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The Republican debate tonight...
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enemigo



Joined: 19 Mar 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sullivan had a good post the other day called Republicanism As Religion.. An excerpt:
Andrew Sullivan wrote:
That's how I explain the current GOP. It can only think in doctrines, because the alternative is living in a complicated, global, modern world they both do not understand and also despise. Taxes are therefore always bad. Government is never good. Foreign enemies must be pre-emptively attacked. Islam is not a religion. Climate change is an elite conspiracy to impoverish America. Terror suspects are terrorists. When Americans torture, it is not torture. When Christians murder, they are not Christians. And if you change your mind on any of these issues, you are a liberal, an apostate, and will be attacked.

If your view of conservatism is one rooted in an instinctual, but agile, defense of tradition, in a belief in practical wisdom that alters constantly with circumstance, in moderation and the defense of the middle class as the stabilizing ballast of democracy, in limited but strong government ... then the GOP is no longer your party (or mine).

Religion has replaced all of this, reordered it, and imbued the entire political-economic-religious package with zeal. And the zealous never compromise. They don't even listen.
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enemigo



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Asm0deus wrote:
"It's paid for" (repeated ad nauseum), followed by "That 12-member commission will go figure out how to pay for it"... LULZ Are you fucking kidding me?

Agree with you here. What Obama is actually doing is proposing offsets. And they are offsets that the Republicans will never agree to (capping tax breaks on itemized deductions, closing loopholes that subsidize corporate jets and oil/gas companies, taxing carried interest at normal income rates for hedge-fund managers).


Asm0deus wrote:
Teachers commentary: UNION
Infrastructure commentary: UNION
"Seeing our cars in other countries": UNION
...and this one was stealthy, but toward the end he said something along the lines of "corporations who play ball with this administration and hire [read: UNION] won't have to worry about aggressive additional taxation"... It was sandwiched between a couple of agreeable-sounding lines about "fair share", etc.

What was the exact line? I'm not seeing what you describe.

And should there never be any spending on infrastructure? Or just now?


Asm0deus wrote:
...and extension of unemployment benefits THROUGH THE NEXT ELECTION: Laughing He knows goddamned well that people getting paid to sit on their asses DO NOT SEEK JOBS. Fucking disgusting.

Have you ever been unemployed for an extended period of time? It fucking sucks and unemployment benefits simply aren't enough to get by on. It basically just buys you some extra time while you are plowing through your savings and/or falling deeply into debt.

Do you think there are just millions and millions of jobs going unfilled because there are so many people that are satisfied with, on average, a third of what they were making before they were laid off?

As of June, there were 4.5 unemployed people for every job opening... which is better than it has been in the recent past.



And the longer you're unemployed, the harder it is to find a job. Even harder if you're old. It is fucking brutal out there for a lot of people who are actually trying very hard to find a job.

Further, short of direct hiring for a government job, unemployment benefits offers one of the best bang-for-your-bucks as economic stimulus (food stamps even more so). Far more than any tax cuts.. and as immediate as it gets.


Asm0deus wrote:
However, there were two ideas that I absolutely LOVED.
He wisely/strategically stuck these at the start of the speech, which is a classic (and solid) sales tactic called "keep 'em listening":
1. $4000 tax credit for hiring people unemployed for more than 4 months.
2. $? Tax credit for hiring veterans [not a lot of detail around this yet].

Good ideas, both. Those aren't going to create new jobs though, just potentially influence who gets a given job.


Asm0deus wrote:
Now if Obama was serious about any of this, he'd let Congress pass the few of these ideas that would have immediate positive impact WITHOUT all these efforts to require restoration of union influence. (We might want to start a new thread just for this topic, actually...)

So Obama isn't serious unless he whittles it down to a couple minor tax credits for now, and then tries in vain to get anything else later?

So who is serious about any of this?

What will actually probably end up happening is that the super-committee will take on not just figuring out how to offset a jobs package with cuts, but actually make a jobs package part of their duties too, given the paralysis of Congress. At least those have been the rumblings the past few days.


