Saturday, August 28, 2010

Republican Lies About Fannie, Freddie, And Frank

It's very clear what the priorities are. The Republicans are looking after the financial interests of the wealthiest individuals in this country ~ Ted Kennedy (2/22/1932 to 8/25/2009) United States Senator from Massachusetts and a member of the Democratic Party. Serving almost 47 years, he was the second most senior member of the Senate when he died and is the 4th-longest-serving senator in US history (11/7/1962 to 8/25/2009).

I was recently made aware of the fact that the Democratic Representative from Massachusetts Barney Frank "admitted that Fannie and Freddie were largely responsible for the economic downturn". I read about this shocking admission on Lisa's brand new Conservative blog.

The post, titled "The Problem with Leftists" contained a link to a 8/19/2010 article on the "RealClearPolitics" website (RealClearPolitics is a political news and polling data aggregator). (Note: see update below regarding Lisa's blog.)

According to Wikipedia RealClearPolitics (RCP) claims to be "non-partisan" and that "their goal is to give readers ideological diversity". I'm not buying it considering they also describe themselves "as frustrated with what they perceive as anti-conservative, anti-Christian media bias". Playing the victim is a typical Con diversionary tactic. They claim they're being discriminated against when the actual bias is in their favor.

For instance - on the 8/22/2010 edition of "Meet the Press", when Mitch McConnell remarked that President Obama "says he's a Christian, and I take him at his word", host David Gregory offered no pushback.

What Gregory should have objected to was McConnell's use of weasel words to suggest that President Obama MIGHT be a Muslim, but Mitch McConnel isn't sure... all he can do is "take him at his word". President Obama is suspected of being a Muslim - even though he attended a Christian church for 20 years - because he spoke out in favor of upholding the Constitutional rights of all Americans; regardless of what religion they practice? The corporate media (in this case "Meet the Press" and David Gregory) is lending credence to Republican talking points by allowing them to frame the debate.

The biased RCP article, "Barney Frank: Fannie & Freddie Must Go" accuses Congressman Frank of "dissembling and denial", and the Left of "blaming heartless Republicans and Wall Street for the crisis caused by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac". Unfortunately for RPC these lies have been thoroughly debunked. Nobel prize winning Economist Paul Krugman, in a 5/31/2009 article titled "Reagan Did It", points out that "Reagan-era legislative changes essentially ended New Deal restrictions on mortgage lending - restrictions that... limited the ability of families to buy homes without putting a significant amount of money down".

Further deregulation shepherded through Congress by former Republican Congressman and McCain Campaign financial advisor Phil Gramm blew away the remaining FDR era protections. Republican deregulation caused the financial crisis, not Fannie and Freddie.

The problem with Lisa's claim that (according to the RCP article), Barney Frank "admitted that Fannie and Freddie were largely responsible for the economic downturn" - is that it's not true. RCP never states that Rep. Frank "admits" THEIR claim that "the crisis [was] caused by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac" is accurate. The RCP article does contain several quotes from Rep. Frank, but none of them amount to an admission by Congressman Frank that Fannie and Freddie were responsible. This "admission" is one that Lisa either invented or imagined.

The RCP article quotes Rep. Frank as saying, "There were people in this society who for economic [reasons can't] be homeowners". If you apply for a loan but your income and/or savings suggest you won't be able to pay off the loan, clearly it is not wise for a bank to make the loan. This is simply stating what should have been obvious. Remember it was former President bush's "ownership society" that encouraged home ownership with new policies like the zero-down-payment initiative, "a government-sponsored program that allowed people to get mortgages without a down payment".

In another quote from the article Congressman Frank says he now believes that the two secondary mortgage market government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) "should be abolished". RCP's response is, "better late than never", and concludes that it is "refreshing to hear a member of the Democratic Party admit his mistakes". The mistake RPC thinks Rep. Frank made was "stopping GSE reform in the early 2000s, at a time when such a move might have prevented the financial meltdown".

