The Impeachment Crisis Of 2015?

Could things possibly get worse on Capitol Hill? Grover Norquist seems to relish the possibility.

Grover Norquist predicts an epic showdown between President Obama and a Republican Congress if the President is re-elected:

NJ What if the Democrats still have control? What’s your scenario then?

NORQUIST Obama can sit there and let all the tax [cuts] lapse, and then the Republicans will have enough votes in the Senate in 2014 to impeach. The last year, he’s gone into this huddle where he does everything by executive order. He’s made no effort to work with Congress.

Norquist is making a few assumptions about 2012 here, but I don’t think they’re all that off base. The first is that the GOP will hold on to the House of Representatives and, while there is some generic ballot polling showing the Democrats leading Republicans right now, political analysts like Charlie Cook, Larry Sabato, and Stuart Rothenberg all expect the GOP to hold on to control this year. Partly, this is due to the simple advantages of incumbency, but to a large degree it’s due to the advantages that the GOP seems to be picking up in redistricting that will make it harder to unseat Republican incumbents in many states. The recently approved redistricting map in Virginia, for example, protects all incumbents quite nicely, including the three Republicans elected in 2010. In the Senate, even if the GOP doesn’t take control, they still have a fairly good shot of winning in states like Virginia, Missouri, Nebraska, and North Dakota. Looking ahead to the 2014 midterms, the large number of Democratic freshman elected in 2008 gives the GOP another chance to pick up enough seats to either take control or add to an already existing majority.

Norquist seems to be suggesting that the GOP would end up with enough Senators after the 2014 elections to convict the President after an Impeachment trial. That seems slightly silly to say the least since it would mean the GOP having at least 67 Senators, which is a higher majority than even the Democrats were able to achieve after back-to-back Congressional landslides in 2006 and 2008.

But the numbers don’t really matter, let’s consider for just a second what Norquist is saying here. He’s suggesting that a Republican Congress would consider impeaching a President because he refused to extend the Bush Tax Cuts or, to put it more precisely, because he refused to extend the Bush Tax Cuts for all taxpayers. It wouldn’t be the first time that a Congress tried to impeach a President over what was essentially a policy dispute, of course; that’s essentially what the Impeachment of Andrew Johnson was all about. That doesn’t make it proper, or even rational for that matter. On some level, I cannot honestly believe that Norquist is serious about this.

Nonetheless, this would appear to be an indication of the kind of position that Norquist intends to take regardless of what happens in the 2012 elections. The Bush Tax Cuts will undoubtedly be an issue in the election, and one can already foresee a Lame Duck Congress in November and December trying to deal with this issue. It seems almost impossible, though, that a Lame Duck Congress would be able to reach any kind of agreement on the issue at all. If President Obama loses the election, he’ll have no negotiating power at all and Republicans will simply wait until after January 20, 2013 to deal with the issue. Even if he is re-elected, though, the likelihood of a deal seems small. As in December 2010, the fact that President Obama is on record as saying he wants to extend the tax cuts for people earning less than $250,000/year will lead Republicans to play the same game of chicken that they did back then, betting that the President still won’t want to risk the tax cuts expiring. It will either work, or it will lead to a stand off.

Perhaps it will be different next time. There are some Republicans in the Senate, like Tom Coburn, who’ve expressed interest in negotiating a comprehensive tax reform package. That’s really the only way this silly stand-off over the Bush Tax Cuts can be resolved, because fighting every two years or so over extending them is a waste of time and only contributes to the sense of economic uncertainty that businesses which plan further ahead into the future than two years at a time. People like Norquist don’t help the situation at all, and if the GOP continues to follow his advice the party is just going to continue contributing to public frustration with Washington. At some point, they will pay a price for that at the polling place.

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Campaign 2012, Congress, Deficit and Debt, Politicians, Taxes, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. Isn’t their an oustanding constitutional issue as to whehter congress or the supreme court has the power to interpret what constitutes a “Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors” for the purpose of impeachment? One line of reasoning argues that it’s congress’s power and that they can impeach for anything that gets enough votes. The other line argues that it’s the court’s responsibility, and that they could thus dismiss an impeachment that, like this one, is based purely on political issues rather than a genuine charge of malfeasance.

  2. Jr says:

    Go for it.

    If BO is reelected and the GOP actually went through with this.(Which I highly doubt….), they can kiss the 2014 mid terms good bye.

  3. Brummagem Joe says:

    I saw this and it’s a measure of the lunacy that has overtaken sections of the GOP. Fundamentally to sustain the social programs like Medicare/SS and Defense which under no scenario that I can imagine are the American public going to be willing to surrender, we need tax revenues at the federal level to be around 20-22% of GDP. Period. This is not politics it’s math. Now Norquist and others may believe the American public is willing to scrap Medicare, privatise SS, shutdown the EPA, and all the other menu of crazy dishes they think they can force people to eat but it aint never going happen. You can simplify the tax code all you wish but at bottom we need around 20% of GDP to fund any recognizable form of govt. As for the Bush cuts whether Obama wins or loses they are ALL most likely to expire. Obama doesn’t have veto anything. There are not the votes in congress to pass an extension before December 2012. If he wins he can veto an extension even if the Republicans win both houses and if he loses the Republicans would have to achieve a trifecta with a massive majority in the senate to reinstate them.

  4. dennis says:

    Semi-off-topic, but am I wrong in advocating that the GWB-era tax cuts be eliminated and that the PPACA be scrapped for a full public single-payer option? My reasoning is this:

    1. It re-fills the coffers quickly;
    2. It takes a burden of corporations & small businesses to provide healthcare to employees.

    My thinking is, if the tax burden is spread out amongst us taxpayers, it will be less of a burden and actually allow corp’s & small biz more capital for expansion, research, whatever. But if we keep fighting a have/have-nots fight, we’re probably going to have a bigger social problem on our hands in the form of violent revolts & “taking what the rich have.”

    I’m no socialist, but I do think that not only do we have a moral obligation to help out our fellow countrymen, we should stop fighting useless, endless wars & spending money on killing people rather than healing people.

  5. dennis says:

    @dennis:

    That’ll be “off” corporations & small biz. Sorry.

  6. It’s been years since I called Nordquist the worst man in America … little did I know he’d try to live up to it.

  7. Jenos Idanian says:

    Technically speaking, the Senate is irrelevant on whether Obama is impeached. Impeachment is an exclusive power of the House. The Senate’s role is to try the president.