Asm0deus wrote:
On a related topic, a question for the Democrats: Why exactly did they put that idiot Wasserman-Schultz from Florida in charge of the DNC at this critical time for your party?!? Her debate skill literally stop at "refer back to talking points". Rolling Eyes

They never should have gotten rid of Dean.
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enemigo



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

shlee wrote:
Jackson was the only president to pay off the national debt completely.

He was able to do this by giving the power of printing the nation's currency back into the rightful hands of the people by taking it out of the private banks responsible for the congressional-bureaucratic-financial complex that seeks only to strengthen and consolidate it's own elite dominance of the common man by way of monetary manipulation.

So it was that, and not selling off federal land and cutting spending?


shlee wrote:
Fire Bernanke,

No problem here.


shlee wrote:
audit the Fed

Or here.


shlee wrote:
and return to public banks controlling the money supply and we will see our financial woes sharply decline.

Please do elaborate on what you would like to see replace the Fed (at least until history repeats and we realize we want the flexibility of a central bank again). Who do you want to set the value of our currency and what would they base it on? How exactly will our financial woes sharply decline?

This might be better pursued in another thread though.
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shlee



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

....

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yossarian



Joined: 19 Mar 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shlee wrote:
We don't need to abolish the Fed we need reform. Public money controlled by private banks is teh suck. Once printing power of money back in control of people and not private bank then Fed=good. Then 'we' decide who gets what and how much by democratic process. No interest and stuff. Common sense type bizzel.


What? This makes no sense at all. We're going to vote to print more money? Then we'll be good?
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Asm0deus



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Location: Constantly waiting on Delta

PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the note of forum upgrades, a convenient in-line-quoting-reply button would be stellar. Laughing

enemigo wrote:
Asm0deus wrote:
"It's paid for" (repeated ad nauseum), followed by "That 12-member commission will go figure out how to pay for it"... LULZ Are you fucking kidding me?

Agree with you here. What Obama is actually doing is proposing offsets. And they are offsets that the Republicans will never agree to (capping tax breaks on itemized deductions, closing loopholes that subsidize corporate jets and oil/gas companies, taxing carried interest at normal income rates for hedge-fund managers).

Right, but aren't those the exact sets of things that the 12 Monkeys already had on the table for their existing charter? This move essentially doomed the bill from the start, since it pins the tail on BOTH parties' l33t d00ds. "Hey, mind picking up that tab for me, using the (potential) money from the tab we were just about to pay?" Illogical at best, intentional sabotage at worst...

enemigo wrote:
Asm0deus wrote:
Teachers commentary: UNION
Infrastructure commentary: UNION
"Seeing our cars in other countries": UNION
...and this one was stealthy, but toward the end he said something along the lines of "corporations who play ball with this administration and hire [read: UNION] won't have to worry about aggressive additional taxation"... It was sandwiched between a couple of agreeable-sounding lines about "fair share", etc.

What was the exact line? I'm not seeing what you describe.

And should there never be any spending on infrastructure? Or just now?

Damn it... I just cleaned up the DVR yesterday. I'll find it, but we may have to wait a few days on that. It was EXTREMELY clever writing and delivery.

As to your question, that's not at all what I said/implied/etc. Infrastructure construction is ALWAYS happening; the way politicians talk about it these days you'd think there was zero infrastructure spending currently.

I said "UNION". Everything he's proposed about infrastructure thus far steers the funds directly to this "infrastructure bank" (terrible idea) or the friends&family version of "private funding" -- that is, hand-picked by the current administration's union cronies via some hand-picked board, as opposed to open bids.

But frankly corruption in infrastructure spending goes as far back as infrastructure spending itself, and I doubt that there's ANY way to avoid a shit-ton of waste here. But I'd prefer non-union, somewhat transparent corruption over closed-doors union corruption any day.

enemigo wrote:
Asm0deus wrote:
...and extension of unemployment benefits THROUGH THE NEXT ELECTION: Laughing He knows goddamned well that people getting paid to sit on their asses DO NOT SEEK JOBS. Fucking disgusting.

