Perriello Home Targeted by Tea Party Terrorists

It appears that the Tea Party movement has evolved from screaming epithets and spitting on people to acts of mayhem.

tom-perrielloFederal and local authorities are investigating a severed gas line at the home of U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello’s brother, discovered the day after Tea Party activists posted the address online so opponents could “drop by” and “express their thanks” for Perriello’s vote in favor of health care reform.

The gas line connected a propane tank to a gas grill on the home’s screened-in porch, according to sources in Tom Perriello’s office.

The incident is being viewed as an attempted threat to a member of congress, sources said.

Two members of the conservative Tea Party groups in Danville and Lynchburg posted the home’s address online Monday, mistakenly believing it belonged to the congressman. The home actually belongs to Bo Perriello, the congressman’s older brother.

The local FBI field office and the Albemarle County fire marshal are investigating the incident. Police have stepped up patrols in the area as well.

[…]

Danville Tea Party leader Nigel Coleman was one of the two activists who posted Bo Perriello’s address online Monday.

“This is Rep. Thomas Stuart Price Perriello’s home address,” Coleman wrote Monday. “… I ain’t holding back anymore!!”

According to the Danville Register & Bee site, when Coleman learned that the address actually belonged to the congressman’s brother, he responded on a blog: “Do you mean I posted his brother’s address on my Facebook? Oh well, collateral damage.”

Coleman told The Daily Progress today that he is “shocked” and “almost speechless” at the possibility that someone would sever the propane line to Perriello’s brother’s house.

“I obviously condemn these actions,” he said. “I would hope that people aren’t thinking about doing anything crazy. We just wanted people to get close to the congressman and have their voices heard. Violence is not going to answer anything. I’m a little shocked and amazed.”

Not having evidence to the contrary, I’m willing to consider the possibility that Coleman is merely a complete idiot unable to conjure up the predictable consequence of sending out the address of political foes to enraged lunatics.

Thankfully, it appears “sending a message” was the extent of the damage.  This time.

“While officials are not willing to characterize the exact nature of the incident because of the ongoing investigation, it did not involve an immediate threat to occupants of the residence. However officials are taking the incident very seriously and conducting a vigorous investigation,” the statement said.

But this movement is about to jump the shark unless it gets some adult supervision, stat.

As Ta-Nehesi Coates noted yesterday with regard to ACORN’s going out of business,

If you really believe that you’re facing a vile enemy armed with an array of dirty tricks, the correct action is not to be institutionally sloppy and then decry the deep evil of your opponents. You knew that going in. The correct response is to run your ship that much tighter.

Jonathan Bernstein‘s post applying the same logic to the Tea Partiers now seems eerily prescient:

Hey, Tea Party types, and conservatives in general: the same goes for you.   No, you’re not all the kind of people who would throw slurs at John Lewis…so stop allowing signs and posters at your events that make you look like a group that would be fine with that.  Stop using language that stops oh so carefully short of inciting people to violence.  Run a tighter ship.

As to whether these ships can be run tightly, much less who would do it, though, I’m less sanguine.

FILED UNDER: Terrorism, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. DC Loser says:

    These guys sound exactly like the people the Patriot Act was intended to deal with.

  2. Steve Plunk says:

    For years we here in the Pacific Northwest have endured radical environmental groups and the dangerous and criminal games they play. From spiking trees to arson they have put lives at risk for more than twenty years.

    Now I guess we could paint every member of the Sierra Club or the World Wildlife Federation as co-conspirators because they haven’t done enough to reign these people in. But we don’t. We recognize that fringe elements or rogue individuals can hijack a movement and make everyone look bad.

    Tea Party members will face this sort of thing as time goes on but those who associate every instance of poor taste or violence with rank and file members are simply stretching the limits of common sense. Those groups on the left have been given a pass for years so it’s appropriate for Tea Party to be given the benefit of the doubt until more examples of this sort of thing take place and are proven officially condoned. As hard as people are trying to discredit the Tea Party people I expect this would be an easy accomplishment if it’s true.

  3. michael reynolds says:

    Not even the slightest bit surprised. Not even a teeny, tiny bit.

    Mix racism, inchoate rage, violent propaganda and ignorance together and this what you get. This is the Tea Party movement and soon this will be the GOP. Why in God’s name rational Republicans have allowed themselves to embrace this bunch of loons is a mystery. They’ve gone from absorbing George Wallace’s rage-o-holics in the 60’s to accepting these freaks now.

    I mean, is the next tax break for billionaires really worth sucking up to these people? Are there no standards left in the GOP? No moral core at all? Nothing that causes you to think, “We are the party of Lincoln, for Christ’s sake, not the party of rage and hate.”

    Republicans need to get well on race. Because it is race that provides the emotional force for acts of political violence in this country. You want to be opposed to taxes, great. You don’t need to change a single substantive position, but you need to get the creeps out of your party before someone associated with you ends up blowing up a Congressman or shooting at the president.

  4. James Joyner says:

    Now I guess we could paint every member of the Sierra Club or the World Wildlife Federation as co-conspirators because they haven’t done enough to reign these people in.

    If SC or WWF start giving out addresses of political opponents, I’ll condemn them, too.

    The Tea Party movement has a major problem in that, unlike those groups, they don’t really have a centralized structure. Because they’re disaggregated, anyone claiming the mantle gets to speak for the movement. That’s gotta be fixed.

  5. Matt says:

    Hey Steve I don’t recall the head of the Sierra Club telling those terrorists to “send a message” or hang effigies at official gatherings or any number of things I see republicans and tea party leaders say/do daily..

  6. Ben says:

    I get the sense that a lot of people on the right really don’t understand the folks involved in the tea party movement. It seems like there’s this sense that these are just your average Joe’s who are fed up with high taxes and whatnot, but if you visit some of the sites, watch the videos, look at the signs, ect., many of them (certainly not all) are straight up quasi-militia types. I don’t think this has really gotten through, especially, and I’m giving the benefit of the doubt here, to Republican politicians. They’re really playing with fire.

  7. TangoMan says:

    James is right that the decentralized nature of the movement allows many to “speak in its name.” I feel confident that this incident is merely a result of growing pains for a movement that is only a year old.

    Meanwhile, the arson of Sarah Palin’s church, which occurred when innocents were still in the church, remains unsolved and I haven’t seen Leftists taking proactive measures to insure that fellow travelers don’t commit further arsons and attempted murder.

    As for leftist tactics, I seem to recall animal rights campaigners digging up corpses, picketing homes of CEOS and researchers, harassing the children of their targets as the children made their way to school. I seem to recall the leaders of these groups publicly condoning such actions. These same tactics were used against American businessmen during the whole South Africa divestment movement.

    Actually, Obama’s consigliere, Bill Ayers sent bombs to the homes of judges, bombed police stations and now Obama stands full square behind his man.

  8. michael reynolds says:

    45% of Republicans are birthers.

    24% think Obama may be the Antichrist.

    That’s Republicans. Now imagine the sheer distilled essence of crazy that is the Tea Party.

    The Tea Party is no longer the fringe, it’s right at the center of the GOP. And racists like TangoBrimelow are at the center of the Tea Party.

    The GOP has a cancer. It wants desperately to ignore it, but tumors tend not to go away on their own.

  9. Matt says:

    Hey tangoman who were the leftists that posted the address of the church and suggested people go there to commit “collateral damage”??

    I mean seriously you’re like a child “OMGZ THEY HAD A CRAZY THIRD UNCLE WHO DID IT 30 YEARS AGO SO IT”S FINE FOR US TO DO IT!!!”…

  10. Matt says:

    Oh and tangoman I’ve already called the losers you are talking about terrorists so where’s your condemnation?

  11. Matt says:

    Oh and tangoman I looked up the arson you were talking about and there were NO threats to the church and nothing obviously linking it to political beliefs..

  12. Steve Plunk says:

    James and Matt,

    An official of the Republican party did not give out addresses, some nut did. You’re doing exactly what I described, associating people who are not associated. Paint with a broad brush if you want but it’s not the reality.

    The false accusations of racism against Tea Party members and Republicans is getting out of hand. This is not about race it’s about the direction the country is headed. The Left is making race an issue not the conservatives. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are receiving as much scorn as the President. The cries of racism are nothing less than an attempt to stifle debate.

  13. Franklin says:

    I got an e-mail from a relative calling Obama “The Great Reneger”. Real subtle there … let me guess, TangoMan had a hand in this one?

    As for Coleman, I think JJ is giving him WAY too much slack. From “I ain’t holding anyone back” and “oh well, collateral damage” to “shocked” and “speechless”. Yeah, right. Let’s face it, people like him are impotent at effecting change without resorting to violence. He should see some jail time for this.

    Same for any eco or other liberal terrorists who do something similar.

  14. Patrick T. McGuire says:

    the Tea Party movement has evolved from screaming epithets and spitting on people

    This is rapidly being revealed to be a hoax.

    And as for running a tighter ship, the unique characteristic of the Tea Party movement is that it isn’t being run at all, by anyone. It is a spontaneous gathering of people sharing common concerns about the federal government.

    And so far, the greatest acts of violence have come from the left, not the Tea Partiers, e.g. the IRS dive bomber, Amy Bishop, et al.

    Seems like you have abandoned your objectiveness.

  15. TangoMan says:

    Hey tangoman who were the leftists that posted the address of the church and suggested people go there to commit “collateral damage”??

    Are you seriously this simple? Wrongdoing doesn’t have to be a step-for-step replication in order to be condemned or equated to other wrongdoings.

    I mean seriously you’re like a child “OMGZ THEY HAD A CRAZY THIRD UNCLE WHO DID IT 30 YEARS AGO SO IT”S FINE FOR US TO DO IT!!!”…

    Where did I right that directing violence at people was “fine”? What I wrote had to do with individual yahoos acting out in the name of a group and I agreed with James that this one aspect of this story has more to do with the decentralized nature of the TEA Party movement than it does with their principles.

    Oh and tangoman I’ve already called the losers you are talking about terrorists so where’s your condemnation?

    Considering that they set out to terrorize and do harm to innocents, why would I condemn you for calling them losers or terrorists? They deserve the labels.

    Oh and tangoman I looked up the arson you were talking about and there were NO threats to the church and nothing obviously linking it to political beliefs..

    Yeah, nothing obviously linking the church to anything political. Nope, not a thing. Church arsons are a dime a dozen, everyday.

  16. The Q says:

    Mr. Plunk and Mr. Tangoman make good points about some of the crazy liberals out there and past events (please Mr. Tangoman, Ayers as consigliere to Obama is just a tad hyperbolic wouldn’t you agree?) I would sympathize with them if this was an isolated event, but the two of you gentlemen might want to consider these little tidbits before we stomp your arguments into the ground like the Hells Angels did to Meredith Hunter at Altamont

    To wit:

    As the Kansas City Star reports, Democratic Party headquarters in Wichita were vandalized over the weekend; assailants allegedly hurled a brick inscribed with anti-Obama rhetoric through a plate-glass window. A former militia leader took responsibility for the attack, which mirrored another, on a Democratic committee headquarters in Rochester. Democratic Reps. Louise Slaughter (an obvious target because of the controvery over the so-called Slaughter Solution) and Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona also had their offices vandalized, while Bart Stupak has faced death threats, from some Tea Partyers.

    Your turn Messrs. Plunk and Tangoboy (who I am sure will go back 110 years ago and blame McKinley’s death to Obama’s kenyan ancestors.

  17. TangoMan says:

    The Q,

    You raise a valid point and do so in a measured manner, so let me respond in kind.

    There is no doubt that the principles underlying the TEA Party do attract followers from the militia movement. These militia types want smaller government, less intrusive government, and some of these groups want to overthrow the government.