    And there are already grounds for impeachment, should the House choose to push it. The violation of the War Powers Act with the Libyan “kinetic military action.” The illegal recess appointments achieved by Obama unilaterally deciding when Congress is in session or recessed. Ordering the summary execution of American citizens without benefit of trial, or even indictment.

    Others cite specific provisions of ObamaCare and the detention provisions of the recent Defense bill, but I give him a pass on those — in those cases he’s following laws passed by Congress. That gives him the tiniest fig leaf of cover. But on the above, it was all unilateral.

    Not saying that he will or should be impeached on any of them, but they’re certainly arguable enough should the House choose to do so.

  8. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Jenos Idanian: Not saying that he will or should be impeached on any of them, but they’re certainly arguable enough should the House choose to do so.

    No doubt they are arguable to those suffering from chronic ODS like yourself but they’re unlikely to resonate with anyone in the real world.

  9. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Brummagem Joe: Feel free to enlighten me, then, how the three specific issues I cited are just fine and dandy. I sit here breathless with anticipation.

    I’ll be even more flattered if you reconcile Barry’s Libyan Adventure with Senator Obama’s wholehearted support for the War Powers Act. That’ll be a Triple Lindy for the record books.

  10. Nikki says:

    @Jr: Exactly! Go for it, GOP! We all know that you’re simply improving the angle on that slide toward irrelevance.

  11. @dennis:

    Great, wonderful, sensible, rational, economically sound, and compassionate idea, Dennis. Which is why it will never happen. Or at least not in my lifetime, don’t know about yours.

  12. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    The Republicans have a majority in the house so why don’t they do what you claim they have a legal basis for? I wonder why?

  13. Jenos Idanian says:

    @dennis: Nice idea, but I’m afraid I can see several flaws in it. The first is the Golden Rule — “he with the gold make the rules.” Once it’s single-payer, then we all have a financial incentive in each other’s lifestyle choices — after all, we’re paying for them.

    See someone overweight? Give ’em hell, they’re costing us money. Someone smoking? Eating unhealthy foods?

    Here’s an ugly one. It’s a statistical fact that homosexual acts between two men involves a hell of a lot of health risks. Why should I have to pay for their illnesses?

    On the other hand, lesbians are a lot safer, health-wise. They’re a lot less likely to bear children. So we should give them breaks. Maybe let them smoke or something to make up for it.

    And don’t even get me started on “extreme sports” and other highly risky activities.

    The same arguments for why we need universal health care (“we all end up paying for you, so we can demand you act responsibly and get health insurance”) also stand for regulating people’s lifestyle choices.

  14. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Brummagem Joe: It’s a little thing called “choosing your battles.” Plus, there’s the old saw — “if you strike against a king, be sure to kill him.”

    Note that I said that there are grounds under which Obama could be impeached — not that he should. I realize that you have issues with grasping such nuances, but every now and then they’re important.

    Personally, I have concerns about the War Powers Act, and hoisted a beer when Anwar AlAwlaki was converted into dog food. But that doesn’t change the fact that Obama’s actions in both cases raise serious Constitutional issues.

  15. sam says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Isn’t their an oustanding constitutional issue as to whehter congress or the supreme court has the power to interpret what constitutes a “Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors” for the purpose of impeachment?

    I dunno, but I doubt the Court would get involved. 1970, then Representative Gerald R. Ford defined impeachable offenses as “whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history.”

  16. sam says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    The same arguments for why we need universal health care (“we all end up paying for you, so we can demand you act responsibly and get health insurance”) also stand for regulating people’s lifestyle choices.

    Little OT, companies are doing that right now with employee health insurance, see The Smokers Surcharge. It wouldn’t surprise me if in a few years all company-supplied health insurance involved such regulation of lifestyle choices, to “keep costs down”, of course.

  17. Jenos Idanian says:

    @sam: That’s so right. And the Court would be very reluctant to get involved — their role in impeachment is very clearly defined: the Chief Justice presides over the trial when the impeached official is the President. That, combined with how Impeachment is an exclusive power of the Congress, says “hands off” very loudly and clearly.

  18. grumpy realist says:

    @Jenos Idanian: Funny, both Japan and the U.K. have a national health service and I don’t remember either of those countries passing any laws against extreme sports.

    (I’ve lived in both countries as well as the US and would MUCH prefer a National Health Service, complete with all the nanny-state do-gooderism involved, rather than the inefficient, ineffective, and EXPENSIVE mess that the US has. When I pay health insurance, I want it to go to pay for health services, not for large salary packages and overly complicated bureaucracy.)

  19. Jenos Idanian says:

    @sam: The difference there is that the “Smokers Surcharge” isn’t being imposed by the government. The employees in question have the option of quitting.

    Precisely how does one quit being a living American, short of emigration or suicide?

  20. anjin-san says:

    “if you strike against a king, be sure to kill him.”

    Sounds a lot like something our old friend Jay Tea said:

    http://wizbangblog.com/2011/03/23/barack-w-obama-1/

  21. Jenos Idanian says:

    @grumpy realist: Japan is an incredibly homogenous society, with an astonishing priority placed on conformity. The UK’s NHS is riddled with horror stories and bankrupting the nation, while the UK itself has no formal Bill of Rights for its subjects. (Not “citizens” — “subjects.” They’ve pretty much outlawed self-defense, for example, as numerous subjects have been locked up for improperly resisting criminals.)

    In other words, the comparisons don’t stand up.

  22. Jenos Idanian says:

    @anjin-san: Emerson was loopy in a lot of ways, but he had a few good ideas. I’ve seen that one in a ton of places. And that’s just sound advice — you can find the same sentiment in a lot of places. Sun Tzu and Macchiavelli also said similar things, I believe, but Emerson said it in English.

  23. rudderpedals says:

    The actual problem with single payer isn’t some sort of slippery slope, but that it’s harder to loot.

  24. sam says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    The difference there is that the “Smokers Surcharge” isn’t being imposed by the government. The employees in question have the option of quitting.

    Sure, but what if all companies adopted that policy? Then what? (These kind of things have a way a spreading in the business world — consider the transition from defined pensions to 401Ks). The story I reffed says about 20% of American companies already impose such a policy. Not every kind of tyranny originates with government.

  25. Jib says:

    @sam: True. If the house and senate remove a president, the supreme court will NOT say ‘no you dont’. The impeachment is bad enough. Once done, you cant have a prez stay in power and the legislature not recognize him. That would a true, military take over kind of constitutional crisis.