Have you ever been unemployed for an extended period of time? It fucking sucks and unemployment benefits simply aren't enough to get by on. It basically just buys you some extra time while you are plowing through your savings and/or falling deeply into debt.

Do you think there are just millions and millions of jobs going unfilled because there are so many people that are satisfied with, on average, a third of what they were making before they were laid off?

As of June, there were 4.5 unemployed people for every job opening... which is better than it has been in the recent past.

And the longer you're unemployed, the harder it is to find a job. Even harder if you're old. It is fucking brutal out there for a lot of people who are actually trying very hard to find a job.

Further, short of direct hiring for a government job, unemployment benefits offers one of the best bang-for-your-bucks as economic stimulus (food stamps even more so). Far more than any tax cuts.. and as immediate as it gets.


(in blue) **YES** 18 months.
It started off as a buyout from the previous employer, with tons of cash. I did plenty of day-trading/partying/relaxing, but that eventually devolved into "fuck it -- I'm still making enough to do this indefinitely". But once I decided to get back into the game, the ONLY thing that truly got me up off my ass during those last six months was seeing the horizon on those savings and faltering income. Then REAL panic and need set in, the bills started stacking up, and I got my ass back to work. First at home, then at interviews, and then at a job that paid 2/3 what I had previously left.

It was a BITCH to convince people that I was still hire-worthy, but the solution was the same as if I had worked every day: WORK ON YOUR SKILLS. I had to re-learn and re-prove skills that I had long since forgotten, and be UTTERLY HUMBLE while doing what most folks at my actual skill level would consider bitch-work.
***WORK*** is what got me back to work.

Before that, I very clearly remember having just enough income that I never felt enough urge to truly commit to finding that next job. Sure, I looked into a few here and there, but as long as "just enough" money was coming in I just sat around mentally rotting.

Now I make more than I've ever made in my life. Getting off the corporate ladder, staying away for awhile, then having a rough time getting on it again was exactly what turned me into the kick-ass engineer I am today. (Hell, I even learned two other engineering disciplines in the process.)

(in orange)
It's not a matter of them being satisfied. It's this malaise, this incredibly oppressive and bitter feeling of "FUCK IT -- I'll do it tomorrow". (Not even the hung over type of "fuggit" -- this is au naturale.) I know several others who have gone through this same thing, whether we're talking voluntarily w/savings or via formal unemployment checks. Unless you've felt that dull throb pinning you to the couch wide awake (again, completely sober) at 4am for no reason, yet unwilling to change it, then you can't truly understand:
Paying people to stay at home will NEVER get them back to work.


enemigo wrote:
Asm0deus wrote:
However, there were two ideas that I absolutely LOVED.
He wisely/strategically stuck these at the start of the speech, which is a classic (and solid) sales tactic called "keep 'em listening":
1. $4000 tax credit for hiring people unemployed for more than 4 months.
2. $? Tax credit for hiring veterans [not a lot of detail around this yet].

Good ideas, both. Those aren't going to create new jobs though, just potentially influence who gets a given job.


This is one of those rare cases where "leveling the playing field" actually makes sense. As stated above, I've personally been there on BOTH sides of the equation (as the hiring manager, and as the applicant).

As long as there's no language that FORCES companies to hire either category or keep them despite poor performance reviews, and there IS language to prevent fraud, then these are stellar ideas.

enemigo wrote:
Asm0deus wrote:
Now if Obama was serious about any of this, he'd let Congress pass the few of these ideas that would have immediate positive impact WITHOUT all these efforts to require restoration of union influence. (We might want to start a new thread just for this topic, actually...)

So Obama isn't serious unless he whittles it down to a couple minor tax credits for now, and then tries in vain to get anything else later?

So who is serious about any of this?

What will actually probably end up happening is that the super-committee will take on not just figuring out how to offset a jobs package with cuts, but actually make a jobs package part of their duties too, given the paralysis of Congress. At least those have been the rumblings the past few days.