This claim is utter nonsense, as the Republicans controlled Congress during this time (1/4/1995 to 1/3/2007). The Speaker of the House sets the the legislative agenda, and during this period both Speakers, Newt Gingrich and Dennis Hastert, were Republicans. According to Rep. Frank, "I did not try to stop them from passing legislation to control subprime lending or to regulate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac". In his book "Financial Shock" economist Mark Zandi reveals that it was President Bush who "readily took up the homeownership baton... [and it was the] Bush administration [who] put substantial pressure on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to increase their funding of mortgage loans to lower-income groups".

Rep. Frank says he "sought directly to regulate subprime lending", but the legislation he and Michael Oxley (R-OH) worked on, the Finance Reform Act of 2005, was "defeated because, in the words of Mr. Oxley, the Bush administration gave his efforts the one-finger salute". According to Media Matters, when the Democrats regained control of the House in 2007 Rep. Frank (who became the new chairman of the House Financial Services Committee), "sponsored HR 1427, a bill to create the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), granting that agency general supervisory and regulatory authority over Fannie and Freddie and directing it to reform the companies...".

President bush signed the bill on 7/30/2008, but only because it was clear by that time that there was a problem (the housing market peaked in 2006). Five weeks later FHFA seized temporary control of Fannie and Freddie.

bush's excuse was that "Wall Street got drunk", but according to Portfolio.com "bush neglected to add that he was behind the bar, pouring the tequila shots for most of the night, and refusing to cut off the drunks before they'd reached their limits".

The Republicans have some nerve thinking the American people will believe the Democrats were responsible for the housing bubble when they weren't in the majority when the Republicans, as part of the bush administration's "aggressive housing agenda", passed legislation like the American Dream Downpayment Assistance Act, the "Minority Homeownership Initiative", and (the previously mentioned) "Zero Down Payment Initiative".

Rep. Frank warned of the potential danger of a deregulated subprime lending market, but "House Republicans blocked any efforts to legislate against it" and "Alan Greenspan refused to use congressional authority he'd been given in 1994 to regulate it". The reason was because gouging lower-income minorities (and non-minorities) was very profitable for the fat-cat bankers pulling the administration's strings. Republicans looking out for the interests of the upper-class lead directly to the economic downturn - any other assertion is revisionist propaganda.

Instead of "admitting" Fannie and Freddie are to blame, Congressman Frank defended the two GSEs by pointing out that "private companies sold Fannie and Freddie loans or securities based on fraudulent documents", and that "these transactions created private profits at public expense". In other words, Fannie and Freddie are the VICTIMS of fraud, and the federal government should go after the banks that sold them the bad loans and attempt to recover some of the money they lost.

The reason why Rep. Frank is now in favor of abolishing the GSEs is because he believes there should be "no more hybrid private-public", and because "if we want to subsidize housing then we [should] do it upfront and let the budget be clear about that".

I agree completely. Fannie and Freddie suffered such huge losses because of the bush initiatives which were designed to increase the profits of their banker buddies, and because the GSEs had been partly privatized. If they had been acting in the public interest using a not-for-profit model - I think it is highly unlikely they would have been swept up in the derivative fever.

But because the GSE CEOs were seeking to increase their profits (and their bonuses) Fannie and Freddie didn't do their due diligence in researching the soundness of the loans they purchased. They were blinded by the profit motive in exactly the same manner as the other financial institutions that we bailed out. And let us not forget the fraud that Rep. Frank mentioned, which wouldn't have occurred either if not for Republican deregulation.

I agree with Rep. Frank that Fannie and Freddie should be abolished and REPLACED. Let the shareholders suffer some of the losses while the federal government puts a new, not-for-profit 100% public agency in charge of providing financial support to the secondary mortgage market. Homeownership is a good thing, and should be encouraged, but (obviously) should only be an option for people who can afford it. And we can do our best to make it more affordable by returning to the not-for-profit model Fannie Mae operated under after it's founding in 1938 until it "was converted into a private shareholder-owned corporation" in 1968 (by Democratic President LBJ, although for non-ideological reasons).