    I do not think this is going to happen BUT the house impeaching a prez for their own reasons is the way the US becomes a parliamentary democracy. The senate is a broken institution, having it go the way of the house of lords in no big deal to most people or wont be in a few years if it keeps going to way it is. If the house ever decides to start impeaching any one who is not a member of the majority party, then you get the house running the whole govt.

    I have read several poly sci people say our form of democracy is inherently unstable. That’s why no one else adopts its form, they all do versions of parliament. It has latest this long but that does not mean it will last forever.

  26. Jenos Idanian says:

    @sam: There are some very talented smokers. I’ve known quite a few. Here’s one possible solution: a bunch of smokers get together and start their own company, without that rule. They can then snatch up as many of the displaced smokers as they want.

    Or some company could do the same, seeing the potential advantages.

    The free market always seems to find a way.

  27. john personna says:

    I am not a constitutional lawyer (nor any other kind) but given that the Constitution does provide a clear path for policy resolution between Congress and the President (veto and override), I’d think the Supremes would shoot it down.

    Not that it would ever happen. All Grover has done is highlight his own insanity, as well as any who follow along.

  28. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Jenos Idanian“: Note that I said that there are grounds under which Obama could be impeached — not that he should. I realize that you have issues with grasping such nuances, but every now and then they’re important.”

    Actually I think you’re the one with a nuance problem. You said he’d committed impeachable acts. These are crimes therefore if he’d committed them there would be an obligation on the house to bring proceeding against him. If you for example know that a crime has been committed and fail to report it you could be prosecuted as an accessory. The reason they don’t act is because there is no basis for such charges outside the fevered imagination of chronic ODS sufferers like yourself.

  29. Brummagem Joe says:

    @john personna: I am not a constitutional lawyer (nor any other kind)

    Don’t worry about it, Jenos will give you the benefit of his immense legal expertise. He’s also an expert on hedge fund management. lol

  30. Jenos Idanian says:

    @john personna: I am not a constitutional lawyer (nor any other kind) but given that the Constitution does provide a clear path for policy resolution between Congress and the President (veto and override), I’d think the Supremes would shoot it down.

    Good morning, Mr. Personna. I hope you enjoyed your years-long nap. Since you went to sleep, the relationship between the Executive and Legislative branches has completely gone to pot; they can’t seem to get together on anything to resolve their disagreements. Plus, you missed my pointing out how Impeachment is an exclusive power of Congress, meaning that it can’t be meddled with by either the Judicial or Legislative branches. Much like the Court can’t order the president to veto a bill, or Congress can’t declare laws it passes Constitutional.

    May I get you a cup of coffee?

  31. john personna says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Actually my coffee is just ready! What a wonderful coincidence.

    Beyond that, where did you study constitutional law?

  32. @dennis:

    2. It takes a burden of corporations & small businesses to provide healthcare to employees.

    How is it less of a burden then? Because it’s being paid for with the foliage from the magical money tree behind the capital building?

    If you want to advocate for government healthcare, fine, but don’t pretend a particular expense is less of a burden when paid for with tax dollars then it is when the same amount is paid directly.

  33. @grumpy realist:

    ALL countries with political systems comparable to ours have national or universal health care systems. Some are more comprehensive than others, but the U.S. is the *only* country in the entire world that we would consider peers or even roughly comparable to us that does not have any form of unified, national health care.

  34. Jib says:

    @john personna: I dont think so. The supreme court really does not like getting in between the legislature and judicial branch. Mainly because if they rule one way or another, they run the risk that the branch they rule against ignores them. Then what happens? How many divisions does the supreme court command?

    That is why the real and dangerous crazy man out there is not Grover, it is Gingrich. He has said during this campaign that if the supreme court made a ruling he disagreed with, he would ignore it.

  35. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Brummagem Joe: What part of “choose your fights” did you not grasp? Only zealots, idiots, lunatics, and the occasional saint commit themselves to fights that they will not only lose, but actually end up strengthening the foe, and I’m none of those.

    I’ve known quite a few lawyers, and done plenty of debating. Simply putting forth an argument doesn’t mean one necessarily holds it, and I specifically said I wasn’t overly troubled by two of them.

    Let me make an assumption, and say you’re for gay marriage. Obama’s on record, repeatedly, saying he opposes it. Why aren’t you denouncing him at every opportunity? Why aren’t gay activists and other gay marriage supporters not challenging him and denouncing his “hateful” position?

    (The answer is, he really does support it, but won’t come out and say so. They approve of his constant lying on the matter. But it’s a convenient point here.)

  36. @Jenos Idanian:

    “The free market always seems to find a way.’

    A way to what?

  37. Jib says:

    @Jib: Sorry, that should be ‘they dont like getting in between the legislative and executive branches’ since the supreme court is in the judicial branch.

  38. Jeremy R says:

    NORQUIST Obama can sit there and let all the tax [cuts] lapse, and then the Republicans will have enough votes in the Senate in 2014 to impeach.

    Behold — the man nearly every elected Republican has sworn fealty to.

    http://s3.amazonaws.com/atrfiles/files/files/120111-federalpledgesigners.pdf

  39. @sam:

    I dunno, but I doubt the Court would get involved. 1970, then Representative Gerald R. Ford defined impeachable offenses as “whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history.”

    The court has to get involved, they would be the presiding judge at any impeachment trial, and if the defense moves the charges be dismissed because the charges have no basis in actual law, they have to rule one way for the other.

    And just because Ford had a particular opinion on the matter doesn’t mean that’s the actual law.

  40. @grumpy realist:

    When I pay health insurance, I want it to go to pay for health services, not for large salary packages and overly complicated bureaucracy.

    Really? You’re going to argue there’s no one working for the NHS that could be described as a beauracrat and who receives a large salary? Again, if you prefer government beuracracies to corporate ones, fine, but lets not pretend government programs never involve administrative problems.

  41. @Kathy Kattenburg:

    ALL countries with political systems comparable to ours have national or universal health care systems.

    ALL countries with political systems comparable to ours don’t tax overseas earnings of their domestic corporations or citizens either. Are you going to argue the US should drop the principle of universal taxation on the same grounds?

    Just because other countries do something a particular way is not in and of itself an argument the US ought to be doing it the same way.

  42. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Jenos Idanian: “What part of “choose your fights” did you not grasp? Only zealots, idiots, lunatics, and the occasional saint commit themselves to fights that they will not only lose, but actually end up strengthening the foe, and I’m none of those. ”

    So according to your logic the Republican house is failing to fulfill its legal responsibilities? Failing in its duties in fact. It couldn’t be anything to do with the fact that any such charges would be laughed out of any court in the land.

