interesting situation. You are basically saying, doing nothing will automatically increase taxes. Sort of sucks when you are not the party in power and want to be seen actively doing something to improve your candidates changes next election. The horse trading is going to be interesting :)

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure where GD is getting the whole "driving the coal industry out of business" thing. Sounds like the kind of hyperbole that comes out of mine owners who want to be sure that their workers vote the correct way.

 

Enoch, do you really want me to feed you a hyperlink salad? You know I've got them right in my bookmarks. For the sake of discussion will you accept the premise that the current administration is hostile to coal energy?

 

A staggering amount of American electricity comes from coal plants-- that's not going to change anytime soon, regardless of who's in the White House. Policies like a carbon tax, a cap-and-trade setup, or additional anti-emissions tech at the point of combustion would push margins a bit, but the U.S. is still going to be burning a hell of a lot of coal. (The bigger threat to the Coal business than regulation is probably competition from cheap natural gas produced by the gas boom in the upper midwest. That's not going to shut down many plants, but it means that any new ones built probably aren't going to be burning the black stuff.)

 

What it will do is drive up costs of electricity production which is passed on to consumers. Not a big deal to the wealthy you might think but it is because it drives up the cost of everything by increasing the cost of doing business, manufacturing, you name it. It hurts the middle class most of all because not only do their electricity bills "necessarily skyrocket" it costs them more to buy food and the other essentials of life, According to the Washington Times in Friday the state of West Virginia is expecting to see a reduction of 8.5% of it's coal energy production due to the retirement of plants that will be too costly to run with the new regulations coming in 2013 to say nothing of any Cap and Trade plans that might arise. Making less of something and artificially driving up the price of it with no viable alternative to switch to is a great way to spur innovation I'll grant you. But in the mean time the consumers are like a nut caught between the hammer and the anvil.

Get off my lawn!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Krezack I'm happy that you're happy with the way things are going in Australia. I don't believe you have ever heard me say a bad word about it. I just don't want to do things that way in my country. I could certainly make some disparaging comments about it based on my own prejudices and preferences but then since I've never been there and know very little about it except what I read in the Sydney MH online or the Herald Sun online from time to time I figure I am not informed enough to comment.

 

Would that others were so wise. But then again what would you care about my opinion. After all you don't consider me a person anyway.

 

It's cool. I was responding to Wrath of Dagon, not you. Your posts didn't seem worth replying to.

 

I consider you a person. In fact, after this election, I consider you guys people more than ever, because I can see that you are GENUINELY disheartened that Obama won. That's full-blown emotion I can empathise with (even if I support Obama). It's just a shame that the polices you, Mitt, and many Republicans support are cruel and crazy towards other members of your society. That does not make me want to think of you as a loveable rogue - a Republican who's still a nice guy with the best intentions. No, it makes me think of you as somebody selfish with an Ayn Randian outlook on life. Your society is politically polarised for a reason - because one of the major parties, the Republican Party, has lost its marbles.

 

That's not something we'll ever be able to reconcile unless one of us changes. I fundamentally just don't like what the Republican party represents, and I fundamentally don't like people who still support what the Republican party represents. I can't apologise for this, but whether I like you or not does not correlate with whether I consider you a person worthy of respect (to re-iterate: I do). Unfortunately, I don't always succeed at demonstrating this while making my point, which is something I'm working on.

Link to post
Share on other sites

@ Gorth & Enoch: There is an argument to be made for allowing the sequestration to happen: http://washingtonexaminer.com/give-sequestration-a-chance/article/2509231#.UKBQgYawX5M

 

I doubt they will though. Gorth has the right of it, there will be some tense discussions and horse trading but an accommodation will no doubt be reached. Until the next time we hit the debt limit. Obama hasn't seen fit to have a budget in any of his first four years. That has to stop.

Get off my lawn!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Krezack I'm happy that you're happy with the way things are going in Australia.

If the US and Europe really get into trouble Australia will follow anyway. They're already having problems with most anything that isn't mining boom related, and if China et al suddenly find that the west stops buying from them then they'll stop buying from Australia and it'll be a hard stop for everyone.