Great question, in terms of "who's serious"... Clearly we're talking about ~90% ass-clowns playing politics on both sides of the aisle.

But in the case of Obama, it would be strategically BRILLIANT if he just said "Ok, 'pubs -- you only like these ~five things? BAM -- So just pass just those five things, and I'll sign it [in front of all the cameras]. See? **I** am truly willing to compromise, and now it's YOUR turn to pay the piper (or pay in the elections)". He's currently in a zero-sum game, and they won't pass anything that has Dem line-items in it, so make them either pass the things they CLAIM to like or commit seppuku.

I generally agree with your estimation of the eventual reality... Months of closed-door 12 Angry Men sessions, a few handshaking sessions with lots of positioning, and very little output.

enemigo wrote:
Asm0deus wrote:
On a related topic, a question for the Democrats: Why exactly did they put that idiot Wasserman-Schultz from Florida in charge of the DNC at this critical time for your party?!? Her debate skill literally stop at "refer back to talking points". Rolling Eyes

They never should have gotten rid of Dean.

That's exactly what I've been saying. I'm no fan of the DNC, but as a general strategist this move BAFFLES me. Some shit fell out of her mouth yesterday that made my jaw drop, and I'm sure she'll do it again today.
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shlee



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

.....

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enemigo



Joined: 19 Mar 2003
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Asm0deus wrote:
enemigo wrote:
Asm0deus wrote:
Teachers commentary: UNION
Infrastructure commentary: UNION
"Seeing our cars in other countries": UNION
...and this one was stealthy, but toward the end he said something along the lines of "corporations who play ball with this administration and hire [read: UNION] won't have to worry about aggressive additional taxation"... It was sandwiched between a couple of agreeable-sounding lines about "fair share", etc.

What was the exact line? I'm not seeing what you describe.

And should there never be any spending on infrastructure? Or just now?

Damn it... I just cleaned up the DVR yesterday. I'll find it, but we may have to wait a few days on that. It was EXTREMELY clever writing and delivery.

here is the transcript:
http://www.wwl.com/Text-of-President-Obama-s-jobs-speech/10852444


Asm0deus wrote:
As to your question, that's not at all what I said/implied/etc. Infrastructure construction is ALWAYS happening; the way politicians talk about it these days you'd think there was zero infrastructure spending currently.

I said "UNION". Everything he's proposed about infrastructure thus far steers the funds directly to this "infrastructure bank" (terrible idea) or the friends&family version of "private funding" -- that is, hand-picked by the current administration's union cronies via some hand-picked board, as opposed to open bids.

But frankly corruption in infrastructure spending goes as far back as infrastructure spending itself, and I doubt that there's ANY way to avoid a shit-ton of waste here. But I'd prefer non-union, somewhat transparent corruption over closed-doors union corruption any day.

Speaking of waste... There is a new report out by the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) on federal contractor billing rates:
Quote:
POGO’s study analyzed the total compensation paid to federal and private sector employees, and annual billing rates for contractor employees across 35 occupational classifications covering over 550 service activities. Our findings were shocking—POGO estimates the government pays billions more annually in taxpayer dollars to hire contractors than it would to hire federal employees to perform comparable services. Specifically, POGO’s study shows that the federal government approves service contract billing rates—deemed fair and reasonable—that pay contractors 1.83 times more than the government pays federal employees in total compensation, and more than 2 times the total compensation paid in the private sector for comparable services.



Asm0deus wrote:
It started off as a buyout from the previous employer, with tons of cash. I did plenty of day-trading/partying/relaxing,

Do you think this is typical?

Asm0deus wrote:
But once I decided to get back into the game, the ONLY thing that truly got me up off my ass during those last six months was seeing the horizon on those savings and faltering income. Then REAL panic and need set in, the bills started stacking up, and I got my ass back to work. First at home, then at interviews, and then at a job that paid 2/3 what I had previously left.

For a great many unemployed, that horizon on those saving and faltering income doesn't take a year to come into view. It is there from the beginning and UI is the only thing staving off complete financial ruin while frantically and desperately looking for a job.