  43. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Stormy Dragon: The court has to get involved, they would be the presiding judge at any impeachment trial, and if the defense moves the charges be dismissed because the charges have no basis in actual law, they have to rule one way for the other.

    I really, really suggest you re-study the Clinton impeachment. Senator Robert Byrd moved to dismiss the charges; the motion was defeated by Senate vote. Chief Justice Rehnquist acknowledged that such a decision was out of his hands, as impeachment is an exclusive power of Congress, and only Congress can make such decisions.

    I’m seriously sick of repeating that point. US Constitution, Article I, Sections 2 and 3. The House has the sole power of impeachment, and the Senate has sole power to try impeachment. “Sole” means the other two branches can not intervene.

    Look it up yourself, FFS. I’m even getting bored with myself saying it, and I always find myself endlessly fascinating.

  44. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Brummagem Joe: No, the House failed in its legal responsibilities when it, under Democrats, went two frigging years without passing a budget. No one has a legal responsibility to try something doomed to fail.

    Besides, there are alternative solutions. One of ’em is coming up this November. Other ways involve taking these matters to court. The courts certainly won’t be tied up ruling on the legality of an impeachment…

  45. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Jenos Idanian: “No, the House failed in its legal responsibilities when it, under Democrats, went two frigging years without passing a budget. No one has a legal responsibility to try something doomed to fail.”

    Ah so now we’re changing the subject again as you always try to do when like a rat you’re cornered. The cornering has been faintly entertaining but has now become boring.

  46. sam says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    The court has to get involved, they would be the presiding judge at any impeachment trial, and if the defense moves the charges be dismissed because the charges have no basis in actual law, they have to rule one way for the other.

    Uh, I’m not sure the role of the chief justice in the impeachment trial of a president tracks with that of a judge in a criminal trial. That said, I cannot ever imagine a presiding chief justice throwing out charges brought by the House. That would precipitate a constitutional crisis of the first order. He or she might personally think the charges are bogus but would sit up there in majestic silence as the game played out. I think the phrase “in actual law” has near-zero zero applicability in an presidential impeachment trial.

  47. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Brummagem Joe: Keep reading, Joey. I did answer you.

    But I can understand how having that little factoid thrown in your face can totally discombobulate you. It’s one of those inconvenient truths that just won’t go away…

  48. An Interested Party says:

    Only zealots, idiots, lunatics, and the occasional saint commit themselves to fights that they will not only lose, but actually end up strengthening the foe…

    Indeed, much like what the GOP tried to do with Clinton…if Republicans are stupid enough to try the same thing with the President, they will lose again, this time perhaps with even greater consequences for the GOP…

    …and I always find myself endlessly fascinating.

    Definitely Jay Tea…

  49. sam says:

    Heh. On the Clinton impeachment. I recall my devoutly Catholic (and elderly) mother-in-law saying it was it nonsense. “So what if he got a blow job. They all do it.,” she said. I don’t know what shocked me more. Hearing her say ‘blow job’ or believing all presidents did it. (I didn’t tell her the blow job wasn’t at issue…although we all know it was.)

  50. @Stormy Dragon:

    When it’s delivery of essential health care services we’re talking about, and the U.S. spends more on health care than any other developed country in the world, and does a worse job than any other developed country in the world at ensuring that all its citizens have access to basic health care, and every other developed country in the world has found ways to address that problem better than the U.S., then I think those are pretty good indications that the U.S. should be looking to those other countries for a better way.

  51. Ben Wolf says:

    @Stormy Dragon: It appears that NHS employees are not particularly well-paid.

    http://www.glassdoor.com/Salary/UK-National-Health-Service-Salaries-E12873.htm

  52. Ben Wolf says:

    @Kathy Kattenburg: Agreed. This ridiculous notion the U.S. has nothing to learn from anyone is arrogant, prideful and wasteful. The rest of the developed world has superior health systems and at this point only the intellectually dishonest argue otherwise.

  53. Ben Wolf says:

    @Jenos Idanian: You’re an idiot. The Chief Justice presides over impeachment precedings and the Senate acts as jury. The Judicial branch is most certainly involved.

  54. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    A few minutes ago on a different thread you said this to me:

    Jenos Idanian says:
    Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 14:20
    @anjin-san: Shut up, you lying sack

    And now you want to have a civil chat about The Art of War?

    Forget your meds today?

  55. anjin-san says:

    Don’t worry about it, Jenos will give you the benefit of his immense legal expertise. He’s also an expert on hedge fund management.

    He also writes for Jane’s in his spare time.

  56. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Ben Wolf:That’s so right. And the Court would be very reluctant to get involved — their role in impeachment is very clearly defined: the Chief Justice presides over the trial when the impeached official is the President. That, combined with how Impeachment is an exclusive power of the Congress, says “hands off” very loudly and clearly.

    Hey, I think I said that a couple of hours ago…

  57. Jenos Idanian says:

    @anjin-san: I have trouble maintaining my grudges. It’s a flaw of mine. Thanks for the reminder, lying sack.

  58. @Jenos Idanian:

    It also says “When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside”. What does the word “preside” mena? If the justice literal has no power but to sit their with his finger up his nost while the Senate does whatever it wants, what’s the point of having him there to begin with?

    Also, suppose that at the impeachment trial, the sent votes and the result is 58 to remove, 42 to not. A senator then moves that the Senate rule that the 58 vote majority be considered to have met the two thirds requirement to remove the president, which also passes 58-42. If the courts cannot say “No Senate, that’s not how it works”, is the President now removed?

  59. @Ben Wolf:

    Yeah, if you look at entry level job openings at insurance companies, they’re not paid very well either. The problem in both cases is the senior officials and administrators:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/7871435/More-than-300-NHS-executives-have-a-larger-salary-than-the-prime-minister.html

  60. @Kathy Kattenburg:

    “We need to change this because we’re wasting too much money for too little return” is a good argument. “We need to change this because France did” is not.

  61. anjin-san says:

    lying sack

    Maybe some day we will run into each other – you can call me that to my face and see how it works out for you 🙂

  62. john personna says:

    @Jib:

    That is why the real and dangerous crazy man out there is not Grover, it is Gingrich. He has said during this campaign that if the supreme court made a ruling he disagreed with, he would ignore it.

    Oh yeah, I saw that too. The GOP couldn’t catch a break this week. It was a race to the bottom in the crazy party.