    None of the above though invalidates the legitimacy of non-militia members from believing that a smaller government and a less intrusive government and a government constrained by a stricter reading of the Constitution is a better form of governance for the country.

    The argument I’ve just advanced is identical to one where someone argues that just because Hitler was a vegetarian and an environmentalist doesn’t mean that non-Nazi believers in vegetarianism and environmentalism can’t have developed these beliefs from an intellectual journey that disavows Nazi principles. If you were a vegetarian and/or a environmentalist, I’m sure you’d be arguing very forcibly that the overlap that vegetarianism and environmentalism have with Nazism doesn’t say anything about the merit and validity of vegetarianism and environmentalism and that you’d be pissed off beyond imagination to being equated to Nazis because of that overlap.

  18. The Q says:

    The point is you can’t hand gasoline over to an arsonist with a match, then plead “I had nothing to do with it your honor. How was I to know he would burn down the friggin’ building?”

    Uhhh, maybe because he’s an arsonist with a match.

    Please conservatives, follow your own advice given to “minorities”, quit making excuses and take responsibility for your actions.

    You cant’ in one breath tell the German people to hate Jews, then in the next breath say “I had no idea about death camps.”

    The right wing blogosphere which caters 24/7 to these crazies can’t just step aside and renounce any responsibility.

    As for Mr. McGuire, nice try…conflating Amy Bishop/IRS dude with liberals?

    Thats about as absurd a claim as “how about the 1300 lynchings in the south by people who thought like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity do now.?

  19. TangoMan says:

    The point is you can’t hand gasoline over to an arsonist with a match, then plead “I had nothing to do with it your honor. How was I to know he would burn down the friggin’ building?”

    Who is the subject in the above sentences? Coleman or the broad, decentralized TEA Party movement? Was it Coleman who published the address or was it the TEA Party movement that collectively published the address?

    I know that you desperately want to condemn the TEA Party movement but I’m afraid that you’ll have to actually wait for them to collectively adopt some misguided measures before you can justly issue a collective condemnation. Until that time you should constrain your desire to issue collective condemnations.

  20. michael reynolds says:

    Really, Q, I’m shocked at you.

    Just because Tea Partiers believe Obama to be a usurper, a non-American, fraudulently elected, a secret Muslim, a terrorist, a Stalinist, a Nazi, the Antichrist and a tyrant, and further believe that the time has come to water the tree of liberty with the blood of tyrants . . .

    . . . that doesn’t mean that these wanna-be terrorists — who believe Obama to be a usurper, a non-American, fraudulently elected, a secret Muslim, a terrorist, a Stalinist, a Nazi, the Antichrist and a tyrant, and further believe that the time has come to water the tree of liberty with the blood of tyrants — are in any way representative of the people with whom they are intellectually identical.

  21. michael reynolds says:

    I know that TangoBrimelow will join me in agreeing that the many radical Muslims in radical salafist madrassas around the world who share a deep hatred of the United States and wish to see us destroyed bear NO RESPONSIBILITY WHATSOEVER for Al Qaeda.

    That is of course what TangoBrimelow would have us believe.

    I mean, you might as well say that Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin were responsible for Stalin. That’s just crazy talk. Ideology has no effect.

    The deliberate stoking of hatred and fear and rage have no connection to subsequent events. Isn’t that right, Mr. Milosevic?

    It’s as crazy as suggesting that the Rwanda’s Hutu government’s relentless anti-Tutsi propaganda had some connection to the subsequent genocide.

    Or the suggestion that generations of anti-Semitism somehow contributed to the Holocaust.

    Or that the findings of religious authorities of the day that Native Americans were not fully human somehow resulted in their genocide.

    Come on, let’s be fair. Just because you say a person’s a threat to America and intending to murder your children and your grandmother and subscribes to a radical anti-American agenda, why, that doesn’t mean you’re suggesting anyone actually do anything.

  22. Pug says:

    .. harassing the children of their targets as the children made their way to school. I seem to recall the leaders of these groups publicly condoning such actions.

    I think that’s anti-abortion protesters you’re talking about. Then they shot a few doctors to death just to show they mean business.

  23. Herb says:

    Your blind partisanship betrays you, Tangoman.

    You said the church burning remains unsolved. Did that stop you from assuming that Leftists were responsible? Not one bit.

    Maybe it was even a false flag operation set up to make the “Leftists” look bad.

    Bah.

    Meanwhile, a Quinnipac poll indicates that the Tea Party folks are mostly Republican crybabies. Okay, so the poll indicates that they’re mostly Republicans.

    I added the crybaby part myself. After all, if the Tea Party peeps weren’t crybabies, they’d just be Republicans.

  24. Steve Plunk says:

    Michael, I believe our current President to be nothing more than a far left liberal. That’s reason enough for me to be considering joining a local Tea Party. The other stuff is hooey. How many Dems believe in UFO’s? It doesn’t matter and it doesn’t matter what some Tea Party followers believe either. What matters is the clash of conservative and liberal political principles. Build up straw men Tea Partiers if want but it’s disingenuous.

    Asking people to speak up and to get involved politically is not handing them gasoline and a match. Has populist democracy gotten some worried? We could engage in a battle of who has the most kooks or who’s kooks will do the most outrageous things but that’s all misdirection away from the true issues we disagree on. Sideshows like this will always be going on and deserve little attention. When it becomes truly widespread and supported by the majority then we have a real problem. I don’t see that happening.

  25. TangoMan says:

    You said the church burning remains unsolved. Did that stop you from assuming that Leftists were responsible? Not one bit.

    Maybe it was even a false flag operation set up to make the “Leftists” look bad.

    Many things are possible, but that’s not the same as arguing that everything that is possible is likely.

    If you have evidence of conservatives widely practicing false-flag operations, then show us this historical pattern.

    Your criticism fails because of this false equivalence.

    Secondly, there is the issue of severity of action balanced against both personal ethics and the benefit that derives from a successful false-flag operation. To commit arson crosses far more boundaries than impersonating a political opponent and engaging in dishonorable speech. Note that I’m not saying that conservatives are more honorable than leftists, what I’m saying is that a conservative or a leftist is going to be far, far more reluctant to engage in arson and attempted murder simply to embarrass their opponents than they would be if their antic was rude speech.

    That said, the likelihoods are nowhere near par between the two cases thus lending strength to the hypothesis that the arson was an act of conviction rather than an act of deception.

  26. TangoMan says:

    Ideology has no effect.

    The ideology of Islam:

    “..fight in the way of Allah with those who fight with you…[2.191] And kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from whence they drove you out, and persecution is severer than slaughter, and do not fight with them at the Sacred Mosque until they fight with you in it, but if they do fight you, then slay them; such is the recompense of the unbelievers. ”

    “[4.74] Therefore let those fight in the way of Allah, who sell this world’s life for the hereafter; and whoever fights in the way of Allah, then be he slain or be he victorious, We shall grant him a mighty reward. [4.75] …fight in the way of Allah… [4.76] Those who believe fight in the way of Allah, and those who disbelieve fight in the way of the Satan. Fight therefore against the friends of the Satan… [4.77] …when fighting is prescribed for them…Our Lord! why hast Thou ordained fighting for us?..”

    The ideology of the TEA Party movement:

    * Amending the constitution to require a balanced budget and a two-thirds majority for any tax hike.
    * Permanently repealing all tax hikes scheduled to begin in 2011.
    * Requiring every bill in Congress to be made public seven days before any vote can be taken and all government expenditures authorized by any bill to be easily accessible on the Internet before the money is spent.
    * Requiring each bill to identify the specific provision of the Constitution that gives Congress the power to do what the bill does.
    * Permitting all health insurance plans to be sold anywhere in the United States through the purchase of insurance across state lines. Allow small businesses and associations to pool together across state lines to buy insurance.
    * Adopting a simple and fair single-rate tax system by scrapping the internal revenue code and “replacing it with one that is no longer than 4,543 words — the length of the original Constitution.”
    * Imposing a statutory cap limiting the annual growth in total federal spending to the sum of inflation rate plus the percentage of population growth.
    * Allowing Americans to opt out of Social Security and Medicare and instead put those same payroll taxes in a personal account “they own, control and can leave to whomever they choose.”
    * Preventing any regulation or tax on the Internet.
    * Improving education by eliminating ineffective and wasteful programs, giving parents more choices from pre-school to high school and improving the affordability of higher education.
    * Authorizing the exploration of proven energy reserves to reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources from unstable countries and reduce regulatory barriers to all other forms of energy creation, lowering prices and creating competition.
    * Prohibiting the Federal Communications Commission from using funds to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine.
    * Creating a Blue Ribbon task force that engages in a complete audit of federal agencies and programs.
    * Blocking state and local governments that receive federal grants from exercising eminent domain over private property for the primary purpose of economic development or enhancement of tax revenues.
    * Preventing the EPA from implementing costly new regulations.
    * Placing a moratorium on all earmarks until the process is fully transparent. Also requiring a two-thirds majority to pass any earmark.
    * Making all lawmaking regulators, including presidential appointed czars, be affirmatively approved by Congress and signed into law by the president.
    * Audit the Federal Reserve System.
    * Making sure the federal government does not bail out private companies. The government should also immediately divest itself of its stake in the private companies it owns from recent bailouts.
    * Amending the constitution to require congressional term limits. No person shall be elected to the Senate more than twice or to the House of Representatives more than four times.
    * Making all regulations “sunset” after 10 years unless renewed by congressional vote.
    * Broadcasting all non-security meetings and votes on C-SPAN and the Internet.

    In my humble opinion, it seems that Islamic terrorists draw their inspiration directly from the ideology of Islam whereas these losers who seek to intimidate and cause harm to innocents draw their inspiration from ideologies other than fiscal conservatism.

  27. The Q says:

    Mr. Tangoman,

    For the record, I am a New Deal democrat, but i do believe the free market works beautifully 85% of the time.

    I’ve never complained about the cost of toilet paper, pasta sauce, dog food, carrots, TVs etc..the market efficiently provides these and many other commodities wonderfully.

    I wouldn’t mind smaller government (who in their right mind wouldn’t), but smaller government to me isn’t shrinking the number of meat inspectors or EPA regulators or SEC overseers or increasing the defense budget by 50% the last decade.

    Smaller gov’t to me isn’t the Patriot Act, asset forfeiture laws cuz you’re growing a pot plant in your backyard so you lose your house, cutting unemployment benefits to people in the middle of the greatest recession in decades……

    We have a fundamental difference of opinion,”But a difference of opinion need not mean a difference of principle.” to quote Jefferson,

    I am sure you love America as do I, want to see this country prosper as do I, cherish and respect the past achievements and sacrifices of those who came before – as do I.

    We disagree on which policies are best followed to attain our common goals – a decent paying job for anyone who wants one, a brighter future for our children, a vibrant, robust innovative economy, peaceful existence with our global neighbors and basically, “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

    Call me an old fashioned Yankee pragmatist, if its broke, lets fix it.

    Or as FDR put it, “bold, persistent experimentation. It is common sense to take a method and try it: If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.”

    After watching two tax cuts by Reagan and Bush overwhelming benefiting the elite and failing to achieve their stated aims while producing prodigious deficits…after watching the relaxation of financial regulations resulting in the S & L debacle and the great unwinding of Wall Street in 2007-8, I have little patience for the same tired nostrums being trotted out ad infinitum by conservative hacks who are for the repeal of the “death tax”, cutting taxes because higher taxes “discourages and de incentivizes rich people” etc. I am sorry and apologize that in my frustration and anger, in the past, Mr. Joyner has had to take some of my vulgar posts off of here.