 

That's probably the only really 'positive' thing about the world economy at the moment, nobody really wants Europe or the US to have a fiscal implosion due to the collateral (hoho) damage that will ensue- the exporters won't have anyone to export to and the big surplus runners will find the bonds and a lot of the assets they hold to be near worthless. The US or Europe going belly up would have enormous repercussions for everyone else, and everyone knows it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Krezack I'm happy that you're happy with the way things are going in Australia. I don't believe you have ever heard me say a bad word about it. I just don't want to do things that way in my country. I could certainly make some disparaging comments about it based on my own prejudices and preferences but then since I've never been there and know very little about it except what I read in the Sydney MH online or the Herald Sun online from time to time I figure I am not informed enough to comment.

 

Would that others were so wise. But then again what would you care about my opinion. After all you don't consider me a person anyway.

 

It's cool. I was responding to Wrath of Dagon, not you. Your posts didn't seem worth replying to.

 

I consider you a person. In fact, after this election, I consider you guys people more than ever, because I can see that you are GENUINELY disheartened that Obama won. That's full-blown emotion I can empathise with (even if I support Obama). It's just a shame that the polices you, Mitt, and many Republicans support are cruel and crazy towards other members of your society. That does not make me want to think of you as a loveable rogue - a Republican who's still a nice guy with the best intentions. No, it makes me think of you as somebody selfish with an Ayn Randian outlook on life. Your society is politically polarised for a reason - because one of the major parties, the Republican Party, has lost its marbles.

 

That's not something we'll ever be able to reconcile unless one of us changes. I fundamentally just don't like what the Republican party represents, and I fundamentally don't like people who still support what the Republican party represents. I can't apologise for this, but whether I like you or not does not correlate with whether I consider you a person worthy of respect (to re-iterate: I do). Unfortunately, I don't always succeed at demonstrating this while making my point, which is something I'm working on.

 

I find it simply appalling to dislike someone because their politics are not my politics. It does explain why so many people around the world are killing each other though. I can honestly say I enjoy discussing things with people who don't think like I do and have never held that against them. Now if someone is sour, snarky, sarcastic, arrogant, condescending, I could see disliking them. That whole "not a person" think was from a post you made BTW :http://forums.obsidi...als-discovered/

Edited by Guard Dog

Get off my lawn!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Krezack I'm happy that you're happy with the way things are going in Australia. I don't believe you have ever heard me say a bad word about it. I just don't want to do things that way in my country. I could certainly make some disparaging comments about it based on my own prejudices and preferences but then since I've never been there and know very little about it except what I read in the Sydney MH online or the Herald Sun online from time to time I figure I am not informed enough to comment.

 

Would that others were so wise. But then again what would you care about my opinion. After all you don't consider me a person anyway.

 

It's cool. I was responding to Wrath of Dagon, not you. Your posts didn't seem worth replying to.

 

I consider you a person. In fact, after this election, I consider you guys people more than ever, because I can see that you are GENUINELY disheartened that Obama won. That's full-blown emotion I can empathise with (even if I support Obama). It's just a shame that the polices you, Mitt, and many Republicans support are cruel and crazy towards other members of your society. That does not make me want to think of you as a loveable rogue - a Republican who's still a nice guy with the best intentions. No, it makes me think of you as somebody selfish with an Ayn Randian outlook on life. Your society is politically polarised for a reason - because one of the major parties, the Republican Party, has lost its marbles.

 

That's not something we'll ever be able to reconcile unless one of us changes. I fundamentally just don't like what the Republican party represents, and I fundamentally don't like people who still support what the Republican party represents. I can't apologise for this, but whether I like you or not does not correlate with whether I consider you a person worthy of respect (to re-iterate: I do). Unfortunately, I don't always succeed at demonstrating this while making my point, which is something I'm working on.

 

I find it simply appalling to dislike someone because their politics are not my politics. It does explain why so many people around the world are killing each other though. I can honestly say I enjoy discussing things with people who don't think like I do and have never held that against them. Now if someone is sour, snarky, sarcastic, arrogant, condescending, I could see disliking them. That whole "not a person" think was from a post you made BTW :http://forums.obsidi...als-discovered/

 

You're a creationist too, then? OKAY, I take it back. ;)

Edited by Krezack
Link to post
Share on other sites

@Nepenthe: None of these layoffs were thrown together in the last four days. I'm quite certain many would have happened anyway and were prepared contingencies from well before the election. However, with regards to regulatory costs the election of Romney might very well have made a difference for many of the folks receiving pink slips. Companies lay off employees to reduce operating costs.