  63. @Stormy Dragon:

    “We need to change this because we’re wasting too much money for too little return” is a good argument. “We need to change this because France did” is not.”

    To repeat, my argument is that we need to change our health care delivery system because it’s too expensive and doesn’t deliver health care, and since every other country in the civilized modern world (not just France) have found ways to deliver health care comprehensively and efficiently at significantly lower cost than we do, using a universal, national health care model, we would do well to follow their example.

    Now you can rephrase that any way you like, but that’s what I’m saying. And what I’m NOT saying is that we have to change our health care system because France did, or because Switzerland or England or Canada did. We need to change our system because it doesn’t work, AND THEIRS DOES. And you know that’s what I’m saying. So you can either tell me that we agree on this point, or you can drag my words around and rephrase them so you can save face. Your choice.

  64. @Ben Wolf:

    This ridiculous notion the U.S. has nothing to learn from anyone is arrogant, prideful and wasteful.

    Objecting to an appeal to popularity is not the same as saying we have nothing to learn. But good ideas are good ideas because of the content of those ideas, not because of how widespread they are. Kathy’s initial statement had nothing to say about how we would benefit from different ideas from outside, just a blanket assertion that we simply MUST do what all the cool kids are doing this week.

  65. dennis says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    I understand your point. My thinking is that we’re paying anyway, and that shared paying (there’s that ol’ socialism again) spreads out the cost so it’s not as much on all of us at once. What would be the cost to each taxpayer per pay period, for example? I’m paying $350/mo for healthcare. Would my share of taxes be lower under single payer, where we ALL are contributing to “group” insurance, the group being all U.S. residents? I don’t know.

    IRT your point about everyone having a stake in everyone else’s health. Meh, I don’t buy it, simply because we’ll be paying anyway. And quit picking on fat people.

  66. @Kathy Kattenburg:

    I’m NOT saying is that we have to change our health care system because France did, or because Switzerland or England or Canada did.

    That may not be what you MEANT to say, but that very clearly is what you DID say:

    ALL countries with political systems comparable to ours have national or universal health care systems. Some are more comprehensive than others, but the U.S. is the *only* country in the entire world that we would consider peers or even roughly comparable to us that does not have any form of unified, national health care.

    Note: not a single word there about those other countries being less expensive, or more effective. Just a blanket assertion that we need to do what they’re doing purely because they’re all doing it.

  67. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Going by the Clinton precedent, the Chief Justice would ask the Senate to rule on any motions of substance by vote. As I said above, that’s what Rehnquist did when there was a motion to dismiss all charges. The Court understands that their role is extremely precisely defined and limited, and would respect that.

    As far as your “redefine math,” I find it as absurd as the President deciding when Congress is in session or not. It’s simply not possible.

    OK, I’m gonna have to think about that one.

  68. dennis says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    I just asked the question, Stormy, as to why it would not be less of a burden on all if the cost was spread out. Healthcare costs may remain the same, they may go up (though I doubt it, once you get the inefficiency & graft our of the system). Point is, we all pay a little less, as the cost is shared. Am I not being clear about the shared cost idea?

  69. Jenos Idanian says:

    @dennis: Some of us have philosophical issues with being commanded to pay for something by the government, vs. choosing to pay for it. And to us, it ain’t about the amount. It’s about choice.

    Plus, your notion is built on the notion that the government can handle it more efficiently than private sector, and that’s usually good for a snicker or two.

    There’s a local co-op supermarket close to me. I got no problem, ‘cuz it’s an entirely voluntary thing. I’ve also bought food from some farm co-ops, and have no problems there, either. Because no one is compelled to be a member, or compelled to in any way to support it.

    As far as picking on the calorically enhanced… well, that one kinda came to mind first ‘cuz I fall into that group myself.

  70. @Stormy Dragon:

    “Objecting to an appeal to popularity is not the same as saying we have nothing to learn.”

    No, it isn’t the same, but your objection to an appeal to popularity made and makes no sense, because no one was making an argument based in an appeal to popularity.

    “But good ideas are good ideas because of the content of those ideas, not because of how widespread they are.”

    Good ideas are good ideas because they get the desired results using ethical and legal means. Obviously, every other country in the world that uses a national health care model has gotten results far better than our health care system has done, so the logical and rational conclusion is that those better results are because they are all doing it better than we are, not because of how many countries are doing it.

    You are — in my opinion, willfully — misinterpreting the clear meaning of what I and a few others have said.

    “Kathy’s initial statement had nothing to say about how we would benefit from different ideas from outside, just a blanket assertion that we simply MUST do what all the cool kids are doing this week.”

    I made no such assertion. I said that if every other democratic, developed country in the world has a health care system based on some form of universal or nationalized health care, and if every other democratic, developed country in the world provides a more efficient, less expensive health care system than we would do well to look at their systems and find a way to model our system on one or more of theirs. That’s simple common sense. It has nothing to do with an appeal to popularity or what the cool kids are doing.

  71. @dennis:

    If we spend 16% of GDP on healthcare, that’s 16% of our GDP not available for other uses. Whether we collect that 16% through taxes or by direct spending doesn’t change that. And from a business’s perspective, a dollar in taxes vs. a dollar insurance payments has the same impact on their margin. The economic drag argument always seems to assume that there’s no economic drag associated with increased taxes, so that if we eliminate insurance payments but increase taxes by an equivalent amount, this represents a net gain.

    The only way “spreading it out” could be a less of a burden on a particular company is if it gets transferred to a company currently offering no coverage. Which may be a good idea, but not for your “economic drag” reasons because then all the companies benefitting from less drag are offset by all the companies suddenly facing more drag.

  72. Jenos Idanian says:

    @dennis: You just hit on one of my biggest critiques of PPACA:

    Healthcare costs may remain the same, they may go up (though I doubt it, once you get the inefficiency & graft our of the system).

    You ain’t seen NOTHIN’ like “inefficiency & graft” until the government is running it. Especially since it was headed up by the Chicago Democratic machine.

    In the private sector, when it happens, you can change companies, report them to their superiors, or even report it to the authorities. When it’s the government, you’re pretty much screwed.

  73. @Stormy Dragon:

    Well, I would argue that the greater effectiveness and lower cost of their systems is implied, and that you’re taking an overly literalistic approach to interpreting my meaning, but even if that’s not so, I clearly reiterated my point many, many, many times over making it crystal clear that we need to follow the universal national health care model because every other country that’s gone to such a system has better health care delivery and lower costs than we do.