Unfortunately Fannie and Freddie being "partially private" allowed the Republicans to corrupt the institutions from within. If the Cons can't get rid of a popular government program they hate they will attempt to convert it into a money making vehicle for the wealthy elites. Which is exactly what the bush administration did - the wealthy bankers profited (and collected record bonuses) while the American taxpayer got shafted to the tune of (approximately) $248 billion.

When the hell are the voters going to wake up and realize that Republican thieves are robbing us blind? Their campaign to extend the bush tax cuts is just the latest example of their continuing reverse-Robin Hood master plan to destroy the middle class and create a land of gentry. Perhaps I'm being a wee bit hyperbolic, but significantly less so than Righties who claim the Obama Administration is plotting a Marxist "fundamental transformation" of our country.

1/13/2011 Update: Lisa deleted her blog and started over, creating a new blog with the same name... Originally I updated the link to her post with a link to the page as cached by Google, but the Google cache has since expired. Fortunately I copied down the text and have posted it in my comments section. You'll just have to take my word for it that I didn't make any alterations.

See also: America Without A Middle Class by Elizabeth Warren, The Huffington Post 12/3/2009.

SWTD #51

37 comments:

  1. Excellent rebuttal. It is typical of conservatives to twist words and re-interpret second party claims as first party words, such as attributing RCP's claim that Fannie and Freddie were responsible for the financial meltdown to Frank.

    I took a look at Lisa's blog. Her background is fuzzy just like her thinking.

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  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  3. Paul Krugman is an intellectually dishonest hack

    He is also a master of Voodoo Statistics

    The beady-eyed bearded one should be ashamed of his political hackery. He is a brilliant, educated man, but he uses his skills to distort and obfuscate.

    Stripping away the politics, the issue is whether it is wise for government to promote and incentivize certain activities.

    Frank sounds like he's finally catching on to the timeless wisdom of Austrian School economics, which says government should not.

    Government involvement crowds out private enterprise, stifles market morality, and distorts the price signal that makes markets self-regulating.

    Government strays when it abandons being the referee and becomes a player.

    Does it bother you that the Democrats are just as deeply into crony capitalism as the republicans are?

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  4. this is an excellent post w. You know lisa is a sheep and quotes Fox news at every turn. She does not deserve the time of day from any of us. SF is another one who is blind to the truth even tho he can construct a sentence better than lisa.

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  5. The problem the republicans have had is that republican governmental philosophy gives up being the referee. With no referee, markets will not self-regulate. It will be like the wild west, the biggest gun will prevail.

    There are areas where government must be a player. The question is what are those areas, not that those areas don't exist.

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  6. The only thing Barney Frank is "catching on" to is that Fannie and Freddie have been corrupted... precisely because they are partially private.

    The Fannie & Freddie CEOs pursued unwise investements because they were trying to jack up the GSE's earnings... and thus their bonuses. And they LOBBIED Congress for the ability to do this.

    Barney Frank believes, and I agree, that it's time to start over. Not by turning this function over to the private sector, but by creating a new, fully public, government agency.

    As for the post(s) on your blog about how Krugman Distorts and Stossel Clarifies...

    Why should the Nobel prize winning economist Paul Krugman be "ashamed of his political hackery"? It isn't "hackery" to reveal the truth. If anyone should be ashamed it is the mustachioed "investigative journalist" John Stossel.

    This fool actually said he believes "markets are magical". Maybe magic is how he arrived at the conclusion that economist Paul Krugman was "confused" while Stossle, who isn't an economist, really knows what is going on. Stossel says, "in 10 years, under Obama's budget plan, the USA will likely be in same debt position as Greece is now".

    I had no idea that we'd be following Obama's budget plan for 10 years (longer than he'll be president)! Especially considering it is Congress that sets the budget, not the president.

    It is John Stossel who is distorting. Greece was not brought down by it's debt. Their downfall was engineered by Goldman Sachs.

    As for the "Austrian School" of economics, Wikipedia points out that "mainstream economists are generally critical of methodologies used by modern Austrian economists [because Austrian economists use] mainly verbal logic and what proponents claim are self-evident axioms. [Mainstrean economics] have advocated a rejection of [the Austrian] methods which involve directly using [non] empirical data in the development of (falsifiable) theories...".