    Again let me quote my great great uncle FDR:

    “The true conservative seeks to protect the system of private property and free enterprise by correcting such injustices and inequalities as arise from it. The most serious threat to our institutions comes from those who refuse to face the need for change. Liberalism becomes the protection for the far-sighted conservative….Wise and prudent men — intelligent conservatives — have long known that in a changing world worthy institutions can be conserved only by adjusting them to the changing time. In the words of the great essayist, “The voice of great events is proclaiming to us. Reform if you would preserve.” I am that kind of conservative because I am that kind of liberal.”

    FDR was a brilliant man. I think we get so twisted in this country, left and right…Reagan is an idiot….Bush is a chimp….Obama is a kenyan marxist et al.

    And where does that leave us?

    I believe in vigourous, healthy debate and argument.

    To quote T. Jeff: “The boisterous sea of liberty is never without a wave”.

    I believe you and your fellow conservatives have many valid points to make.

    Mr. Joyner I believe is a fine example of a Republican “conservative?” who is willing to take to task those on his “side” who are frivolous, vitriolic and just plain bonkers.

    I enjoy his commentary, however much at times I may disagree.

    Like I said, I am from the Francis Bacon/Descartes scientific method school…. (1) accepting as truth only clear, distinct ideas that could not be doubted, (2) breaking a problem down into parts, (3) deducing one conclusion from another, and (4) conducting a systematic synthesis of all things.

    Right wing zealots favor faith, cant, shibboleths, chimeras and fantasy over insight, empiricism, science, reality.

    I think that is the underlying anger and frustration manifested in some of my fellow “liberals” comments on this blog.

    Trust me the main plank of the Republican party in 2010 mid-terms will be (drum roll please) tax cuts, repeal death tax, de regulation, dems “socialist” takeover etc..the usual suspects… the same palid nostrums over and over and friggin’ over again.

    I will debate any time and anywhere the superiority and demonstrable benefits that “liberal” policies have had on the U.S. versus most conservative doctrines.

    Unfortunately, I have to first wade through the thoughtless babble of being labeled a “left wing America hater, baby killing, gay loving, Marxist extremist.”

    This leaves little time for intelligent debate.

    And to Mr. Joyner,I promise I will no longer call conservatives feckless, Neanderthal hicks, with their head so far up their…well I think you get the picture.

  28. john personna says:

    Recap:

    1) “The Tea Party isn’t crazy”
    2) “The Tea Party just went a little crazy.”
    3) “Yeah, but there are crazy tree spikers so it’s ok.”

    Poor guys, you’d be better off shutting up and riding it out.

  29. Wayne says:

    Liberals for years have establish the rules of “by any means possible” and “nothing is out of bound”. Chicago style politics is now federally established. Playing nice has gotten us nowhere. I don’t like it but maybe it is time to adopt liberal’s tactics and rules.

  30. michael reynolds says:

    Steve:

    Allow me to respond point by point:

    Michael, I believe our current President to be nothing more than a far left liberal.

    A “far left liberal” who just passed Mitt Romney’s health care reform? You’re brainwashed. Obama followed Bush policies n TARP, put Wall Street insiders in charge of Treasury and economic decisions, put DLC Democrat Hillary at State, added troops to Afghanistan, increased anti-terror efforts in Pakistan and used 40% of the stimulus to dole out tax cuts.

    Calling that “far left” is contrafactual, to put it politely.

    How many Dems believe in UFO’s? It doesn’t matter and it doesn’t matter what some Tea Party followers believe either.

    It doesn’t matter what people believe? Interesting. One wonders why we bother having beliefs at all if they are entirely irrelevant.

    What matters is the clash of conservative and liberal political principles. Build up straw men Tea Partiers if want but it’s disingenuous.

    Wait, I thought beliefs didn’t matter? Oh, I see, you want to cherry-pick what matters and what doesn’t. The beliefs that matter are the ones that matter to you. According to your beliefs. Which don’t matter. Or did I miss something there?

    Asking people to speak up and to get involved politically is not handing them gasoline and a match.

    Saying that your political opponent is evil, Stalinist, Nazi, un-American, a terrorist, a radical Muslim and an uppity negro and then “asking people to step up” is absolutely handing them gasoline and a match. It is exactly what the Serbs, the Hutus, the Nazis, the Communists and every other evil bunch of bastards in human history have done. You cannot de-legitimize and dehumanize your opponent and warn that he is trying to kill you, then pretend you’re just chatting about politics.

    We could engage in a battle of who has the most kooks or who’s kooks will do the most outrageous things but that’s all misdirection away from the true issues we disagree on. Sideshows like this will always be going on and deserve little attention

    Historical ignorance of the most profound type. I’ve cited many examples already where ideology led to action, where dehumanization and demonization led to murder and mayhem. In fact the two are linked inextricably. Political violence is always preceded by political propaganda and hate-mongering.

    When it becomes truly widespread and supported by the majority then we have a real problem. I don’t see that happening.

    No, actually, that’s when it becomes too f–ing late.

    You should listen to Joyner. He’s a grown-up. He knows how dangerous this is and how easily it could destroy the GOP.

  31. michael reynolds says:

    TangoBrimelow:

    Oooh, excellent propaganda methods there. You get to define Muslim ideology, then you get to define Tea Party ideology, then you draw neat lines from your deliberate distortions to the groups involved.

    Tada!

    Exclude all exculpating statements from Islam, include only the “for public consumption” beliefs of the Tea Partyers.

    Gosh. That kind of deep thinking must really wow them at your scientific racist conventions. It’s the kind of profundity that I think shines an informing light over all your attempts.

    Hey, I meant to ask you: if someone said we have a “minority occupation government” would that or would that not be a stupid, racist thing to say? I mean, you have no problem calling these wanna-be terrorists “losers,” so wouldn’t you be able to go at least that far in this instance?

  32. john personna says:

    LOL, right after my recap, Wayne brings the crazy.

  33. The Q says:

    I am still trying to figure out what Wayne meant by “playing nice has gotten us nowhere”…I guess he’s referring to Mr. Cheney and his sotto voce criticisms of our Prez.

    Or the languid, dulcet tones of Mr “i’m the decider…I have political capital and I intend to use it” Bush.

    Or Sen. Bunning’s soothing, soporiferous whisper of “tough shite fu@c*k$#ers”

    Yes, the Repubs need to copy the cacophony of the left.

  34. TangoMan says:

    The Q,

    You had me nodding in agreement, mostly, until you got to this point:

    After watching two tax cuts by Reagan and Bush overwhelming benefiting the elite and failing to achieve their stated aims while producing prodigious deficits.

    1.) Objectives were most certainly achieved. All we need do is to compare the economic performance of the US against more statist countries, from the period of Reagan’s implementation of his polities to present day. If we followed the statist policies of France, for instance, our income growth over the 1980-2010 period would necessitate lopping of about a quarter of our incomes. Keep in mind that the US and Mexico, 200 years ago, had almost identical GDP/capita numbers and the divergence between the states of our economies today is the result of Mexico experiencing an economic growth rate only slightly less than what the US experienced. As I noted with the US-France example, differential growth rates can have very real effects after only a few decades.

    2.) People should not be demonized for keeping the money that they’ve earned. Most people in the US earn their money from free transactions. I have a skill that I sell in the labor marketplace. Those who pay me in exchange for my skill enter into that agreement willingly, as do I. Both of us believe that we’re benefiting from our transaction, otherwise we wouldn’t go into it.

    Take sports stars for instance. A team owner willingly pays Micheal Jordan $20 million per year because the team owner believes that he can reap excess value from this transaction. Sports viewers and those who buy tickets to games find value in watching Micheal Jordan and they choose to watch without any duress being present. Advertisers freely enter into sponsorship agreements with athletes. There is no coercion in any of these transactions.

    These same principles apply in the world of commerce, with the exception of those who have exploited rent-seeking perches and those who engage in self-dealing, but even in the last case, if the shareholders of a company tolerate the self-dealing, it’s none of the public’s business that they’re being fleeced.

    That said, if a tax cut benefits the well-off more than the middle or lower class, it’s because the well-off have skills that are more highly valued in a free marketplace. There is no injustice inherent in Micheal Jordan being a popular athlete and being freely compensated for his talents. Lastly, the fact that people want to pay others handsomely for their talents so that they feel that they’ve benefited from this exchange in no way creates an unfairness in society.

    3.) The deficits. I didn’t like earlier deficits and I dislike present day deficits, due to their gargantuan scale, even more.

    That said I will modify my judgment on deficits when I can ascertain the mix of investment and redistribution that comprise a deficit. I’ll tolerate deficits which improve infrastructure far more than I will deficits which take from Peter to pay Paul.

    Right wing zealots favor faith, cant, shibboleths, chimeras and fantasy over insight, empiricism, science, reality.

    Frankly, leftists are little different in this regard, it’s just that their faith, cant, shibboleths, chimeras and fantasy are different than those held by many conservatives.

  35. Wayne says:

    JP
    Recap
    The left can do anything they want. Break laws, steal elections, be intolerant, bullies, insist on picking fights, beat up black Republicans, etc and it is OK.

    A Conservative takes one step out of line and everyone and his dog must condemn them. The person must be crucified in public. Any other conservative must hang their head in shame because they are guilty by association.

    Frankly I and many others are tired of the hypocrisy. If the left want a fight so be it. If they want to call names, so be it. I am not going be shame by a bunch of hypercritical, immoral, dirt bags.Others can fall for that trap if they want but I’m not playing that game.

    Nancy Pelosi has said more disgusting things than these unknown people have.

  36. john personna says:

    It’s a pretty good litmus test to ask if someone can name any opposite-party positions they agree with. If the other side is all wrong or all evil then it’s a fair bet the speaker is a crazy.

    (It’s funny, when I agreed with GWB it was on things like means-tests for agricultural subsidies, and worker visas for immigration – practical things that ended up having no political support.)

  37. Gustopher says:

    TangoMan scribbles:

    Meanwhile, the arson of Sarah Palin’s church, which occurred when innocents were still in the church, remains unsolved and I haven’t seen Leftists taking proactive measures to insure that fellow travelers don’t commit further arsons and attempted murder.

    Well, perhaps if the Alaska police were competent, this would have been solved. I blame the Republicans in charge there for failing to solve the case.

  38. john personna says:

    Wow, more crazy.

    Wayne, if any law was broken passing, say, the health care bill, THAT would be the attack conservatives would use. They’d take the congressional misconduct to the Supreme Court. They wouldn’t futz around with this “mandate” thing. That is way weaker.

    So why aren’t they going to court? Because it is actually legal? Guess so.

  39. Gustopher says:

    But this movement is about to jump the shark unless it gets some adult supervision, stat.

    Clearly, the head of the Tea Party has to be the Mad Hatter.

  40. TangoMan says:

    It’s a pretty good litmus test to ask if someone can name any opposite-party positions they agree with.

    When bleeding hearts passed EMTALA they created an imbalance in society, so the effort to re-balance by passing the requirements for individual insurance mandates is a responsible effort. That makes sense. However, absent EMTALA then there is no need for individual insurance mandates.

    I prefer to treat citizens as grown adults – if they make a decision to forgo insurance then they should suffer the consequences of not having free medical care provided to them in their time of need.

    The risk-reward calculation on the question of insurance coverage is an individual one, not something amenable to rule-making by bureaucrats who assume that they know what’s best for everyone.

    I don’t agree that forcing people to buy insurance is within Constitutional authority, but considering that it is a response to the imbalance created by EMTALA I find it a responsible effort to balance a legislatively created imbalance in society. It’s the wrong solution because it addresses the effect rather than the cause of the imbalance.