    So at this point, I would expect you to say, Okay, I thought you were saying something different at the start, but now you’ve made your point clear and I clearly understand it, and I agree.

  74. @Kathy Kattenburg:

    because no one was making an argument based in an appeal to popularity.

    Yes, someone is:

    ALL countries with political systems comparable to ours have national or universal health care systems. Some are more comprehensive than others, but the U.S. is the *only* country in the entire world that we would consider peers or even roughly comparable to us that does not have any form of unified, national health care.

    Again, that was a textbook example of an appeal to popularity. It asserts something is a good idea solely based on how common support for that idea is. Now again, that may not be the argument you meant to make, but it is the argument you made. It’s not my fault I can’t read your mind over the internet to discover all the points you were thinking of but did not bother to type.

  75. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Stormy Dragon: You’re worried about 16% of the GDP? Our federal debt is 100% of GDP. I find that at least six times as alarming.

  76. @Kathy Kattenburg:

    So at this point, I would expect you to say, Okay, I thought you were saying something different at the start

    I didn’t just think you were saying something else. You were saying something else. I wasn’t willfully misreading you. I wasn’t being overly literal. You weren’t communicating the point your apparently wanted to make because it was easier for you to make a emotional appeal rather than an actual argument. I’m glad you finally made your actual argument later, but I’m not offerring an apology, regardless of whether or not you expect one or not.

  77. @Jenos Idanian:

    As far as your “redefine math,” I find it as absurd as the President deciding when Congress is in session or not. It’s simply not possible.

    Yes, it is absurd, hence the phrase “Reducto ad absurdum”. But if, as you say, the Senate is the sole arbiter of what goes at an impeachment trial, and anything they agree to by majority vote is law, what prevents this particular bit of absurdity? If it’s just the Senators’s individual senses of shame, we’re in big trouble.

  78. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Stormy Dragon: You remind me of the various pranks where state legislators voted to define Pi as 3. (Note that not one of those measures ever stayed in force for very long.) My hunch says that the fear of backlash at the polls and the possibility of placing that power in the hands of the opposite party when they retake the Senate would keep that from happening.

    Also, I’m wondering if something that absurd might actually prompt the Chief Justice to steer a little. Such as, say, ruling that changing such definitions might require a 2/3 majority… which, since the motion would still be defending, would still constitute 67 votes.

    Interesting suggestion. If you’ll pardon the pun, and understand that I mean it as a compliment, let me say that it definitely came out of left field…

  79. @Jenos Idanian:

    If you’ll pardon the pun, and understand that I mean it as a compliment, let me say that it definitely came out of left field…

    While I accept your pun in the complimentary spirit it was offered, I think most of the other regulars will vouch that I’m definitely not left wing with regards to ideology, just very disloyal when it comes to Republican partisan matters. ;>

  80. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Fair dinkum, mate.

  81. Ben Wolf says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Our federal debt is 100% of GDP. I find that at least six times as alarming.

    Ah, so you’re objecting to the private sector saving money. Yes, certainly something to lose sleep over.

  82. steve says:

    ” The UK’s NHS is riddled with horror stories and bankrupting the nation”

    The Brits, as a percentage of GDP, pay about half what we do. If anything is bankrupting them, it is not their health care system. The US system is riddled with horror stories.

    Steve

  83. WR says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Geeze, Stormy, we’ve only been having this debate about health care for what — twenty years? If you’re not yet sufficiently familiar with the terms of the argument that you actually don’t know that the argument for following the French or English model is that they provide more services for more people for far less money, then it’s hardly Kathy’s fault she didn’t feel compelled to connect the already insanely well-connected for you.

    You’re usually such a spritely and engaging debater, but you’re acting like some sour right winger on this thread. I hope you’re merely unengaged, and that there isn’t something wrong….

  84. Ben Wolf says:

    @steve: The Japanese spend half what we do, and I don’t recall any horror stories there. And before anyone trots out the inevitable objection, the Japanese are greater consumers of health care than we are.

  85. dennis says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    “Especially since it was headed up by the Chicago Democratic machine.”

    You’ve just rendered your argument invalid with bias.

  86. dennis says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    “The only way “spreading it out” could be a less of a burden on a particular company is if it gets transferred to a company currently offering no coverage. Which may be a good idea, but not for your “economic drag” reasons because then all the companies benefitting from less drag are offset by all the companies suddenly facing more drag.”

    Yeah, that’s kinda the point of shared national responsibility . . .

  87. @WR:

    Well, I was kinda hoping for an interesting discussion of potential constitutional issues within the impeachment process and instead I got a tired old debate on healthcare. And then someone pulled an argument that’s one of my beserk buttons.

  88. @Stormy Dragon:

    There’s this thing about conversation, Stormy Dragon, where people don’t spell everything out when the conversation is about a subject that has been widely discussed for decades and where anyone interested enough in the topic to discuss it already understands and is aware of the basic, underlying issues and premises of the subject.

    I assumed in my initial comment that you already were aware that that the U.S. healthcare system does not work to deliver healthcare and costs too much, and that there has been much discussion taking place around the fact that all other countries in the world that have adopted some kind of universal health care delivery system have far lower health costs AND get at least basic health care to more of their citizens. I thought you already knew these underlying ideas, and so it did not occur to me that you would assume my reference to every other developed country having some kind of universal or nationalized health care meant I believed we should adopt systems like those because all the cool countries have them.

    Obviously, my assumption was incorrect in your case, but I still maintain that for the vast majority of individuals engaging in a discussion like this it would not be, and they would not need to have basic realities spelled out in order for them to understand the meaning of what was being said.

  89. @WR:

    Thank you, WR. I just said much the same thing to Stormy Dragin, but you said it a lot more concisely.

  90. @Kathy Kattenburg:

    Thank you, WR. I just said much the same thing to Stormy Dragin, but you said it a lot more concisely.

    WR also isn’t patronizing and condescending.

    people don’t spell everything out when the conversation is about a subject that has been widely discussed for decades and where anyone interested enough in the topic to discuss it already understands and is aware of the basic, underlying issues and premises of the subject.

    Again, you didn’t make an argument about efficiency and leave out the details. You didn’t make an argument about efficiency at all; you appealed to popularity. Period. Stop trying to act like I didn’t understand what you said because I’m calling you on it.

  91. anjin-san says:

    ” The UK’s NHS is riddled with horror stories

    Its interesting that Republicans are fixated on stories about a man in England pulling out a tooth with a pair of pliers but they don’t give a shit about Americans who are suffering due to inadequate health care or freezing to death in in a cardboard box under an overpass tonight right here in the USA.