    Their theories are unprovable. They do sound good, so I can understand why a Libertarian fool like Stossel believes them. We may have been dumb enough to accept that "supply side economics" is a valid theory (although hopefully not anymore). However nobody is dumb enough to buy this snake-oil... thank God. "Timeless wisdom"? Sounds like timeless bullshit to me. Anyone who buys into this nonsense is only doing so because it is what they want to hear.

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  7. Sure, government running everything works... Where?

    The government-crony crapitalists run fannie and freddie into the ground so the liberal cry is More Government!

    Krugman uses selectively picked slices of data to "prove" his diabolical point. I just gave you one example of how he used a deficit projection and ignored what it would do to the overall debt.

    "Supply side" is a red herring. A free market economy requires supply and demand.

    It also requires people with money to hire people to make things and do stuff. As the 1930's and the Obama economy show, Keynesian economics is what does not work.

    But anyway, if it makes you feel good, keep believing in that big government that's putting us more and more into hock to China!

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  8. There was another story where Barney Frank admitted that Fannie Mae contributed to the downturn but as fast as it was published it was gone and that was the only article I could find on it.
    He said it but like everything else the democrats say they can just say they "misspoke" or just sweep it under the rug being they have the water carriers in the liberal media driving the message.

    Bush did not encourage Fannie Mae although like all leaders he took the credit for minority ownership.

    As a matter of fact the Republicans tried to regulate it but it was considered racist to do so.

    Islam is a religion which morphed into a culture and politics. When a culture follows religious doctrine and it becomes law then it is a culture and a political ruling class.
    I would call stoning a woman for getting raped,showing a strand of hair or committing adultery a government law that is against Islam. When people are forced to live by religious rules it becomes a culture.

    the left found "religion" in less than 2 months after being against for 40 years.

    Think what you want but after seeing the hundreds of thousands of people who descending at the Lincoln Memorial Saturday it kind of should tell you where the people are standing,or no standing.

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  9. From what I can gather, Bush (in one of his few prudent moves as President) actually did try to reel in Freddie and Fannie. He couldn't, however, move the congress. Frank, while not amongst the bigger villains in the financial collapse (Christopher Cox, Greenspan, and Harold Raines clearly occupy those slots), apparently was a part of that obstruction.

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  10. Apparently some people only read the title of my post (and maybe skimmed the rest)... because several commenters put forward their versions of what they think happened, and even though their versions directly contradict the information presented in my post, they do not say "I disagree with you". It is as if they believe the information they are sharing might be new to me.

    Bush tried to regulate Fanny and Freddie but Rep. Frank obstructed? I did not know that!

    Actually I HAD heard this claim, and the information presented in my post refutes it.

    Which is why I didn't respond to Lisa.

    Will, the information you gathered to reach your (as far as I can gather) incorrect conclusions... what is it exactly -- and where did it come from? Please share.

    In response to Silverfiddle... I never suggested, nor do I believe that the government should "run everything". Is it is wise for government to promote and incentivize certain activities? YES, it is extremely wise. It is one of the government's primary functions, IMO.

    Supply side isn't a "red herring"... it is the economic theory the Republicans believe in and will attempt to follow again when they regain power.

    Libertarians aren't set to retake the House or the Senate in the upcoming election. So why in the world would you suggest discussing something that might possibly happen -- as opposed to something that has absolutely ZERO chance of happening (the US adopting "Austrian school" economic policies) -- is a "red herring"?????????

    And, how is it "diabolical" to advocate for economic polices that have been proven to work? The 1930s proved that Keynesian economics works. Obama's problem is that he isn't being Keynesian enough. The stimulus wasn't big enough. To much of it went to tax cuts. We need a jobs program.

    Supply side is what has been disproved.... and, because supply side is disproved, the "Austrian School" is also disproved. Because in most ways it is more of the same.

    "Austrian economics" would make the rich richer and lead to complete monopolistic control of our economy by a select few. Supply side has also had this effect, but with Libertarian economics the transition to a plutocracy would be faster.

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  11. "The 1930s proved that Keynesian economics works."