  41. john personna says:

    I don’t agree that forcing people to buy insurance is within Constitutional authority, but considering that it is a response to the imbalance created by EMTALA I find it a responsible effort to balance a legislatively created imbalance in society. It’s the wrong solution because it addresses the effect rather than the cause of the imbalance.

    If they were actually “forced” you’d probably be right. Federal troops can’t sign people up for insurance. It is unconstitutional.

    In this case, people without insurance (and income) are taxed on income at a higher rate. That’s done all the time.

    People without hybrid cars were taxed in the last few years at a higher rate than those with.

  42. john personna says:

    (But yes, thanks for explaining the balance you see with the EMTALA.)

  43. michael reynolds says:

    It’s a pretty good litmus test to ask if someone can name any opposite-party positions they agree with. If the other side is all wrong or all evil then it’s a fair bet the speaker is a crazy.

    And now you have your answer.

  44. The Q says:

    Mr. Tangoman,

    I will admit (as few libs will) that there was some good in the Reagan economic policy…I live in California and have been involved in Silicon Valley start ups and there is no doubt that his getting rid of the old investment tax credit which favored older industries and his tax policies favoring human capital and ideas rather than heavy equipment certainly boosted tech cos.

    However, forget comparing apples to oranges (U.S to France), lets compare the U.S. to the U.S.

    Some of these facts may surprise you conservatives (figures are aggregate for their years in office):

    GDP growth (inflation adjusted of course)

    Carter – 3.4%
    Reagan – 3.4%
    Clinton – 3.6%

    Annual productivity increases:

    Reagan – 1.5%
    Clinton – 1.9%

    Average annual wage growth rate:

    Reagan – minus 0.2 thats correct thats -0.2
    Clinton – 0.8 thats a positive 0.8%

    This means that workers made $$$ under Clinton, not so under Reagan.

    Federal spending as % of GNP:

    Carter – 21.2
    Reagan – 22.9
    Clinton – 21.9

    Dutch talked a good game, but couldn’t cut the gov/t bacon.

    Poverty rate:

    Reagan – minus 0.9
    Clinton – minus 3.1

    Clinton was much better at bringing down the poverty rate, although Dutch was better than Carter who saw the pov. rate increase 1.9% while in office.

    Average unemployment rate:

    Carter – 6.5
    Reagan – 7.5
    Clinton – 5.2

    Dow Jones average % growth per year

    Carter minus 3.4
    Reagan – 6.0
    Clinton – 11.2

    Business Investment as a% of GDP

    Carter 12.4%
    Reagan 12.1%
    Clinton 11.2%

    Big surprise here is that under carter business investment was higher than under reagan, even with RR favorable tax cuts.

    But here is the whopper which you conservative guys evade like black people and tight shoes

    Deficits as a % of GDP

    Carter 2.3%
    Reagan 4.3%
    Clinton 0.1%

    Look at that last figure. Clinton destroyed deficits. We called it Rubinomics. You called it that “Marxist” voodoo plan.

    So you see Mr. Tangoman, your side is delusional. This constant harping and propagating the myths about “liberal” dems destroying American business etc. is plain “poppycock.”

    I deal in facts, truth, reality…look at the facts above…no need to compare us with France or Madagascar or Somalia.

    Carter and Clinton are Democrats with a totally different bankrupt economic philosophy according to the moronic right from Reagan.

    The changes in policy implemented by Reagan to correct Carter’s policies were in turn changed by Clinton.

    Also, remember that none on your side voted for the Omnimbus Act of 1993 where Gingrich bemoaned “this will be a disaster for america” or Phil Gramm saying this will lead to deficits as far as the eyes can see.”

    Well they were fuc*6kin wrong.

    So I and my fellow libs lose it when you guys bullshi$t the science.

    However to be fair, liberals have to admit to these:

    Fact: Reagan policies did not result in higher interest rates as libs feared. Huge deficits did not “crowd out” biz investment as libs feared.
    Reagan DID bring down the poverty rate much more than had Carter.

    Ok, now right wingers take your medicine:

    FACT: Clinton and Carter equaled or bettered Reagan’s growth rate for GDP. In fact RR 3.4 was below the post war average of 3.6

    FACT: RR spent much more on federal outlays than did Clinton…he EXPANDED gov’t spending, not decreased it.

    FACT: The socialist economic philosophy of Bill Clinton left his successor with almost a trillion dollar surplus, wiping out the huge deficits of repubs reagan and bush 1.

    I could go on, but I think you catch my drift.

    A few days ago, Mr. Joyner commented on Bruce Bartletts article about the ignorance of the Tea Partiers regarding econ./tax issues.

    Trust me, the ignorance is not only endemic to them, but to most conservatives with their heads up…oops I promised I wouldn’t go there.

  45. tom p says:

    I started out to say only that people who post other peoples addresses should start with their own.

    Instead I say only, thank you Q.

  46. An Interested Party says:

    Rather than pathetic diversions, like desperate cries of “Liberals did it first!” or making dubious comparisons to environmental organizations and environmental terrorists or completely unproven allegations about who burned Sarah Palin’s church (anyone else notice that Tangoman isn’t touting her as presidential material anymore?), why can’t some of the commenters here just admit that some of the inflammatory delusional rhetoric of the Tea Party Movement can lead to some harmful consequences? As was said elsewhere on this site…man up, you losers…

  47. michael reynolds says:

    Touchdown Q.

  48. michael reynolds says:

    Interested:

    Well, if Republicans start having to admit that inflammatory rhetoric is inflammatory they’d have to give it up and go do something really radical. Like try to govern. Come up with actual ideas. Make sense. All that really hard stuff.

  49. TangoMan says:

    So you see Mr. Tangoman, your side is delusional.

    All I see is you quoting measurements. Tell me how you see causality at work. Convince me with an argument. For instance, was productivity growth higher during Clinton’s terms than Reagan’s terms because of Clinton policies or because Clinton was in office during a period of rapid productivity growth arising from increasing levels of computerization, increasing levels of internet interconnectivity, increasing returns to human capital, and increasing productivity arising from the Reagan-Mulroney FTA signed in 1988 with the lagging effects taking time to ripple through the economy.

    I’m open to your argument, please make one. What did Clinton and Carter DO to create these effects?

    Clinton was much better at bringing down the poverty rate, although Dutch was better than Carter who saw the pov. rate increase 1.9% while in office.

    How was Clinton better at bringing down the poverty rate? What did he do? What I saw was that Clinton was in office during one of the great periods of labor scarcity we’ve witnessed in most of our lifetimes.

    Clinton’s policies didn’t do anything to foster labor scarcity. I’m full square behind any policies that can bring about labor scarcity, especially at the lower rungs of the skill ladder because labor scarcity will, as you point out, have very beneficial effects on poverty.

    Again, what exactly did Clinton DO to achieve a lower poverty rate?

    Look at that last figure. Clinton destroyed deficits. We called it Rubinomics. You called it that “Marxist” voodoo plan.

    All I see is a larger denominator at work. If you believe that Rubinomics was the causal agent, then please make you case with respect to exactly what policies of Rubinomics had what effect.

    From my vantage point what I see is a business cycle at work that coincides with the Clinton Presidency, a non-repeatable boost in productivity that is mainly driven by wider implementation of computer and internet technology, leading to labor scarcity, which results in higher wages and higher levels of tax receipts, necessitating less borrowing (the numerator) and a higher growth rate in GDP (denominator.)

    What Clinton or Rubin policies were CAUSING these factors to occur in the economy at that time?

    I deal in facts, truth, reality…look at the facts above…no need to compare us with France or Madagascar or Somalia.

    I’m glad that you deal in facts. That tidbit of information will likely come in handy for me at a later time.

    What you’ve offered here is a data-dump with no argument. Here is my counter-argument:

    Business cycles, because of the interconnectedness of countries via trade, tend to be worldwide phenomena, therefore a time-series analysis across countries tends to account for the effects of economic cycles and allows us to concentrate on the results that derive from the differences between countries. We start by looking at the US and major European economies, which choose two different paths to follow in the year that Reagan is elected.

    Reagan set us on a course of fewer regulations, fewer mandates, lower marginal tax rates, lower capital gains rates than is the case in Europe and this economic course has been held up by subsequent administrations.

    Statistics from Nationmaster:

    1980 Sweden $15,739.36
    1980 Netherlands $13,128.77
    1980 Belgium $12,714.34
    1980 France $12,787.82
    1980 U.S. $12,185.72
    1980 Germany $11,654.36
    1980 UK $9,517.59

    2006 Sweden $42,553.49
    2006 Netherlands $40,167.13
    2006 Belgium $37,384.34
    2006 France $36,546.72
    2006 U.S. $44,155.00
    2006 Germany $35,270.3
    2006 UK $38,849.97

    GDP/Capita growth from 1980 to 2006:

    Sweden = 170%
    Netherlands = 206%
    Belgium = 194%
    France = 186%
    US = 262%
    Germany = 203%
    UK = 308%

    Look at the performance of the US and the UK. Keep in mind that the UK’s own version of Sarah Palin, Margaret Thatcher took office in 1979 and pretty much revolutionized the economy by throwing off the smothering statist blanket that Leftists had inflicted on the UK. When a nation is purposely impoverished and then the shackles are unleashed you’ll see fantastic growth rates. The US wasn’t as shackled as the UK, but Reaganomics did let economic vitality erupt after his reforms. The majority of the European nations continued on with their heavily statist models of governance, and look at the comparative results across time.

    If the US economy grew at the same rate as the next lowest economy, the Netherlands, our GDP/capita would be $37,281.89 instead of $44,155.00. The Reagan model, which I’m advancing as the primary difference between the European economies and the American economy, has produced a lot of wealth for Americans. I don’t think that Obama promising to effectively cut American incomes by 18% is going to be very popular with non-Leftists.

    Look at those 1980 figures. When the US and Europe were both following a statist economic model the Europeans were richer than the Americans. Since Saint Ronald wrought his magic the Europeans and the Americans all went through the same periods of economic expansion and subsequent recessions, through the same oil shocks, through the same technological innovations rippling through economies, etc and today the US is richer than these comparative countries.

  50. andrew says:

    “Look at that last figure. Clinton destroyed deficits.”

    The Republican Congress and Republican victory in the Cold War destroyed the deficit, Clinton was a bystander. Clinton also had the dumb luck to follow 12 years of Republican Presidents whereas Reagan had to follow up the Carter nightmare we are reliving right now. Two different scenarios.

  51. michael reynolds says:

    TangoBrimelow:

    Don’t like the facts much? So you go looking for an argument on causation.

    You make essentially the argument the Catholic church made against Galileo: “The Earth cannot move because that would imply there are angels at the core, and we all know there are only demons down there. Game, set and match, Mr. Galilei, game, set and match!”

    The numbers cannot show what they clearly show because if they did then where is the Reagan angel? Huh? Huh?

    Incidentally, your cross-national comparisons make the fairly convincing case that immigration helps GDP per capita since the highest-performing nations in your sample — the US and the UK — are also those with the most immigration and the most diversity in their population.

    I’m sure that’s what you intended to show. Right?

  52. TangoMan says:

    Don’t like the facts much? So you go looking for an argument on causation.

    This should be needlepointed and framed or circulated around the intertubes as a “profound” statement. Thanks, now I’ve got to go to the hospital to get my sides stitched up.

    Incidentally, your cross-national comparisons make the fairly convincing case that immigration helps GDP per capita since the highest-performing nations in your sample — the US and the UK — are also those with the most immigration and the most diversity in their population.

    I really wonder what it’s like to see the world through Leftist’s eyes – this lack of reason you exhibit is scary.