  92. @Stormy Dragon:

    “WR also isn’t patronizing and condescending.”

    Neither am I. You, on the other hand, are thick-headed and dishonest.

    “You didn’t make an argument about efficiency at all; you appealed to popularity. Period.”

    No, I did not. That is demonstrably and unarguably untrue. If I had been appealing to popularity, I would have stated that I was appealing to popularity. I made a statement of fact — that every developed country in the world except the U.S. has gone to a universal and/or national health care model. That is objectively not an appeal to popularity. YOU injected that reasoning in there and attributed it to me. Stop the dishonesty.

  93. Jenos Idanian says:

    Commenter banned for repeated violation of site policies.

  94. WR says:

    @Jenos Idanian: How amusing to hear this from our newest regular, since I have barely responded to him, if at all. Gosh, I wonder if the newly born Jenos has been here under a different name before. But heavens, what in the name of Tea could that name possibly have been? This man is so clever!

  95. grumpy realist says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Show me where the salaries of CEO-equivalents in the public sector are the same as the salaries in the private sector.

    Pull up the salaries of the CEO of every single private insurance company in the US. Tell me that isn’t over the top.

    Look at the percentage that is paid in paperwork in Social Security. Compare that to the equivalent in private health insurance. If the private market worked the way you silly libertarians claim it does, the latter would always be less than the former. It thus seems to me that there’s a hell of a lot of fat that can be cut out of private health insurance. They’re inefficient as hell.

  96. grumpy realist says:

    @Stormy Dragon: I said “overly complicated bureaucracy”, not “bureaucracy in general.”

    For all the yowling you libertarians do about Eeeevil Bureaucracy, why is it you never look at how private companies can be just as ghastly as the government?

    (I also don’t understand how if something gets done by the government, it’s Evil and Horrible, but you suddenly move the exact same job to the private sector and now it’s Wonderful and Good, even if it costs twice as much.)

  97. grumpy realist says:

    @anjin-san: One of my own acquaintances had to pull out a tooth with pliers here in the US due to lack to dental insurance and existing cash. I suggest that people posting here be a little more humble about the so-called “great health care” that the US supposedly offers.

  98. Jenos Idanian says:

    @grumpy realist: I’ll give you a few explanations:

    1) When it’s done by the government, we pay for it. When it’s done by the private sector, we get to choose whether or not we pay for it.

    2) When it’s the government, we have no choices. When it’s the private sector, we do.

    3) When it’s done by the government, it has the force of law behind it. When it’s the private sector, we can get the government involved if they go too far.

    4) The Constitution spells out very specific limits on the role of the federal government. Some of us believe quite strongly in that.

    I don’t expect you to agree with those points, but I hope you can grasp them enough to accept that there are other, valid viewpoints.

  99. @grumpy realist:

    One of my own acquaintances had to pull out a tooth with pliers here in the US due to lack to dental insurance and existing cash.

    What a coincidence:

    Brits resort to pulling own teeth

    I’m not saying there aren’t problems with our current system. I just object to people who act like the NHS doesn’t have many of the same problems. The reality is most of the problems we have in both countries aren’t problems related to whether something is run privately or by the government. They’re the problems you get in any massive organization, simply because humans aren’t good at organizing beyond a certain scope, yet inist on trying to make organizations far larger than that limit.

  100. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Careful, mate. People will start accusing you of being one of those small-government lunatics and urging you to relocate to Somalia or something…

  101. James in LA says:

    In summary, Jenos Idanian has lost the argument today on points, style, and accuracy. His is not the America a majority would prefer.

  102. Jenos Idanian says:

    Commenter banned for repeated violation of site policies.

  103. anjin-san says:

    I just object to people who act like the NHS doesn’t have many of the same problems

    My sense is that most Americans who favor more government involvement in health care insurance or a single payer plan feel that the NHS is a poor model for us to emulate and we should look elsewhere for ideas on how to reform our system.

    the so-called “great health care” that the US supposedly offers

    Well, it is great if you can afford it – I don’t have any doubt that the top US hospitals and doctors are the best there is. Here in the bay area quite a few world class hospitals. On the other hand, when I turned 50 and had a colonoscopy, the initial bill was 13.5K. For a routine proceedure that takes 45 minutes. A relative that had one done in the midwest around the same time said the bill was 3K. Houston, we’ve got a problem. Actually, we have a lot of them.

  104. @anjin-san:

    On the other hand, when I turned 50 and had a colonoscopy, the initial bill was 13.5K. For a routine proceedure that takes 45 minutes. A relative that had one done in the midwest around the same time said the bill was 3K.

    Part of the problem here is the weird way we shop for health care relative to anything else we buy. If there was a store that was charging five times as much for a television, or a dealer charging five times as much fro a car, or a realtor charging five times as much for a house, they’d quickly be out of business because no one would actually buy from them. For healthcare, most people don’t consider the price of one doctor vs. another at all.

  105. anjin-san says:

    @ Stormy

    That’s about right. And in markets like mine, providers just mark things up until they have insane margins to play with. My sense is that having the profit motive in the care loop corrupts the process. My former health care group sends out bills that are not itemized – basically just “you owe us $$$, pay up”, followed by “don’t want to pay what we say you have to? Fine, we will ruin your credit rating”.

    A number of times I called to asked them why bills were not itemized and was told “we have to do it like that because of HIPAA – which is a bald faced lie. I asked for a copy of their billing polices in writing – cut to endless holds and disconnected calls.

    Was also told I could have an itemize bill any time I wanted, all I had to do was call and request it. Why should I have to spend half an hour battling through their phone system just to see a proper bill? One one occasion, I was over billed, I payed most of the excessive amount and they took me to collections over it because I would not pay the total they demanded. After a protracted battle, I got a refund on the overcharge and the damage to my credit score was corrected, but the amount of time I spent on the matter was worth far more than the $800 I got back. There were a number of incidents like this.

    My conclusion is that they are systematically overcharging customers and making it as difficult as possible to access your billing information to hide that fact. I eventually got sick of this and switched to Kaiser. It’s a shame, because the standard of care that I had under the old plan was very good – I was happy with everything, except the getting ripped off part.

  106. @anjin-san:

    My sense is that having the profit motive in the care loop corrupts the process.

    Heh, good luck getting the medical community to abandon fee for service, which is the only way to eliminate the profit motive. If you think the insurance industry has good lobbyists, they’re nothing compared to the doctors and hospitals.