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

    My granny is an FDR democrat and she will tell you you're full of it. She and other relatives will tell you in real words what official government data shows: It was a great depression! You're delusional!

    The 30's, 70's and right now all disprove Keynesianism.

    The 20's, early 60's and the Reagan-Clinton 80's-2000 show that very un-keynesian free market policies work.

    The one difference between then and now is that now we are in a much more global economy, which throws in additional factors.

    Keynesianism, taken to its extreme is economic totalitarianism.

    But anyway, I'd love for the democrats to run on a platform defending the 1930's.

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  12. David Sirota says the GOP claim that "Historians Pretty Much Agree That FDR Prolonged the Great Depression" is patently false -- and, when he points this out to conservatives -- they "literally laugh at me as if I've said something so clearly untrue, something Americans supposedly assume is so obviously stupid, that it's worthy of ridicule"...

    You need FACTS, not maniacal laughter and fictional grannies to prove your case Silverfiddle.

    The economic policies of the "roaring 20s" produced a bubble which directly lead to the Republican Great Depression. FDR used Keynesian economics to pull us out of the depression. The depression was severe so it took awhile, but yes, Keynesian economics worked. Of course official government data shows there was a great depression. I never claimed there wasn't one.

    The economic policies of the 80s to 2000s also produced a bubble which directly lead to the current recession. "Bubble and bust" is what you get when you follow conservative economics. Yes, Clinton also largely instituted conservative economic policies... even so, he managed to end his two terms in office with a surplus.

    A surplus bush Jr promptly blew. It's the way it always works... Republicans screw up the economy, leaving economic disaster in their wake, and then expect Democrats to clean up their mess -- and heap blame on them when they don't turn things around fast enough.

    I would also love for the Democrats to run on a platform defending FDR's New Deal policies. FDR saved capialism... it really is a shame our current POTUS isn't more like FDR.

    As someone who believes economic policy based on the "Austrian school" would be awesome (even though it relies on a lack of empirical evidence proving it would be anything but disasterous), and cheers the mustachioed Stossel when he claims that "markets are magical" (who reaches his conclusions based on nothing but a gut feeling)... I can understand your distrust of "evidence", "proof", and "historical fact".

    Call my belief that FDR's New Deal and Keynesian economics pulled the US out of the Great Depression "delusional" all you like... historical fact proves I am right. And your belief in the "Austrian school" nonsense tells people all they need to know about your side.

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  13. We had booms and busts before the great depression, and they took care of themselves.

    Government intervention, or more precisely, the expectation thereof, produces more and bigger bubbles.

    Wall street banksters will continue gambling with our money thanks to the latest "reform."

    I like your idea: Republicans should run on the Reaganomics of the 80's and the Democrats should run on the dead-flat Keynesian 30's.

    You can also play the tape of progressive Richard Nixon ushering in a decade of economic destruction by declaring "We're all Keynesians now."

    Funny, You don't hear Enron mustard mind Paul Krugman citing that episode...

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  14. According to Progressive radio host Thom Hartmann economic bubbles occur when "when top marginal rates drop below 50 percent... the massive Republican tax cuts of the 1920s (from 73% to 25%) led directly to the Roaring 20s stock market bubble, temporary boom, and then the crash and Republican Great Depression of 1929".

    Mr. Hartman further posits that economic bubbles are prevented with "high top marginal tax rates (generally well above 60%) on rich people [which are a good thing because they] actually stabilize the economy, prevent economic bubbles from forming, prevent economic crashes, and lead to steady and sustained economic growth (and steady and sustained wage growth for working people)".

    Proof that this is the case? "Rates on the very rich went back up into the 70-90% range from the 1930s to the 1980s. As a result, the economy grew steadily; for the first time in the history of our nation we went 50 years without a crash or major bank failure; and working people's wages increased enough to produce the strongest middle class this nation has ever seen".

    The economy looked good under Reagan because he was spending and borrowing so much money. The Republicans WILL run on Reaganomics/Supply side but if they get elected the result will be disaster. I think we are just about at the breaking point... we can only borrow so much, and continuing the Bush tax cuts will entail more borrowing.