    National Academies Press published The Immigration Debate: Studies on the Economic, Demographic, and Fiscal Effects of Immigration back in 1998 based on studies which concluded in 1995 dollars that:

    The presence of immigrants and their concurrent descendants generated $89 billion in costs to states and localities across the United States. This group paid an estimated $62 billion in taxes, for a net burden of $27 billion. Other taxpayers in the states and localities in which these immigrants resided shouldered this burden through increased taxes.

    The average immigrant and concurrent descendant had a net fiscal impact at the state and local levels of about -$680, in contrast to a positive net impact of about $200 for the rest of the population. The difference is nearly $900 per person. This difference reflects per capita costs that are 26 percent higher for immigrants than for the rest of the population. Particularly expensive are general public education, bilingual education programs, and noninstitutional Medicaid and other medical welfare costs. But just as important, per capita tax payments for immigrants and their concurrent descendants are 22 percent below those of the rest of the population, reflecting the lower incomes of immigrants and their families.

    Continued:

    Calculations of this sort are interesting, but they do not enable us to assess the fiscal impact of an incremental immigrant. The fiscal impact typically rises with age from birth, peaking between ages 10 and 25 at positive values, and then declining gradually to a trough in the late sixties, at which point the impact is highly negative. This curve is higher, the higher the education of the immigrant. There are many immigrants who impose net fiscal burdens on the native-born, and many others who afford them net fiscal benefits. This diversity must be reviewed alongside estimates of average fiscal impact when formulating immigration policy.

    [ . . ]

    Nonetheless, immigrants with certain characteristics, such as the elderly and those with little education, may be quite costly. And residents of certain states with large shares of immigrants without doubt bear higher costs that in some cases may not be offset by the broadly shared gains at the federal level.

    This study was one of two major studies commissioned by the National Research Council. Even though they were quite in-depth they let slip through the review process two major errors, which I’ll explain for your benefit.

    Both studies annuitize the income and expense streams out to 300 years so as to account for the costs and benefits of immigrant’s descendents. They make two key unsupported assumptions. The first is that future generations will have identical rates of high school graduation as previous generations. I could make a case for or against this proposition, so I see it as a complete toss-up because it is highly dependent on the characteristics of the immigrants. It usually takes about 1-2 generations for the descendants of immigrants to match the mean national HS graduation rate, based on historical precedent. Subsumed under this statistic are the differential rates seen for immigrants arriving from different nations. We know that currently, descendants of Mexican immigrants, even at the 4th generation here in the US, have HS graduation rates below the national mean, and their college graduation rate is also below the national mean.

    The second unsupported assumption is that the net positive economic value created by future descendants will be the same in the future as it has been in the past. Considering that you used to be able to get a good union-job in the big industrial firms with a HS education and generate an impressive net positive contribution and that this outcome is becoming harder to accomplish as the well-paying industrial jobs that require only a HS education are finding foreign locales to be more favorable operating climates, I’d say that the prospect of future HS graduates generating the same levels of economic activity are quite slim. If this analysis comes to pass, then the future income streams that the researchers calculated will not come to pass and their projections can be thrown in the round file.

    Immigrants who are H.S. dropouts end up costing taxpayers $89,000 more than the economic value they produce over their lifetimes. Immigrants who are H.S. graduates end up costing us $31,000. Those who have some college education, but not necessarily graduates, end up contributing $105,000 over their lifetimes to the American economy.

    I popped these numbers into an inflation calculator and these 1995 dollar amounts translate to drop-outs costing us $124,000 per immigrant over the life of the immigrant. High School graduates only cost us $43,000 per immigrant over the life of the immigrant. Those with some college education actually contribute $146,000 to the economic well being of the nation.

    What you seem to have a lot of trouble grasping is multiple factors working at the same time, some with positive influences and some with negative influences, and the difference between the multiple factors netting out. The point here is that the US economy would have performed to an even higher standard if we didn’t have to carry the economic deadweight of millions of poorly educated illegal immigrants. For you to pretend that the millions of illegals who violate our border are all contributing to the economy as though they have some college level experience is simply farcical.

  53. Herb says:

    If you have evidence of conservatives widely practicing false-flag operations, then show us this historical pattern.

    Ha!

    I was making a joke at your expense, Tangoman, not providing some kind of theory for the church burnings. Sorry if I gave the impression I was taking you seriously.

  54. Wayne says:

    JP
    You ignore the tire slashing, Union thugs beating up conservative protestors, burning down houses, spray painting other people fur coats, assault on conservative speakers, etc. Oh that’s right. If you can come up an one instance that liberals may have fallow the law (bribing congressman for votes is against the law) then that means they never break the law. Your right you are giving us more crazy stuff.

    What about all the liberal protest that turn violent? Thats right, we must ignore liberal’s record. Even ones that happen this week like the Canada’s liberals being so violent that they cancel Ann’s speaking engagement.

  55. anjin-san says:

    I’ll condemn them, too.

    How do you feel about people who post graphics of Obama in a neo-nazi brownshirt outfit? Oh, wait. You are one of them…

  56. anjin-san says:

    Look at the performance of the US

    Actually, the fact that nations with a tiny fraction of our human and natural resources are even within shouting distance of us is very impressive. If you are trying to make them look bad, you are failing. Lets also keep in mind that citizens of many of those nations enjoy a quality of life that is in many ways, better than ours.

  57. michael reynolds says:

    TangoBrimelow:

    See? Aren’t you happy I gave you a chance to ride your little racist hobby horse around the room? Yee hah!

    Now, listen everyone: Brimelow is here for two reasons:

    1) To recruit morons supporters to his cause, theSchwarze Raus! Foundation, and,

    2) To ingratiate himself with Joyner because Joyner gets to go to the cool parties, not just the meth-cooking-Aryan’s parties.

    So, if you’d like to join Peter in his efforts to white-ify America, you should let him know.

    As for the other thing: ah hah hah hah hah.

    Peter, you ninny.

    You can throw your arms around the Tea Partiers and give them all handjobs and the mainstream GOP still won’t be seen with you. You’re toxic. The GOP practices dog whistle racism, (I do not mean Joyner, by the way,) not foghorn racism. Not slavering, desperate, ‘Oh my God, I used to be an editor at Forbes, now I’m an intellectual leading light among people who collect SS paraphernalia, what have I done to my career,’ racism.

    Big difference. The mainstream GOP will fish in the same waters as you. But they will never, ever take you back in. Not ever.

  58. andrew says:

    “How do you feel about people who post graphics of Obama in a neo-nazi brownshirt outfit? Oh, wait.”

    The Left is just experiencing blowback. The chickens have come home to roost as they say. Just accept it.

  59. TangoMan says:

    Actually, the fact that nations with a tiny fraction of our human and natural resources are even within shouting distance of us is very impressive.

    I know that I don’t share the creationist tenets of the Left but I’d love to hear about the Young Earth Creationist development of US natural resources that occurred between 1980 and 2006 which enabled the US to leap above the countries, which in 1980 had higher levels of GDP/cap (Sweden, Netherlands, Belgium, France) than the US.

    If we reap so much benefit from our natural resources, then how come they all had higher levels of GDP/cap back then? Did we not have natural resources to exploit before 1980?

    I know you find it difficult to defend the illogical tenets of Leftism, but really, can’t you even try to up your game, just a bit. Pretty please.

  60. michael reynolds says:

    Anjin-San:

    Translating for TangoBrimelow: “Please stick to the orthodox leftist positions that exist in my head because I have some intellectual boilerplate on that.”

  61. anjin-san says:

    can’t you even try to up your game, just a bit.

    Sorry dude, all you rate is my “c” game. When someone interesting comes along I will crank things up. But heres a few crumbs for you:

    2000:

    Rank Countries Amount Date
    # 1 Luxembourg: $46,277.58 per capita 2000
    # 2 Norway: $37,164.60 per capita 2000
    # 3 Japan: $36,648.66 per capita 2000
    # 4 United States: $34,599.47 per capita 2000

    and then 2006

    Rank Countries Amount Date
    # 1 Luxembourg: $89,563.63 per capita 2006
    # 2 Norway: $66,964.36 per capita 2006
    # 3 Iceland: $53,029.30 per capita 2006
    # 4 Ireland: $52,892.89 per capita 2006
    # 5 Switzerland: $51,032.66 per capita 2006
    # 6 Denmark: $50,702.00 per capita 2006
    # 7 United States: $44,155.00 per capita 2006

    USA #4 to #7 in just 6 years. Great job Bushie! Go GOP! Go conservatives! Worth noting that the socialistic hells Norway & Denmark with their economy killing socialized medicine seem to be ahead of us.

  62. anjin-san says:

    This is kind of fun:

    Rank Countries Amount Date
    # 1 United States: $4,491.42 per capita 1968

    Rank Countries Amount Date
    # 1 United Arab Emirates: $21,380.79 per capita 1976
    # 2 Qatar: $18,128.18 per capita 1976
    # 3 Kuwait: $12,239.52 per capita 1976
    # 4 Sweden: $10,007.40 per capita 1976
    # 5 Switzerland: $9,619.21 per capita 1976
    # 6 Luxembourg: $9,405.84 per capita 1976
    # 7 Norway: $8,822.52 per capita 1976
    # 8 Denmark: $8,610.41 per capita 1976
    # 9 Brunei: $8,507.16 per capita 1976
    # 10 Canada: $8,506.97 per capita 1976
    # 11 Saudi Arabia: $8,347.90 per capita 1976
    # 12 United States: $8,300.50 per capita 1976

    Eight years with a Republican in the White House and the USA goes from #1 to #12. Yes folks, the GOP is good for the economy. Good I say! Serenity now!

  63. michael reynolds says:

    Interesting this odd use of “creationist” as an epithet for the left. If I recall correctly, and I may be wrong, Verdon used the same on me. I don’t get it. It reads like code. Can anyone explain?

  64. anjin-san says:

    Young Earth Creationist development of US natural resources

    TangoLow are you really as simple as your appear? Perhaps you are just trying to rope-a-dope.

    Natural resources are to a great extent, static. But there are such things as NEW DISCOVERIES and NEW TECHNOLOGY. I urge you to look up these concepts, apparently unknown to you, on the internets.

    Just look at the recent natural gas boom in the US. Significant enough perhaps to alter the global energy picture, certainly the domestic one. The gas is not new (well perhaps yours is) but the discoveries and the technology are.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124104549891270585.html

  65. anjin-san says:

    Reagan set us on a course of fewer regulations, fewer mandates, lower marginal tax rates, lower capital gains rates than is the case in Europe and this economic course has been held up by subsequent administrations.

    This is getting interesting. Apparently all good economic news in the last 30 years can be attributed to Reagan. Yet:

    # 10 United States: $20,711.33 per capita 1988

    Here we are in 1988 at #10. Now let’s jump forward four years.

    # 11 United States: $24,508.60 per capita 1992

    Why, we are losing ground! You would think that momentum and bitchin’ policy from Reagan would be carrying us to the top of the charts. Alas, no.

    # 10 United States: $28,813.93 per capita 1996

    Hey! Heading north again. And under that bastard Clinton!

    # 4 United States: $34,599.47 per capita 2000

    Not bad. But have no fear, Bush will soon be giving those gains back.

  66. anjin-san says:

    What Clinton or Rubin policies were CAUSING these factors to occur in the economy at that time?

    Well, here is one:

    http://www.nitrd.gov/ngi/pubs/concept-Jul97/pdf/ngi-cp.pdf

  67. anjin-san says:

    UK’s own version of Sarah Palin, Margaret Thatcher

    Lord help us.

    Margaret Thatcher – Smart, tough woman.

    Sara Palin – Stupid. A quitter.