 

Not ruling that out as a possibility, but if they are like corporate management elsewhere in the world, they will have timed it to coincide with an event where they can cut cost and wash their hands at the same time. It wasn't us, it was the evil government that made us do it. Similar things happened in Australia with carbon taxes, suddenly energy prices got an astronomical price hike, trying to wipe it off on the carbon tax (despite even non-economists being able to do the math, the taxes could in no feasible way account for the amount that prices increased), European corporations used the introduction of the Euro currency as an opportunity to "round up" prices rather than trying to actually convert prices etc.

 

If you can score a few points on the bottom line and pass blame elsewhere, your shareholders will love you. Politics is not the only dirty business ;)

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

Link to post
Share on other sites

Obama hasn't seen fit to have a budget in any of his first four years. That has to stop.

 

This is one of the silliest talking points that gets bandied about right-wing circles, and it irritates the hell out of me. The President is required by law to present a budget proposal to Congress for the next Fiscal Year (Oct 1 through Sept 30) by mid-February every year. The Obama Administration has done so without fail. You can read them all right here.

 

The Congressional budget process is an odd kind of thing. It used to be reasonably simple-- the Appropriations Committees would meet every year, have their subcommittees hold hearings, and produce legislation to fund the different parts of the government on an annual basis. This process was criticized (fairly) for being too atomized and not doing much to incorporate long-term and cross-governmental concerns. (Also, it was part of a good ol' fashioned Congressional power struggle-- other parts of Congress wanted to rein in the Appropriations Committees.)

 

So, in the '70s, they set up the Budget process. The President would pull together input from all the executive departments on what they wanted to do over the next several years and how much money they needed to do it, put it in one (huge) document, and send it up to Congress. Congress, operating through the new Budget Committees, would review this document, make changes as they saw fit, and pass a Budget Resolution. As it's a Resolution, rather than an Act, this document needed no signature from the President had no legal effect outside of Congress. What it did was limit the Appropriators-- any Appropriation that was not within the limits set by the most recent Budget Resolution would be subject to parliamentary procedures that could easily delay or halt it. Thus, the Appropriations Committees had to either operate within the guidelines of the Budget Resolution, or have a damned good reason for doing something different.

 

This process has pretty much broken down. What talk show idiots mean when they say "we don't even have a budget!" is "there has been no Congressional Budget Resolution." If a Budget Resolution doesn't pass, it just goes back to the old system-- Appropriators write the funding legislation without input from the Budget Committees. (They do, of course, have access to all the information provided in the President's budget request.) On the other hand, if the Appropriations bills don't get passed, the government shuts down all non-emergency operations.

 

There are basically 2 reasons this has happened, and neither of them has much of anything to do with the President. Mostly, in a Congress where compromise only happens when a crisis is impending, there is little incentive for folks to use up political capital pushing a Budget Resolution. A somewhat more complicated and controversial secondary reason is based on what kind of legislators go to the Budget Committees. If a legislator is interested in getting into the details of federal programs, he or she generally goes tries to get a seat on the related oversight committee (e.g., Armed Services), or the Appropriations subcommittee that deals with that area. The sort of legislator who tries to get a seat on the Budget committee, on the other hand, is more likely to be a careerist who is mostly interested in making speeches about the deficit without putting a whole lot of work into serious oversight, or doing anything to affect actual legislative change. (In the interest of disclosure, my own Congressman is the minority leader on House Budget.) The much-ballyhooed "plan" that the House Budget Committee produced last year was basically a 5-page outline that didn't even break down spending by Department, much less specific programs. Compared to the level of detail in the executive Budget proposals linked above, it might as well have been scribbled on a bar napkin.

 

 

As to the sequester, there's a smart way to cut the budget, and there's a dumb way to cut the budget. The smart way involves actually examining all the line-items and making individualized determinations about the relative merits of funding them at particular levels. The dumb way takes the existing levels and says "cut em all by X%." The sequester is the latter kind of cut.

Edited by Enoch
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...