    If the Republicans regain power in 2010 and/or in 2012 there will be considerable pain for the average person. Then we WILL find ourselves in a position similar to where Greece finds itself now. It won't be long before the Republicans announce their austerity plan which will entail severe cuts to POPULAR social programs.

    Hopefully then people will realize that the only thing Republicans care about is funneling money upwards. Unfortunately, at that point it will probably be too late for a lot of people (think mass homelessness and starvation).

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  15. About the only thing we agree upon is there is a big fat Greek collapse in our future. We cannot continue to grow our debt faster than GDP.

    You put your faith in big government, I'll put mine in the people.

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  16. No, you clearly do not trust "the people". Your faith is in the wealthy and corporations. They are looking out for their own interests -- which is to make as much profit as possible, regardless of who they hurt in the process.

    Which is why Goldman Sachs engineered Greece's downfall. Their level of debt was actually managable -- before their credit rating was downgraded, which made the cost of maintaing their debt exponentially higher.

    My faith is in a representative government which acts in the interest of the people who put them in power. The Republicans always act in the interest of the corporations who fund their campaigns... not the deluded voters who actually cast their ballots against their own best interests.

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  17. Your faith is in the wealthy and corporations

    WRONG! I know you don't read my blog, but I come down just as hard on crony crapitalists disguised as free marketeer as I do on big government.

    In fact, I have called them the DC-NY Axis of Evil on various occasions.

    I want all businesses to stand on their own two feet without my tax dollars, loopholes or free passes to break the law.

    The Ethanol or "flex fuel" program is but one example of such axis of evil programs that I detest. It starves people to feed cars, and it does it with our tax dollars.

    We obviously disagree about economics (as do people with PhDs in the subject) but please refrain from mischaracterizing my positions.

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  18. Faith is belief without proof. The proof is history. We have proof of what happens with low top marginal tax rates, both in 1929 and now. Stabilization of the economy requires a higher top marginal tax rate. It is indisputable.

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  19. No. It's not proof, Jerry. There are too many other factors and you have failed to control for them, so you've proved nothing.

    Let's talk taxes. Indeed, if one posits that tax cuts in the 30's caused irrational exuberance and a big bubble that caused the crash, then we must also consider Hoover's tax increases and tightening of the money supply.

    Again, Let's see the Dems run on the 1930's versus the GOP running on the 1980's. I want to see that one.

    Finally, Jerry. Your hoped-for gargantuan tax will never transpire in this generation.

    The Dems have hit their high water mark, and even with overwhelming majorities didn't have the balls (excuse me) courage of their convictions to propose such a political and economically suicidal policy.

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  20. Me: Your faith is in the wealthy and corporations.

    Silverfiddle: WRONG!

    Me again (and for the rest of this comment) You're either for "we the people" (though our elected officials) setting the rules -- OR -- you're for the wealthy and corporations setting them.

    Corporations and the wealthy currently set the rules because they've bought off our elected officials (most of the Republicans and to a lesser extent the Democrats, with the exception of the Liberals).

    However, your preferred method by which we should run our economy, the "Austrian school" or "laissez faire" produces the SAME RESULT. The wealthy and corporations set the rules.

    Even if you do not realize it, you DO stand with the wealthy and corporations. This is not a "mischaracterization of your positions". Your positions (if instituted) will result in monopoly and plutocracy.

    Jerry is absolutely correct, stabilization of the economy DOES require a higher top marginal tax rate.

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  21. False dichotomy. And your earlier cite of wikipedia of all places, was the logical fallacy of appeal to authority. You are full of logical fallacies, Dervish.

    I want to see businesses and corporations battling for your dollars and mine without the assistance of the federal government.

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  22. If you want to see "businesses and corporations battling for your dollars and mine without the assistance of the federal government", are you willing to get ALL business money out of government? Are you willing to declare businesses non-people without freedom of speech? Are you willing to prevent all businesses from contributing to elections and lobbying? If you want to eliminate business assistance from government, then you must eliminate all business assistance to government.

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  23. How about the Dems running on the 40s thru 70s (high marginal tax rate) and the repubs running on the 80's to now (or 2008)(low marginal tax rate)?