    I have to stop now, this is like pulling the wings off a fly…

  68. nice strategy says:

    Michael, I believe our current President to be nothing more than a far left liberal.

    That just proves that you don’t know how to read, or perhaps you believe Mitt Romney to be a far left liberal?

    Obama may in fact shift the country to the left, but HCR ended up decidedly centrist (Romneycare), and is mostly consistent with what he campaigned on. Surging in Afghanistan, surely not “far left liberal” and totally consistent on what he campaigned on. The Race to the Top education initiative is centrist to the core and consistent with what he campaigned on. Backtracking on detainee policy and executive branch power in general? Not “far left liberal” by any stretch.

    Get out of your bubble. Obama is a cautious, pragmatic politician. He might have progressive values and aspirations (can you read his mind?) but he has not governed from the left and people who think he has ought to reacquaint themselves with the whole of the political spectrum. Actual far left liberals worked themselves into a lather about Obama being a sellout, or at least they were working themselves into such a lather until they got a sweet taste of GOP defeat.

  69. TangoMan says:

    USA #4 to #7 in just 6 years. Great job Bushie! Go GOP! Go conservatives! Worth noting that the socialistic hells Norway & Denmark with their economy killing socialized medicine seem to be ahead of us.

    Population of Luxemburg: 493,500
    Population of Iceland: 317,593
    Population of Norway: 4,858.200

    Population of District of Columbia: 599,657
    GDP/capita of District of Columbia: $64,991

    Imagine these micro countries managing to achieve such astounding GDP/cap achievements yet a micro-economy in our capital outperforms Iceland and almost matches Norway, even with Norway’s extraordinary wealth due to oil. If only the US could adopt the same intensity of investment fund management as Luxemburg, which is 2nd in the world compared to the US, but has a population smaller than D.C.

    Natural resources are to a great extent, static. But there are such things as NEW DISCOVERIES and NEW TECHNOLOGY. I urge you to look up these concepts, apparently unknown to you, on the internets.

    The influence of income derived from natural resources on an economy the size of ours is minimal while the influence in Norway is such that they have to set up a sovereign fund to bank the excess. Yet you’re touting the economy of Norway and ignoring the influence of oil income. As for Denmark you’re completely ignoring their welfare reform efforts which brought their economy back from the brink. The case of Denmark works against your bizarre thesis that more taxes and more regulation lead to economic growth.

    Further on the Denmark comparison, to paraphrase Milton Friedman who was challenged with the assertion that there is no poverty in Sweden, to which he responded, “funny, there’s no poverty among the Swedes in the US.”

    Year 2000 Denmark GDP/cap = $29,992.93

    Year 2000 US Census report on Danish Americans
    per capita income = $27,648

    Year 2000 US Census report on ALL Americans
    per capita income = $21,587

    (It seems that the US Census data and the nationmaster data are derived differently, so you should probably adjust the Census data on Danish-Americans as a multiple of whatever US GDP/cap data source you reference – for instance, the 2000 nationmaster data shows US GDP/cap to be $34,599.47, so with Danish-American incomes 28% higher than average American incomes, we can compare Danish income of $29,992.93 to Danish American income of $44,287.)

    If I recall correctly, and I may be wrong, Verdon used the same on me.

    Verdon’s a pretty smart dude, so if he insults you you should heed his insult.

  70. An Interested Party says:

    Verdon’s a pretty smart dude, so if he insults you you should heed his insult.

    *Taps ear* I suddenly hear a giant sucking sound…

  71. michael reynolds says:

    TangoBrimelow:

    Yes, yes, no doubt I deserved the isult and so many others besides. But why “creationist?” Is that code for something? Obviously since I’m an atheist it can’t be meant literally.

  72. anjin-san says:

    your bizarre thesis that more taxes and more regulation lead to economic growth

    Kindly point out where I made this claim.

  73. anjin-san says:

    yet a micro-economy in our capital outperforms Iceland and almost matches Norway,

    And what drives the economy in DC? Oh yea, government.

  74. Rick DeMent says:

    The idea that Reagan’s “policies” were at the core of economic performance during his term is silly when you consider one giant salient fact.

    The price of oil had been increasing from the early 70’s and peaked at $35 dollars a barrel ($81.55 in 2009 dollars) and slid to below $15 in 89 ($34.95 2009) that is a decline of 42%. That means that the yearly cost of the oil input to our economy was slashed by $146 billion per year (or $340 in today’s dollars) that savings dwarfed the Reagan tax cut even if you decided to forget that the “tax cut” was all financed by deficit spending. That $146 billion was almost 13% of all federal outlays by 89.

    Remember Reagan’s first round of tax cutting also eliminated many middle class tax deductions and he also started raising taxes again in 1982 so the actual amount of tax reduction was way smaller than most people realize. So you are going to have to prove that it was Reagan’s tax cut that was responsible for the expansion of the economy and not the oil glut on the heels of Volcker’s contraction of the money supply.

    Give it your best shot but I think you’re going to have a hard time though with that causation\causality thingy.

  75. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Anjin, our economy is equal to what? Both you and your numbers lie. Shocked that I am than a blood sucking communist like yourself would lie is shocking, not. You have no honor and little intelligence. Off topic? Turns out no crime was committed. I see the left is rat f*cking again. No congress person was spit on. How is Bill Ayers doing these days? Instead of moldering in his grave, he is instructing our youth. What is wrong with that picture?

  76. The Q says:

    Mr. Tangoman and Andrew,

    Mr. Tangoman, I hate to say this good sir, but you are fast becoming a parody of yourself.

    Andrew, you wrote: “The Republican Congress and Republican victory in the Cold War destroyed the deficit, Clinton was a bystander. Clinton also had the dumb luck to follow 12 years of Republican Presidents whereas Reagan had to follow up the Carter nightmare we are reliving right now. Two different scenarios.”

    Ok, first of all, in my previous post, I pointed out what I considered positive effects of Mr. Reagan’s economic policies, but then also highlighted what happened under Carter and Clinton to give you knuckleheads a comparison.

    I am very disappointed in the predictably asinine responses which typically revolve around the ludicrous assumption by the right that Clinton was “lucky”. That he inherited all of the good fortune that was left to him by RR and George Bush.

    My God, the Republicans would take credit for the sun rising in the east if they could.

    Lets look at the logical insanity of Andrew who asserts that it was the Republican congress and Republican President who ended the cold War.

    Andrew, to use your logic, wasn’t the Republican Congress and Republican President “lucky” that the Cold war miraculously happened while they just happened to be in office and had the dumb luck to follow 50 years of Democratic rule of congress and the Presidency?

    Forget for a moment that in 1947 a Democrat outlined the containment policy (George Kennan the famous Mr. X article in Foreign Affairs) which was the cornerstone of our dealings with the Soviets under both Dem and Repub administrations for 40 years, or that over 100,000 young americans died in wars (Korea, Vietnam) started by Democratic presidents to defeat the communist bastards (or are you and Tangoman pansies who thought that we shouldn’t have fought those wars to defend our precious liberty?). I guess it may have escaped your attention that those Democratic queers in congress spent trillions to defeat the communists prior to Mr. Reagan’s admin. (oh and by the way it was the lame guy in the wheelchair who conquered the empire of Japan and the third Reich in less than 4 years, while your idiot leaders couldn’t find one dude in a cave after 7 years).

    Look, unlike you fools, I am willing to be open minded and give Dutch some credit in ending the Cold War, (“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall” was friggin’ brilliant).

    But you guys can’t escape the fetters of your own dense ideology which precludes giving any credit to anyone other than a fellow conservative.

    I feel for Obama who tried the bipartisan approach only to be met with the response which you two so beautifully personify.

    Lets go back to Messrs. Tangoman and Andrew’s assertions that Clinton was a political eunuch who had the good fortune to ride the wave of 12 years of pristine Repub policy prior to his arrival.

    Lets say I suspend all belief in the rational and go along with this fantasy.

    Then riddle me this batman, why did the Repubs in Congress unanimously oppose his Omnibus Act of 93 by categorically stating the following:

    Rep. Christopher Cox (R-CA), 5/27/93:
    This is really the Dr. Kevorkian plan for our economy.

    Rep. Thomas Ewing (R-IL), 8/5/93:
    …This bill is a disaster waiting to happen.

    Rep. Jim Ramstad (R-MN), 3/17/93:
    …will stifle economic growth, destroy jobs, reduce revenues, and increase the deficit.

    Rep. Phil Crane (R-IL), 3/18/93:
    …a recipe for economic and fiscal disaster.

    Rep. Dick Armey (R-TX), CNN, 8/2/93:
    The impact on job creation is going to be devastating, and the American young people in particular will suffer a fairly substantial deferment of their lives because there simply won’t be jobs for the next two to three years to go around to our young graduates across the country.

    Rep. Dick Armey (R-TX), 8/5/93:
    The economy will sputter along. Dreams will be put off and all this for the hollow promise of deficit reduction and magical theories of lower interest rates. Like so many of the President’s past promises, deficit reduction will be another cruel hoax.

    Rep. Wally Herger (R-CA), 8/4/93:
    The simple fact is that the Clinton plan will not lower interest rates. It will not lower inflation. It will not create jobs. And it will not lower the deficit. The Clinton tax plan will spur inflation, lose jobs, increase the deficit, and hurt our economic growth.

    Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-OH), 5/27/93:
    The votes we will take today will not be soon forgotten by the American voter. [They] will lead to more taxes, higher inflation, and slower economic growth.

    Rep. Jim Bunning (R-KY), 8/5/93:
    It will not cut the deficit. It will not create jobs. And it will not cut spending.

    Rep. Clifford Stearns (R-FL), 3/17/93:
    …It will be the kind of impact that this country can’t absorb. It will slow economic growth, contribute to the massive federal deficit….

    Rep. Joel Hefley (R-CO), 8/4/93:
    …It will raise your taxes, increase the deficit, and kill over one million jobs.

    I could go on, but I pray you dense ideologues get the point.

    Obviously, Clinton was one brilliant guy..he was able to pass a Republican economic plan which wiped out deficits and stopped the red ink without having the support of the Republicans in Congress, so that 10 years later, idiots on the right parroting the wingnut blogosphere can proclaim:

    “Clinton was a bystander. Clinton also had the dumb luck to follow 12 years of Republican Presidents”

    Obviously Rubinomics was a total friggin’ disaster, just as those genius repubs I quoted predicted.

    They were SOOOOOO right. Boy, the 90s were a dystopian hell hole, a nightmare of jobs and prosperity..how did we survive as a nation?

    My question to you Messrs. Tangoman and Andrew is this:

    If the Repub policies in congress were responsible for the miracle economy of the 90s and its concomitant budget surpluses and job creation, why change the strategy?

    What happened to this wonderful economic panacea that saw 20 million new jobs created, ridiculously low inflation and unemployment, rising wages for the middle class and budget SURPLUSES.

    You would think they wouldn’t want to fuc$k with such a good thing.

    So what happened?…well, perhaps, and this is just a crazy thought I’m putting out…hmmm, lets use the scientific method here.

    You have a Republican congress and a Dem president…Dem president replaced by Repub president….surpluses replaced by HUGE deficts.. Dem Prez economic policy changed by Repub Prez. who instead of raising taxes like Clinton did, cuts them to the tune of $1.5 trillion, then fights a war without raising taxes to pay for it….

    Oh, this is hurting my head…lets just blame liberals…yeah thats it…

    Except that no libs were in charge..you had the house, the senate, the Presidency.

    And you fuc%^ked it up!

    But wait, I have some good news…Repubs didn’t really fuc#k things up…it was Jimmy Carter’s fault for passing that stupid Community Reinvestment act back in 1977 which allowed all those dumbass minorities to get money from those dumb banks….