Asm0deus wrote:
Before that, I very clearly remember having just enough income that I never felt enough urge to truly commit to finding that next job. Sure, I looked into a few here and there, but as long as "just enough" money was coming in I just sat around mentally rotting.

Now I make more than I've ever made in my life. Getting off the corporate ladder, staying away for awhile, then having a rough time getting on it again was exactly what turned me into the kick-ass engineer I am today. (Hell, I even learned two other engineering disciplines in the process.)

(in orange)
It's not a matter of them being satisfied. It's this malaise, this incredibly oppressive and bitter feeling of "FUCK IT -- I'll do it tomorrow". (Not even the hung over type of "fuggit" -- this is au naturale.) I know several others who have gone through this same thing, whether we're talking voluntarily w/savings or via formal unemployment checks. Unless you've felt that dull throb pinning you to the couch wide awake (again, completely sober) at 4am for no reason, yet unwilling to change it, then you can't truly understand:
Paying people to stay at home will NEVER get them back to work.

If the economy wasn't as shitty as it is right now, I wouldn't support extending unemployment benefits. But again, there simply are not enough jobs available right now.


Quote:
Unemployment increased during the 2001 recession, but it subsequently fell almost to its previous low (from point A to B and then back to C). In contrast, job openings plummeted—much more sharply than unemployment rose—and then failed to recover. In previous recoveries, openings eventually outnumbered job seekers (where a rising blue line crosses a falling green line), but during the last recovery a labor shortage never emerged.

The anemic recovery was followed in 2007 by an increase in unemployment to levels not seen since the early 1980s (the rise after point C). However, job openings fell only a little—and then recovered. The recession did not reduce hiring; it just dumped a lot more people into an already weak labor market.

The result is a shortfall in demand for workers unprecedented in the lifetimes of essentially everyone working today. (source)



Asm0deus wrote:
Great question, in terms of "who's serious"... Clearly we're talking about ~90% ass-clowns playing politics on both sides of the aisle.

But in the case of Obama, it would be strategically BRILLIANT if he just said "Ok, 'pubs -- you only like these ~five things? BAM -- So just pass just those five things, and I'll sign it [in front of all the cameras]. See? **I** am truly willing to compromise, and now it's YOUR turn to pay the piper (or pay in the elections)". He's currently in a zero-sum game, and they won't pass anything that has Dem line-items in it, so make them either pass the things they CLAIM to like or commit seppuku.

Thats the thing... The Republicans won't say "we like these 5 things." They don't even agree on what the problem is. Their plan to fix the economy and create jobs is spending cuts(!), environmental deregulation, and tax cuts that don't address the actual problem facing the economy right now, which is a lack of aggregate demand.

Anything Obama offers up is automatically opposed. The Republicans are even opposing the tax cuts that Obama included in his plan as "short term gimmicks"... even though they've supported the same breaks in the past.

As Josh Marshall put it, "It's like Boehner's a paramedic and an out-of-shape middle-aged man staggers up to him with massive chest pain. And Boehner's solution? Hand the guy a carrot or a few spears of broccoli. No short term gimmicks. Need to start longterm change now."
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enemigo



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

shlee wrote:
enemigo wrote:

So it was that, and not selling off federal land and cutting spending?


Sure that helped but c'mon...

At present, the government gets loaned currency -at interest- from the Fed which can't actually back up the paper to... you see where I'm going?

No... Please detail for me exactly how moving federal money from the Second Bank of the US into state banks was the primary factor in Jackson paying down the national debt, rather than by raising revenue through tariff enforcement and selling off federal land, and vetoing almost every single spending bill that came his way.


shlee wrote:
But yea, uh, Fed=bad.

We don't need to abolish the Fed we need reform. Public money controlled by private banks is teh suck. Once printing power of money back in control of people and not private bank then Fed=good. Then 'we' decide who gets what and how much by democratic process. No interest and stuff. Common sense type bizzel.