    Also, how about some more history. Over the last 80 years, economic recoveries have been faster and longer after tax increases.

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  24. False dichotomy? No, it's the actual dichotomy.

    As for the sources I used to discredit your "Austrian School" theories... yes, I cited what other economists -- the authorities I'm supposedly appealing to -- have to say about the unproven economic theories you agree with.

    Nice try Silverfiddle, but I didn't argue that what most mainstream economists say is true "because the statement is made by a person or source that is commonly regarded as authoritative" -- but because the Austrian school of economics lacks empirical data to back up it's theories.

    That is a fact that doesn't depend on an "appeal to authority".

    You're grasping at straws Silverfiddle.

    Businesses won't battle for our dollars, they will form monopolies and set artificially high prices. It happened during the Robber-baron era and the situation today is much the same.

    We need to enforce the ant-trust laws on the books and break up these large corporations, not allow them to get bigger, which is what your Austrian School policies would enable.

    Austrian School is a fantasy, Silverfiddle. It wouldn't work out the way you envision. Which is precisely why there is no proof to back up any of your claims. Just "self-evident axioms", as the info I pulled from Wikipedia states.

    YES, Wikipedia... the source you attacked. Attacking the source of the information rather than the information itself is a logical fallacy (a correctly identified one, unlike your specious attempt to discredit my argument against the Austrian School by labeling it an "appeal to authority").

    It appears as though you are the one who is full of fallacies, Silverfiddle -- the largest one being your belief in the nonsensical and self-serving "Austrian School". Self-serving for the wealthy who promote it, not for the dupes (like you) who buy into it.

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  25. You're like a kid. I used the term fallacy, and now you use it.

    And yes, take away person-hood from corporations.

    As for the Austrian School, of course the Keynesians will attack it!!!

    you should work for the new york times!

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  26. Silverfiddle said You're like a kid. I used the term fallacy, and now you use it.

    I used it because it describes your attempt to discredit the Wikipedia information. You attacked Wikipedia but said nothing regarding the validity of what the Wikipedia info actually said.

    Your argument fits the definition of a logical fallacy.

    And attacking me because (you claim) I'm "like a kid" doesn't disprove the anything I've said. It's an ad hominem.

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  27. OK. I take back "like a kid." Now where's the fallacy?

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  28. Millions of everyday people thank God every day for FDR and Social Security. Only the rich thank Reagan.


    And of course the ignorant and closed minded who are swayed by catch words like flag or family instead facts.

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  29. Silverfiddle: OK. I take back "like a kid". Now where's the fallacy?

    Take it back, don't take it back. I don't care either way. You haven't hurt my feelings. As for the fallacy, I thought I already explained it.

    You said, "And your earlier cite of wikipedia of all places".

    According to Wikipedia an "argumentum ad hominem is an attempt to link the validity of a premise to a characteristic or belief of the person advocating the premise. The ad hominem is a classic logical fallacy".

    You're implying a characteristic of Wikipedia is that it's information is unreliable. Since Wikipedia can't be trused, the information I presented is therefore inaccurate.

    The Nizkor Project says "the reason why an Ad Hominem (of any kind) is a fallacy is that the character, circumstances, or actions of a person [or "web-based, collaborative, multilingual encyclopedia project"] do not (in most cases) have a bearing on the truth or falsity of the claim being made (or the quality of the argument being made)".

    BTW, "a notable early study in the journal Nature suggested that in 2005, Wikipedia scientific articles came close to the level of accuracy in Encyclopædia Britannica".

    "Nature is one of the world's most prestigious scientific journals.... It is the world's most highly cited interdisciplinary science journal".

    (A summary of the study can be found on cNet -- the actual study on Nature can only be viewed by paying customers.)

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  30. I am not impugning the name of wikipedia. I use it myself, but the information there must be taken with a grain of salt, especially information that strays into opinion.

    Statements like "mainstream economists agree ..." is a sure sign of a logical fallacy in tow.