  107. @Stormy Dragon:

    Nothing weird about that. The choice of a television, a car, or a house are not matters of life and death. We have the time and freedom (“freedom” in a broad personal sense, not the political sense) to shop for a television or a car or a house that meets our requirements at a price we can afford. If we cannot find an affordable television, we can save up, do without, or buy one at a yard sale. I can’t afford a new television. I make do with one that was used when I bought it well over 10 years ago from a neighbor’s yard sale, and when it finally dies, I have a new one (new to me, not store-bought new) that someone in my apartment building left behind when they moved, and the super was kind enough to carry it up to my apartment. It cost me nothing. And getting it free will not endanger my life. If we cannot find a car or a house that meets our needs at a price we can afford, we can make other arrangements that, although they may not be as much to our liking, will not compromise our lives. We can rent an apartment or use public transportation or move to somewhere where there’s public transportation if we cannot find a house or a car we can afford. I used to own a home *and* a car. Now I live in a one-bedroom apartment with easy access to public transportation. It’s frustrating to rely on others for rides to places I cannot to on foot, but it’s not going to kill me.

    On the other hand, if I need a non-routine colonoscopy (meaning, because I have symptoms that might be colon cancer, not because it’s my annual checkup), I don’t have the luxury or personal option to shop around for the highest quality at the lowest price. First of all, it’s not as straightforward a matter to gauge the quality of the medical care one doctor provides as opposed to another, and second, I don’t have the luxury of significant time to make my choice. I can look around for maybe a week or two, but I am not going to wait longer than that to get a diagnostic colonoscopy when I’m experiencing symptoms that could be colon cancer, or indicative of some other serious medical condition.

  108. anjin-san says:

    (Reuters) – Nearly 45,000 people die in the United States each year — one every 12 minutes — in large part because they lack health insurance and can not get good care, Harvard Medical School researchers found in an analysis

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/09/17/us-usa-healthcare-deaths-idUSTRE58G6W520090917

    I don’t think we are in all that strong of a position to lecture others about the shortcoming of their health care systems.

    In the richest society in the history of the world, someone dies every 12 minutes because the don’t have health insurance. Damn.

  109. The Olde Man says:

    NH systems have three main goals.

    1. Cut the incomes of the doctors. This is already being done in medicare/medicaid with doctors bailing out as fast as they can. With a NHS, they would have no place to bail to.

    2. Cut the incomes of the drug companies. Note we have nearly 300 drugs now in short supply. Word on the Street is that in the main, they are price controlled.

    3. Suck up so much public revenue there is nothing left for Defense. Not a single one of the countries that has a NHS has a military that could fight its way out of a wet paper bag. Libya showed that. One flurry and NATO (or whomever) was out of ammo.

    4. The patient comes fourth, and it shows.

  110. anjin-san says:

    On a different topic, it was a 1,2,3 finish for Ford at Daytona today. kind of nice that will still have an automobile industry in this country.

  111. @anjin-san:

    On a different topic, it was a 1,2,3 finish for Ford at Daytona today. kind of nice that will still have an automobile industry in this country.

    You mean other than all the people who work for Honda, Toyota, and BMW, who don’t count because they’re not UAW members?

  112. anjin-san says:

    Suck up so much public revenue there is nothing left for Defense. Not a single one of the countries that has a NHS has a military that could fight its way out of a wet paper bag

    Well, we spend more per capital basis (a lot more) on health care than any other NATO country, so does your argument have any basis beyond warmed over Fox talking points? I like a good rant as much as the next guy, but you really do need to put a little meat on the bone…

  113. anjin-san says:

    You mean other than all the people who work for Honda, Toyota, and BMW, who don’t count because they’re not UAW members?

    I’m delighted that all those people have jobs. But that is not the issue.

    Let me ask you, have you ever worked for a major foreign corporation? I have. Sure they provide jobs to some Americans, but the profits go back overseas. The geopolitical advantages of dominating an essential industry are lost to us.

    Is your vision for American industry to have Americans working only as hired help in their own country? I would prefer that we remain master in our own house.

  114. @anjin-san:

    When comparing two multi-national corporations, both primarily owned by US Banks, that make money by assembling cars in the US from mostly from foreign parts, it stikes me as odd to categorize one as being domestic because it has an American sounding name and one as being foreign because it has a Japanese sounding name.

    And to worry that one somehow TOOK ER PROFERTS! by being more successful seems like the left-wing counterpart to the nativist paranoia that’s been rotting away the Republican party.

  115. anjin-san says:

    TOOK ER PROFERTS! by being more successful

    Are you deliberately mischaracterizing what I say, or

    stikes me as odd to categorize one as being domestic because it has an American sounding name and one as being foreign because it has a Japanese sounding name.

  116. anjin-san says:

    Sorry, hit post too soon.

    stikes me as odd to categorize one as being domestic because it has an American sounding name and one as being foreign because it has a Japanese sounding name.

    Are you saying that companies have no national Identity? When I worked for a Japanese company, the important decisions were all made in Japan. The profit went back to Japan. American Executives always reported to Japanese executives. It was not Japanese “because it had a Japanese sounding name, it was a Japanese company in every sense of the word.

    I am not complaining, I had a great experience there, and there is nothing unfair about their business practices. They simply place their national interests about ours, just as we do when the roles are reversed. At any rate, to suggest that an American multi-national and a foreign one have no difference but in name suggests to me that you might not have a great deal of business experience. There is a lot of commonality, and there are huge differences.

    And to worry that one somehow TOOK ER PROFERTS! by being more successful

    I said nothing of the sort and have no idea what you are talking about.

    When comparing two multi-national corporations

    When did that happen?

  117. WR says:

    @The Olde Man: ” Word on the Street is that in the main, they are price controlled. ”

    Unless your name is Huggy Bear, “word on the street” is generally the spin that some interested party wants you to believe as gospel. Why not find a fact or two before you start repeating propaganda?

  118. @anjin-san:

    The profit went back to Japan.

    No, the profit went back to the shareholders. And as a result of the “Lost Decade” forcing them to turn to other countries (particularly the US) to raise capital, most of the shareholders of what we generally consider Japanese companies are not Japanese. This is, for example, how Sony ended up with Howard Stringer (a welsh-born American) as CEO.

  119. anjin-san says:

    No, the profit went back to the shareholders.

    In this case, I am talking about a specific company. I was high enough up the food chain there that my boss reported to the CEO, so I am reasonably sure that my specific knowledge of it is a bit more accurate that your generalizations about Japanese companies.