    Whew, thank God for Jimmy Carter because it was looking for a moment there that conservatives would actually have to be accountable for something.

    Like a black man sitting on a warm toilet seat, you conservatives are so smug and secure in the knowledge that you can’t possibly screw up…its all the libs fault for anything that goes wrong.

    Got a pimple on your ass? Obama’s fault.

    Can’t get a blow job on friday nite…that friggin’ Pelosi.

    And you wonder why us libs throw our hands up in utter despair when trying to have a intelligent debate with you guys.

  77. TangoMan says:

    Rick Dement,

    So you are going to have to prove that it was Reagan’s tax cut that was responsible for the expansion of the economy and not the oil glut on the heels of Volcker’s contraction of the money supply.

    Give it your best shot but I think you’re going to have a hard time though with that causation\causality thingy.

    Which is the purpose for the international comparison. Are you prepared to argue that the US alone benefited from an oil glut while the large European countries continued to pay a high price for oil? Did the US alone benefit from a resurgent business cycle while the Europeans isolated themselves and didn’t benefit?

    Secondly, I didn’t isolate the tax cut as the sole factor. Reagan also fired air traffic controllers (example of freeing labor markets), worked with Volcker as you point out, signed the FTA with Canada, etc.

    From the wikipedia page on Reaganomics:

    1. Reduce government spending,
    2. Reduce income and capital gains marginal tax rates,
    3. Reduce government regulation of the economy,
    4. Control the money supply to reduce inflation.

    He lifted remaining domestic petroleum price and allocation controls on January 28, 1981[5] and lowered the Oil Windfall profits tax in August 1981, helping to end the 1979 energy crisis. He ended the Oil Windfall profits tax in 1988 during the 1980s oil glut.

  78. TangoMan says:

    But why “creationist?” Is that code for something? Obviously since I’m an atheist it can’t be meant literally.

    Why on Earth would you think that atheism precludes a belief in creationism? All forms of creationism appeal to mystical causes. Religious folks flavor their creationism with an appeal to a mystical god. Obviously, atheists, who don’t believe in god, wouldn’t base their flavor of creationism on an appeal to a mystical force in which they don’t believe.

  79. The Q says:

    Tango,

    Please explain the economy growing at faster rates prior to Reagan when the Congress was solidly Democratic and the Presidency as well (1932 – 1980).

    How do you account for the prosperity the middle class enjoyed absent Reaganomics and the completely antithetical Democratic Keynesian policies in effect at the time.

    Also, nobody on the right EVER comments about how WRONG the Repubs were regarding the Omnibus act of 1993 and its influence on jobs, deficits and interest rates.

    Your silence is deafening on this point.

  80. anjin-san says:

    Well Tango, are you unable to respond to my last 2 posts? Rant n’ run?

  81. anjin-san says:

    yet a micro-economy in our capital outperforms Iceland and almost matches Norway,

    We have to revisit this. You are holding DC forth as proof of the dynamism of our economy vis-a-vie those darn Euro weenies. Yet the prosperity DC (well, at least the white parts of it) enjoys is due pretty much only to… the federal government. Wow. Do you ever stop to think before you post?

  82. TangoMan says:

    We have to revisit this. You are holding DC forth as proof of the dynamism of our economy vis-a-vie those darn Euro weenies. Yet the prosperity DC (well, at least the white parts of it) enjoys is due pretty much only to… the federal government. Wow. Do you ever stop to think before you post?

    The fault lies with me for presuming that you could make what I thought a rudimentary inference. Henceforth I’ll try to keep in mind that I shouldn’t make assumptions on the knowledge that you possess and I’ll try to lay out the fundamental concepts underlying my point. My bad.

    Washington, D.C. or Fairfield, CT, or Silicon Valley or Hollywood, or suburbs in Houston where many oil industry movers and shakers live, all benefit from the concentrating and networking effects of national and international industries.

    For you to point to the small principality of Luxemburg and their extraordinary level of income, which is derived from this tiny speck being the host to the world’s 2nd largest concentration of investment fund managers (because of their favorable tax treatment) completely misses any link to WHY and HOW they achieve their level of income.

    Luxemburg benefits from the same dynamic as D.C., which is that they are kind of a one-industry city and they reap benefit from their interconnectedness to a larger world. All of those investment funds in Luxemburg aren’t managing the investment capital that belongs to the citizens of Luxemburg, just like the lobbyists and analysts in D.C. aren’t just working in the interests of the citizens of D.C.

    The point is that what Luxemburg is doing, and for that matter, what D.C., Fairfield, S.V. and Hollywood are doing, can’t be replicated through every city and burg in the land to transform the national economy.

    These little micro-economies, be they independent nations or part of large nations, are specializers that are wholly dependent on access to larger markets.

  83. anjin-san says:

    Wow dude, blow hard with a vengeance! No wonder your posts tend to run long, your social calendar must be pretty skinny…

    As for your sarcasm, well, it cuts like overcooked pasta. Inspired me to have tortellini for lunch.

  84. TangoMan says:

    Please explain the economy growing at faster rates prior to Reagan when the Congress was solidly Democratic and the Presidency as well (1932 – 1980).

    The US industrial base was jacked up on steroids during the early 40s (guess why) and for the next 2 decades it enjoyed the benefit of not being in competition with other formidable competitors (bombing raids on factories and tank battles in city streets have a peculiar way of depressing economic productivity – it’s hard to make a widget when the widget factory is rubble, when the train infrastructure to move widgets to market is destroyed, when people are rebuilding their homes, and when most of society’s wealth is directed to repairing the damage of war first before investing in newer and bigger manufacturing infrastructure to compete against the Americans.)

    It’s really as simple as this – when your competitor is not at the same level of efficiency as you, you can reap additional gains and still be competitive – if it costs an American manufacturer $0.50 to make a widget and it costs a post-war German manufacturer $0.75 to make the widget, then when the widget sells for $0.80, the American’s make $0.30 compared to the German’s making $0.05. As the Germans, and the Japanese, and the French, etc. recover from the effects of the war and then start investing in their industrial infrastructure they become more efficient in their industrial operations and thereby reduce the gains that flow to American operations. Moreover, as they invest in rebuilding destroyed infrastructure, they erecting the latest, most efficient manufacturing equipment while the US is still operating on an industrial base established in the pre-war and WWII eras.

    After the WWII we still used GNP as a metric because GNP, unlike GDP, measured income flows coming into the country from foreign investment – we were the world’s largest creditor nation and investment income and interest income flowed into the country from abroad. That’s no longer the case.

  85. TangoMan says:

    Wow dude, blow hard with a vengeance!

    Nice try at deflection. Look, you couldn’t, or wouldn’t, make the inference that I thought all readers would make. My error was in assuming that you would. I explained my reasoning.

    Instead of a “thanks” or “now I see what you’re saying” you’re continuing on with the snark – first it was the observation that D.C.’s wealth is generated by government (no shit!) and now you don’t like being called on the fact that you couldn’t, or wouldn’t, make what was a pretty elementary inference – D.C. benefits from economic specialization, just as Luxemburg benefits, and these benefits are dependent on a large economic base outside of the city.

  86. The Q says:

    “we were the world’s largest creditor nation and investment income and interest income flowed into the country from abroad. That’s no longer the case.

    Yes, this is true because Republican policies piled on so much deficit, we had to borrow from abroad.

    Remember, we were still the world’ largest creditor up until the mid 80s.

    Also, foreign workers also consume commodities with their new found prosperity.

    Exports now account for a greater share of U.S. GDP than ever before – 12% now versus just 5% in 1967.

    And if you are correct, how then did Clinton top Reagan’s GDP if those trends you mentioned only intensified?

    I could go on butchering your feeble attempts at never directly answering questions, since you avoid any mention of Dem monetary or fiscal policy influencing the micro markets you list.

  87. TangoMan says:

    Yes, this is true because Republican policies piled on so much deficit, we had to borrow from abroad.

    And if you are correct, how then did Clinton top Reagan’s GDP if those trends you mentioned only intensified?

    If you and Reynolds have trouble understanding, or believing, that multiple factors affect economic performance, then go right ahead believing in this model of reality.

    I don’t understand what is so difficult to comprehend about a.) multiple factors being at work, b.) some of those factors are minimally influenced by monetary or fiscal policy, c.) some of these factors are heavily influenced by monetary or fiscal policies, and d.) many factors will influence across the diverse initiatives of many Administrations

    What is so hard to understand about credit inflows diminishing and reversing happening alongside gains in productivity being realized from the impressive gains in computer performance, the lowered cost of software, and the penetration of computerization into every nook and cranny of the economy, with, in this two factor model, one factor being more influential than the other factor?

    If you wish to believe that nation’s can become wealthy by increasing regulation and by increasing the redistribution of their national income, go right ahead.

  88. anjin-san says:

    My error was in assuming that you would

    Actually, your error was in assuming that anyone would give a great deal of though to your posts.

  89. The Q says:

    Mr. Tangoman,

    With all due respect, I don’t think I disagree with your statement “that multiple factors affect economic performance”

    And I also agree with your next statement:

    “I don’t understand what is so difficult to comprehend about a.) multiple factors being at work, b.) some of those factors are minimally influenced by monetary or fiscal policy, c.) some of these factors are heavily influenced by monetary or fiscal policies, and d.) many factors will influence across the diverse initiatives of many Administrations.

    My problem is with statements like this from Mr. Plunk …

    “Reagan and the conservative Congress won the Cold War.”

    If we used your analysis above, no one in their right mind could make such a statement as did Mr. Plunk, since a multitude of factors, spanning 50 years went into that outcome, as I tried to point out earlier.

    My problem is when discussing economic policy, most conservatives think that America, prior to Ronald Reagan was a cesspool of liberal socialist policies run amok..that we were thrashing around in some sort of Bangladeshian abyss of inefficiency and torpor….that obviously was simply not true.

    Most conservatives think that liberal economic history in the U.S. begins and ends with Jimmy Carter’s last two years of hyperinflation and high interest rates.

    When I try to be fair and give Reagan some credit (as most libs steadfastly refuse to do)but also highlight performance of Dem presidents, conservatives will completely agree and trumpet the Reagan record, then denigrate any “accomplishments” of Dems by bringing up arguments such as “multiple factors affect economic performance”…or “correlation is not causation”…..your multiple factor argument should then preclude Reagan from taking credit for anything either.

    In other words, when good shite happens under Repubs, they take the credit as they make a direct correlation (sometimes not unreasonably so as I mentioned with Reagan’s successes) but when something good happens when Dems are in office, its because of “luck”, or he inherited the “good economy from the previous Repub admin”, or it was the “internet” not Clinton’s policies etc.

    Do you understand my frustration with this argument? This is my boiling point intellectually…how can we then judge policy contrasts and gauge their relative effectiveness.

    What ever happened to the good ol’ aphorism, “the proof is in the pudding”?

    Its like me saying, “you know, that Einstein was a pretty smart dude, coming up with the theory of relativity and all.”

    You then reply, “well, Einstein was smart,but what about Newton and Maxwell, I mean there was also Plank and others involved..without those other factors Einstein’s a putz”

    I think you sometimes miss the forest for the trees…you tend to criticize the pixels and miss the painting.

    We had pretty close to 50 years of complete and total Dem hegemony in congress from 1932 – 1982 (not to mention 5 Dem presidents).

    This was more than enough time to gauge Dem economic policies success/failure against a multitude of changes, both exogenous and domestic.

    In your last post you completely ignore these macro trends and blather on about manufacturing recovery in other nations after the WW2(granted good points but hardly germane to the larger topic at hand.) On a scale of 1 to 10 impact, thats about 2 on the economic Richter scale.