So your solution is to move to what the Democrats were originally fighting for in the creation of the Fed: a wholly government owned and operated central bank, rather than the independent public/private compromise that we ended up with?
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enemigo



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

shlee wrote:
yossarian wrote:
shlee wrote:
We don't need to abolish the Fed we need reform. Public money controlled by private banks is teh suck. Once printing power of money back in control of people and not private bank then Fed=good. Then 'we' decide who gets what and how much by democratic process. No interest and stuff. Common sense type bizzel.


What? This makes no sense at all. We're going to vote to print more money? Then we'll be good?


yea cuz politicians and stuff just ask for the Fed to print money to finance bailouts and stuff like wars and job creation plans and homeland security. Fed charges interest on the money they created so there's no way to pay back the loan with that system. That's what my kool aid from Alex Jones be sayin.

And the Fed returns the accrued interest to the Treasury (minus expenses).

shlee wrote:
Or we could have a public federal printing power that could decide who gets what money based on public vote of the people not a few private banks mang.

Are you seriously advocating monetary policy by direct democracy? Or are you saying you want to put Congress in charge of monetary policy? Both thoughts are frightening.
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shlee



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

....

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shlee



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

....

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enemigo



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

shlee wrote:
enemigo wrote:
shlee wrote:
enemigo wrote:

So it was that, and not selling off federal land and cutting spending?


Sure that helped but c'mon...

At present, the government gets loaned currency -at interest- from the Fed which can't actually back up the paper to... you see where I'm going?

No... Please detail for me exactly how moving federal money from the Second Bank of the US into state banks was the primary factor in Jackson paying down the national debt, rather than by raising revenue through tariff enforcement and selling off federal land, and vetoing almost every single spending bill that came his way.


I'm saying it was a combination of all three but that wasn't really my point. In order for the national debt to be paid off or even lowered fractional reserve banking must be removed. Jackson did this by not allowing the charter of the Second Bank to be renewed. Simple. Not sure what details your after here.

But vetoing the charter renewal and moving federal funds to the state banks didn't end fractional reserve banking. In fact, what happened right after this was those same state-chartered banks started printing money like mad, which led to runaway inflation and a land boom, ultimately resulting in the Panic of 1837 when all the banks started accepting only gold and silver as payments.

I still don't see how this was the key to paying down the national debt.

shlee wrote:
He wasn't the first president to abolish the power of private printing money but did end the national debt. Drastic spending cuts helped but ultimately it was the abolition of the Second Bank charter.

The state-chartered banks that he put the federal funds into were private too. Jackson did not abolish the power of private printing of money. He just decentralized it.


enemigo wrote:
No, I want the same thing the founding fathers wanted by escaping from the exact same system in England: The government raising taxes to pay off an impossible debt. Nothing to do with Dem or Repub. Woodrow Wilson, who is responsible for the Federal Reserve Act and therefore responsible for the private printing of our money, was a democrat. What compromise? Seriously?

The compromise was essentially public/government control of the Board of Directors (FOMC) so that the Fed isn't completely private.
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enemigo



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

shlee wrote:
enemigo wrote:
And the Fed returns the accrued interest to the Treasury (minus expenses).


That's what they say they do. They seem trustworthy don't ya think?

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) routinely audits most of the Fed's operations. The Fed is not a wholly private institution and is not totally opaque.


shlee wrote:
Even if that were true it wouldn't matter. I need only point at our skyrocketing debt to prove that system is F for fucking failure.

The debt was created by fiscal irresponsibility.


shlee wrote:
enemigo wrote:
Are you seriously advocating monetary policy by direct democracy? Or are you saying you want to put Congress in charge of monetary policy? Both thoughts are frightening.


Neither is more frightening than letting unnamed individuals of a private organization control our money supply unchecked.

I'm advocating reform.

The system you're describing here is not what the Fed actually is. Further, the suggestion of having the people go to the voting booth to directly decide our country's monetary policy is utter insanity. As for Congress having direct control over monetary policy, do you really think that would be a good thing given its dysfunction? But I don't think you're actually seriously advocating either of these options, but rather a completely public/government-run central bank, yes?
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

....

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