Archive for April, 2008

Berlitz on Line 2

Just reading the sign is jarring…


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You can’t seriously be calling the Democrats (these, anyway) fiscally conservative.. they are having a contest of who can offer the bigger bailout and who can run faster from NAFTA.

I’m not sure either party is covering itself in glory on the fiscal discipline front.

The last time the Democrats were in office the country was running a surplus after having shrunk the federal payroll for the first time in a generation.  Then a Republican hack named Alan Greenspan said that all of this surplus-running was going to mess up the economy, because pretty soon we would run out of debt and the Fed would lose its main tool to control the economy, and besides, if the government were cash flow positive it would ultimately start buying assets, and that would cause all sorts of political problems.  So Dubya got his tax cuts, and the economy turned south, and all of a sudden we needed tax cuts because the economy was struggling and needed the help – never mind that we had just approved the tax cuts on the grounds that the economy was doing too well.  We were running large deficits, and then we decided to invade a country, screw up the invasion, and refused to leave, greatly adding to our financial problems.  At one point the Republicans said the solution was to privatize Social Security, which of course would have individual investors buying the same sorts of assets in the same quantities as the same hacks said was irresponsible a few years earlier, but that was too stupid, so they settled for just spending all the money any of their friends asked for.  They could have raised taxes, but this would bother people, so they just borrowed from the Chinese.

The Bridge to Nowhere?  That’s Alaska’s very Republican congressional delegation at work.  The oil company tax breaks are Republican, as is the bailout of Bear Stearns.  And that giant overturned Brinks truck between Jordan and Iran?  Republicans got us there, Republicans handed it over to KBR and the rest of the corrupt, inept contractors, and it is Republicans who are keeping us there, because Liberty University’s library quite clearly has no books on the Peloponnesian War.  Compared to this, almost anything would be an improvement.

I am no fan of either the Obama or Hillary bailout plans (Hillary doesn’t seem to feel bound to anything that isn’t in her interests, so you can imagine where mortgage documents come to play), but I think the NAFTA criticism is warranted.  I benefit from NAFTA; everyone on this email benefits from NAFTA.  But many people do not, perhaps because a job is a social force as well as a means of generating income.  Trade raises overall GDP, but it also concentrates wealth in the hands of capital-holders and those in the knowledge industries who are more difficult to replace with uneducated labor.  You could follow classical economics and maximize first total GDP and then redistribute it as desired, but there is something unstable about the high tax rates and high welfare levels this would imply.  Our manufacturing base would likely have been hit hard regardless of what we did – tying health care to employment would have taken care of this – but NAFTA sped its decline.  Plus, it was and is a terrible deal.  To take only the most obvious example, the Mexican Constitution still prohibits foreign ownership of any land within fifty kilometers of the coast.  Some renegotiation ought to be on the table.

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You also forgot to mention that had Lieberman won the Vice-Presidency AND been reelected to his Senate seat, the six-year senate term would have been filled by the Governor of Connecticut, a Republican.  Joe is a peach.

That’s true, although if John Rowland had nominated a Republican with statewide standing, we would have ended up with Senator Chris Shays.  And, as it turns out, that would have given us a far better senator than Joe Lieberman.

These days there is a name for fiscally conservative, socially liberal politicians who favor a fixed timeline for withdrawl from Iraq: Democrats.  Chris just hasn’t changed his brand to avoid confusing everyone in Fairfield County who walks into the voting booth, looks for the “Republican” lever, and walks out.

There is also a name for Joe Lieberman, but this is going to some folks’ work accounts…

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Ordinary dirty sex with a Jersey runaway in a DC hotel room just isn’t good enough.  If it’s not getting it on while wearing a Chelsea strip, it’s playing camp commandant:

(NSFW, unless the link isn’t clear enough or your office likes surveillance videos of London brothels)

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Short Memory

I was starting to forget what was so objectionable about Gore-Lieberman back in 2000.  Thankfully, Joe is still around to remind me what a tool he is:

Gore should have fired him right after Joe decided to suck up to Dick Cheney in the VP debate.  If not when Joe expressed such confidence in the campaign that he kept his name on the Connecticut ballot for Senator, which I still consider one of the most amazingly selfish acts by a high-profile First World politician not named Clinton.

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