    In short, go back and look at these threads, I dare you to find (other than Mr. Joyner who I believe is fair minded)ANY conservative giving ANY respect to ANY Dem policy of the last 30 years.

    I dare you.

  90. TangoMan says:

    If we used your analysis above, no one in their right mind could make such a statement as did Mr. Plunk, since a multitude of factors, spanning 50 years went into that outcome, as I tried to point out earlier.

    Most certainly there were cold warriors on the Democratic side, Scoop Jackson being the most obvious. Further, Democratic Administrations did maintain the Cold War policy, but this was mostly because of triangulation. If you want to argue that Plunk is in error, then by the standards that you want to adopt you also have to acknowledge that Republicans were vigorous defenders of Social Security and Medicare and that the Democrats have no measurable advantage over the Republicans on that issue.

    The way I read Steve’s argument is that absent pressure from Republicans the Democrats would have taken a different course on the Cold War, a course more in tune with their ideological inclinations and less tarnished by triangulation. The same can be said of Republicans on the issue of SS & Medicare – they would have preferred their way over the triangulation course that they were forced to take in order to operate in a competitive political arena.

    Where you wish to draw the line is your choice, but you should accept the consequences that arise from your choice – if Democrats deserve equal credit for ending the Cold War then Republicans are just as caring and compassionate as Democrats when it comes to “social justice.”

    My problem is when discussing economic policy, most conservatives think that America, prior to Ronald Reagan was a cesspool of liberal socialist policies run amok..

    This really boils down to a fundamental point of logic – for a change, or revolutionary change, to occur, the new course after the change must be substantially different from the course that was being followed prior to the change event. If Reagan didn’t set us on a new course, then should expect that the environment during and after Reagan’s term was more or less the same as it was prior to Reagan’s term.

    Many of the big European countries, when Reagan took office, had GDP/cap measures that exceeded the American measure. Since that time we’ve outgrown them. The Democrats had a very long run of Administrations prior to Reagan taking office. In that time we saw measures which brought us closer to the European socialist model and our economic results brought us to parity on the GDP/cap measure. After Reagan we soared. Reagan worked to repudiate many of the socialist measures that characterize European politics and which are admired by Democrats.

    when something good happens when Dems are in office, its because of “luck”, or he inherited the “good economy from the previous Repub admin”, or it was the “internet” not Clinton’s policies etc.

    Statements are true or false. Arguments are supported or they’re not. Statements and arguments are not fair simply because they’re built on a foundation of equivalence. You’re asking us to judge the validity of an argument on the basis of equivalence. That doesn’t work for me.

    Reagan was a consequential President. Obama is shaping up to be the same. I judge them to be consequential because their policies are lurching the country in new directions. Clinton didn’t do what Reagan and Obama did. Recall that he was a DLC Democrat and he basically continued on the Reagan trajectory. For you to claim that the budgetary health and the state of the economy and rising productivity were a result of Clinton policies you need to, you know, actually identify which policies had which effects. That’s a tough task to take on because the more compelling case is the one I laid out which points to factors beyond Clinton’s control being the primary causes of the mid 90’s golden period.

    Going back to your complaint, to me at least, your whole argument hinges on how a person defines good. I’m sure that a liberal would argue that this HCR is good, therefore a Democrat would see good coming from this Democratic Administration. Conservatives see otherwise. Conversely, a liberal would argue that Reagan did harm by increasing military spending and thwarting the good intentions of socialism in other countries. You seem to be buying into the definition of “good” that is being offered by conservatives.

  91. The Q says:

    Mr. Tangoman,

    Scoop Jackson being the most obvious??

    What about Harry Truman? JFK? LBJ? Sam Nunn.

    This is my point about your always picking the nit and bogging your arguments down in useless minutiae.

    You point out Scoop Jackson and neglect the Truman Doctrine, Berlin Airlift, Ich bin ein Berliner, the Korean and Vietnam Wars started or escalated by Democratic cold warriors which sacrificed over 100 k troops to defeat the spread of communism and you try and conflate that with 8 years of Reagan by stating something completely coming out of your ass. To wit:

    “absent pressure from Republicans the Democrats would have taken a different course on the Cold War”…this is pure, unsubstantiated, unprovable poppycock.

    Also, you write, “if Democrats deserve equal credit for ending the Cold War then Republicans are just as caring and compassionate as Democrats when it comes to “social justice.”

    Again, conflating and comparing two entirely different issues.

    What do you mean “if” Democrats deserve equal credit..are you seriously implying that they shouldn’t get at least half the credit?

    That like Mr. Plunk you aver that it was all Reagan who, like Superman, single handedly ended the cold War?

    I guess there was no Gorbachev, Lech Walesa and Solidarity, Pope John, the No Nukes movement, the Beatles, the Helsinki Accords, Solzhenitsyn, NATO.

    I am fast getting tired of going around in circles endlessly with your churlish counter examples.

    You write “After Reagan we soared” till what the 1991 recession? the 2007-8 Meltdown?

    Or I forgot those were caused by liberals right?

    Can I ask you one simple friggin’ question and get one simple friggin’ response from you.

    Was there a difference between Bush 2 and Clinton’s tax policies and if so how did these differences affect the budget deficits.

    Please don’t bring in France, current account indices,etc.

    Just answer as directly as you can about the two tax policies of the last 20 years.

  92. TangoMan says:

    “absent pressure from Republicans the Democrats would have taken a different course on the Cold War”…this is pure, unsubstantiated, unprovable poppycock.

    Alger Hiss & Harry Dexter White were Democratic officials. Communist sympathies ran deep in the labor movement, with the labor movement being a main pillar of Democratic support. Duranty was a hero to the Left. There were all sorts of Leftist calls for a modus vivendi with the Soviet Union. The Left, just like the Right, has people who hold ideologically extreme views. Without the Center acting as a stabilizer, those on the extreme move their parties towards them. The Democrats had within their ranks communists, communist sympathizers, and appeasers, none of which were part of the Conservative movement. Conservatives had their own ideologues to deal with – people who wanted to dismantle social welfare schemes, isolationists, etc.

    What do you mean “if” Democrats deserve equal credit..are you seriously implying that they shouldn’t get at least half the credit?

    Democrats deserve as much credit for ending the Cold War as Republicans deserve for legitimizing and maintaining the social welfare state. The inclinations of many Republicans, if they didn’t care about their elections prospects (see the just passed Health Care Reform for an example of voting against the public mood) would have been to dismantle the Ponzi Scheme aspects of SS & Medicare. The inclinations of many Democrats would have been towards legitimizing Marxist doctrine and being more sympathetic to communism. Neither party was captured by its extreme elements and both governed from the middle. So, where do you want to draw the line? If Republicans deserve just as much credit for responding to the popular will on the issue of SS & Medicare then Democrats also deserve credit for trying to contain Communism.

    The key difference between the Democrats and Reagan is that the Democrats never set out to destroy communism, they were content with containing it. Reagan set out to bankrupt and destroy the Soviet state. He succeeded.

    Was there a difference between Bush 2 and Clinton’s tax policies and if so how did these differences affect the budget deficits.

    It’s not so much the tax policies that had the largest effect on budget deficits, rather it was Bush’s liberal spending habits, aided and abetted by a Republican Congress:

    President Bush has presided over the largest overall increase in inflation-adjusted federal spending since Lyndon B. Johnson. Even after excluding spending on defense and homeland security, Bush is still the biggest-spending president in 30 years. His 2006 budget doesn’t cut enough spending to change his place in history, either.

    Total government spending grew by 33 percent during Bush’s first term. The federal budget as a share of the economy grew from 18.5 percent of GDP on Clinton’s last day in office to 20.3 percent by the end of Bush’s first term.

    The Republican Congress has enthusiastically assisted the budget bloat. Inflation-adjusted spending on the combined budgets of the 101 largest programs they vowed to eliminate in 1995 has grown by 27 percent.

    The GOP was once effective at controlling nondefense spending. The final nondefense budgets under Clinton were a combined $57 billion smaller than what he proposed from 1996 to 2001. Under Bush, Congress passed budgets that spent a total of $91 billion more than the president requested for domestic programs. Bush signed every one of those bills during his first term. Even if Congress passes Bush’s new budget exactly as proposed, not a single cabinet-level agency will be smaller than when Bush assumed office.

    The deficit rose in size due to two almost equal influences – forgone tax revenue and increased spending. In a static analysis (ie. a worthless analysis) increased revenue from higher taxes under Clinton tax rates would have lessened the budget deficit. In a dynamic analysis (ie. more worthwhile because such analysis has closer proximity to reality) the lessening of economic activity would have reduced tax revenues thus producing a somewhat negative effect on the budget deficit, which depending on the degree of effect, could actually have made matters worse.

    In a nutshell, if Bush hadn’t enacted the tax cuts, the economy during his term would have grown at a slower rate, thus reducing tax revenue. The quibble in this scenario is on the issue of effect size. Nevertheless, without any restraint on spending, the deficit would have been growing anyway, tax cuts or not.

    The problem of rising budget deficits is attributable more to lack of spending restraint than it is to lowering of tax revenue.

    Lastly, the behavior of the Republican Congress of that era should give you an insight into why the TEA Party is so popular today and why the TEA Party is not in lockstep with establishment Republicans. Establishment Republicans have lost their sense of fiscal conservatism.

  93. TangoMan says:

    To illustrate my point on the impact of the Bush Tax Cuts:

    Comparing tax revenues in the fourth fiscal year after the end of each of the past three recessions shows nearly equal tax revenues of:

    * 18.4 percent of GDP in 1987,
    * 18.5 percent of GDP in 1995, and
    * 18.4 percent of GDP in 2006.

    Tax revenues in 1995, under Clinton tax rates, are nearly identical to the 2006 tax revenues under the Bush tax rates.

    To illustrate the power of dynamic modeling, consider:

    In 2003, capital gains tax rates were reduced from 20 percent and 10 percent (depending on income) to 15 percent and 5 percent. Rather than expand by 36 percent from the current $50 billion level to $68 billion in 2006 as the CBO projected before the tax cut, capital gains revenues more than doubled to $103 billion.[10] (See Chart 2.) Past cap­ital gains tax cuts have shown similar results.

    As I noted in some other thread – Efficiency and Equality are vectors moving in opposite directions. This Obama interview with Gibson perfectly illustrates the dynamic and also illustrates the effect underlying dynamic forecasting:

    GIBSON: All right. You have, however, said you would favor an increase in the capital gains tax. As a matter of fact, you said on CNBC, and I quote, “I certainly would not go above what existed under Bill Clinton,” which was 28 percent. It’s now 15 percent. That’s almost a doubling, if you went to 28 percent.

    But actually, Bill Clinton, in 1997, signed legislation that dropped the capital gains tax to 20 percent.

    OBAMA: Right.

    GIBSON: And George Bush has taken it down to 15 percent.

    OBAMA: Right.

    GIBSON: And in each instance, when the rate dropped, revenues from the tax increased; the government took in more money. And in the 1980s, when the tax was increased to 28 percent, the revenues went down.

    So why raise it at all, especially given the fact that 100 million people in this country own stock and would be affected?

    OBAMA: Well, Charlie, what I’ve said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness.

    We saw an article today which showed that the top 50 hedge fund managers made $29 billion last year — $29 billion for 50 individuals. And part of what has happened is that those who are able to work the stock market and amass huge fortunes on capital gains are paying a lower tax rate than their secretaries. That’s not fair.

    Obama is not a pragmatist. A pragmatist would choose the policy which would enhance tax revenue. Obama is willing to lower tax revenue in order to hinder the ability of top income earners to earn money, thus reducing income gaps. In his mind this is “fair.”