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  31. You know, you may be right. I have an underwhelming feeling that in the not to distant future it will be announced that President Obama is firing his entire economic team and bringing in John Stossel to replace Larry Summers. If Obama really does want to "fundamentally transform" the country by deliberately crashing our economy, as Newt Gingrich and Glenn Beck suggest, that would certainly be the quickest way to achieve that goal.

    Crashing the economy that is, as for the other goal of redistributing the wealth of the rich to everybody else, that would be a dismal failure... mainly due to the fact that the opposite would happen. But Beck and others have suggested that TARP was a part of that plan, even though it gave money to rich bankers (and was signed by bush)... so who knows??

    Either mainstream economists "are generally critical of methodologies used by modern Austrian economists" or they aren't. I fail to see how they couldn't be critical seeing as Austrian school theories aren't backed up with empirical data.

    I fail to see how "opinion" factors into the equation.

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  32. You obviously haven't read any Rothbard, Von Mises or Hayek. That their studies are not backed by empirical data is patently false.

    Let me help you. The main criticism is that they do not rely on mathematical models to the extent that Enron wizard Krugman's school does.

    You know, the extrapolative models that the Wall Street wiz kids crashed our economy with, the ones short sellers, derivative traders, and currency manipulators like Soros use.

    The Austrian School relies heavily on empirical data. It also uses mathematical models, but cautions "garbage in garbage out."

    Kinda what happened when Kruggie crashed enron and the taxpayers had to clean up his mess.

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  33. Although my observations are that Democrats are too skittish about public opinion and therefor unwilling to pass practical and needed legislation, I find that the Republicans are too self-righteous and tend to stretch the truth beyond credibility in order to secure THEIR political agendas.

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  34. Beyond: Politics is fueled by lies and BS.

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  35. SF, We agree again! I would add money to that fuel list also.

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  36. Thursday, August 26, 2010
    The Problem with Leftists
    Originally posted on the blog "Who's Your Daddy".

    This is going to be dedicated to Sue who lets' all her lefty buddies call other people names and then deletes you when you defend it. Typical of the left to shut up dissent. They are soo good at their rules for radicals.

    This was a tea party bashers comment over there:

    "Guess what the make up of the Beckerhead's rally will be. AYUP, crusty old, teabagging white people wearing flags as tee shirts and tri cornered hats, carrying badly spelled signs, that have been bussed in by people like Freedomworks and Americans For Prosperity, you know, pretty much the grass roots (said with dripping sarcasm and an eye roll here)".

    Meanwhile we all remember it was the SEIU and Acorn bussed in to protests even an AIG exec house in Ct when about a hundred desended on the front lawn and scared his 15 year old son who was home alone. This is what these lefties defend and promote.

    Let's see Tea Party people are all old crusty racists bigots but oppose a Mosque near the biggest massacre on US soil and those are racist bigots too and yet they are defending a religion with radical violent ties to it.

    Oh and for the record Islam is not a religion as much as it is a culture and a political movement.

    So I replied with this explaining who the organizers are of the tea party by me:

    A young single mother who has 5 siblings who don't crap without advice from her.
    An 8th Grade Social Studies teacher and a 25 year old woman who is an Iraq Veteran.
    There is another group run by 2 very smart business people and yet another group led by more veterans. There are teachers, doctors, veterans, cops, fire fighters, young families worried about their children's future and in typical leftist form this was the reply from Sue:

    "I don't care about your teabagger life lisa. I have told you before this is not your personal chatroom, GET YOUR OWN FU*KIN BLOG!!"

    So Sue in honor of you and your undying devotion you have for the president and for being a good little tool for him, this Post is dedicated to you.

    See what happens when you tell them facts? Speaking of facts did anyone hear that Barney Frank actually admitted hat Fannie and Freddie were largely responsible for the economic downturn?

    Yep didn't think so.

    here is a link

    So people make sure to vote on Nov 2 because it's our last hope to save this nation. Oh and lefties you can thank us for it later and if it goes your way you will be getting one of many "I told you so's".

    Just like Fannie Mae. Now go play with your president on the beach, on the golf course or some big fancy party at the White House or maybe a nice shopping trip with Michelle in gay Pairee.

    [Posted by Lisa at 11:54 AM]

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