US PoliGAF 2012 | The Romney VeepStakes: Waiting for Chris Christie to Sing…

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A lot of those questions had a very incomplete slate of options. All answers on the Social Security question were bogus; I wanted to lift the cap on the payroll tax, but it wasn't an option. I wanted to expand Medicare through buy-in, but that wasn't an option. I wanted to let all of Bush's tax cuts expire, also not there. So several of my answers were the nebulous 'none of the above'.
To be fair, that's more or less a reflection of the narrow choices these candidates represent.
 
Remarkably right wing test. How about throwing in some real candidates? A Bernie Sanders for example?

1) Obama 42.4%
2) Ron Paul 32.8%
3) New 29% *shudder*

Hunstman is a whisker behind newt.
 
If you ever want to see what evil looks like, read this blog post and some of the comments:

http://www.qando.net/?p=3767

I wish these people would come out and say directly what they're implying the whole time: if you're poor or unemployed, your life is not worth the resources it would take to keep you alive in an emergency.

Hayek comes off as a fucking asshole based on the quotes of his this author used.
Honestly, the thing that stuck out to me most immediately is the quote stating that Heyek, one of the fore bearers of Austrian Economics, effectively stated that government insurance/healcare is bad because medicine isn't objective or definable. I keep telling you guys Austrian Economics is anti-science but you never listen.
 


Too lazy to find out what I disagreed with Obama, but one of them was social security. Isn't it inevitable that the retirement age goes up? Seems silly to be against that when we're living longer and longer. I was weirded out by the Newt number, but then I realized there were sliders on the left and that I only agreed with him on 2 questions.
 
No fucking way guy. How old were you when Clinton was President?
I graduated high school in 1997.


Republican stonewalling during the Clinton years was nowhere near as bad as it currently is with Obama. In spite of the ridiculous impeachment bullshit, Republicans and Democrats did actually work together in the 90's.

Today, any Republican that even hints at agreeing or working with Obama on any issue is ripped to shreds by conservative media and the base. They've taken it to such a level that they've constructed a completely alternate version of reality that everything is now filtered through to prevent themselves from ever having to acknowledge that Obama has accomplished anything worthwhile.
Exactly. Also like I said before, If Obama wins a second term, the right is going to lose its mind in a very bad way. They're literally saying that if Obama wins another term America is going to be destroyed. I never heard shit like that when Clinton was going for re-election in 1996. If someone can find stuff like that, post it here, because I'd love to see it.
 
1. obama (7/11)
2. hunstman (3/11)
3. romney (2/11)

makes sense. there weren't nearly enough answers. for instance on the SS question there was nothing to eliminate the payroll cap, and for the income tax questions you couldn't say that you wanted the bush cuts to expire for everyone. i guess it makes sense to limit it to what the candidates would actually do, though.
 
1. Obama
2. Huntsman
3. Ron Paul


Not surprising in the least since I find huntsman a real republican candidate and I agree with paul on a few things. Obama obviously the runaway winner. The answers were terrible though. It was really only trying to figure out what republican candidates should you support.
 
I'm going to break this "comparison-athon" for a moment with two things.

Thing 1: White House signals opposition to SOPA in response to online petitions of SOPA over at We the People.
Thing 2: The public option is not quite dead. Maybe this might be the best effect of PPACA after all: A federal push of health care reform has encouraged, and will continue to encourage, states to take steps of their own. One silver-lining of a Republican president in 2013 is that if PPACA is repealed, Vermont will be allowed to go full-steam ahead with its single-payer.
 
I'm going to break this "comparison-athon" for a moment with two things.

Thing 1: White House signals opposition to SOPA in response to online petitions of SOPA over at We the People.
Thing 2: The public option is not quite dead. Maybe this might be the best effect of PPACA after all: A federal push of health care reform has encouraged, and will continue to encourage, states to take steps of their own. One silver-lining of a Republican president in 2013 is that if PPACA is repealed, Vermont will be allowed to go full-steam ahead with its single-payer.
vermont can go ahead with single-payer even if PPACA stays. pretty sure the bill allows states to come up with their own health plans as long as they meet certain federal benchmarks in terms of coverage and cost reduction. they would have to apply for a waiver.

the waivers would take effect in 2017 but i'm pretty sure there is a push in the legislature to get the waiver date moved up to 2014.
 
vermont can go ahead with single-payer even if PPACA stays. pretty sure the bill allows states to come up with their own health plans as long as they meet certain federal benchmarks in terms of coverage and cost reduction. they would have to apply for a waiver.

the waivers would take effect in 2017 but i'm pretty sure there is a push in the legislature to get the waiver date moved up to 2014.
I know. My whole point is that the state will be able to get it up and running, fully operational, sooner, in 2014, rather than 2017.
 
1) Obama (66%)
2) Huntsman (33%)
3) Paul (33%)

A lot of those questions had a very incomplete slate of options. All answers on the Social Security question were bogus; I wanted to lift the cap on the payroll tax, but it wasn't an option. I wanted to expand Medicare through buy-in, but that wasn't an option. I wanted to let all of Bush's tax cuts expire, also not there. So several of my answers were the nebulous 'none of the above'.
All but like two of mine were none of the above. It means none of the candidates' positions represents my interests. Which isn't news, I guess.

Too lazy to find out what I disagreed with Obama, but one of them was social security. Isn't it inevitable that the retirement age goes up?
Nope, not at all. That is strictly a political choice, i.e., whether we want to make our lives worse. I prefer to make my life better, so I would oppose any raising of the retirement age.
 
I got Obama, then Ron Paul, then Jon Huntsman, but the questions were all framed so conservatively that I probably should have selected "none of the above" for more of the questions.

Also, I'm going to be abandoning the real pic January thing since I'm about to start job hunting again. hoorray

All but like two of mine were none of the above. It means none of the candidates' positions represents my interests. Which isn't news, I guess.

Nope, not at all. That is strictly a political choice, i.e., whether we want to make our lives worse. I prefer to make my life better, so I would oppose any raising of the retirement age.
A decently compelling argument for moving the retirement age in the other direction.
 
Nope, not at all. That is strictly a political choice, i.e., whether we want to make our lives worse. I prefer to make my life better, so I would oppose any raising of the retirement age.
It's hardly political when people are living longer and thus have to get money longer, while at the same time not working longer to pay for it though. The alternative is that you raise what working people pay into the system which is not really helpful and makes their lives ''worse''. If people are getting older and living conditions are improving, people can and should be working longer.
 
It's hardly political when people are living longer and thus have to get money longer, while at the same time not working longer to pay for it though. The alternative is that you raise what working people pay into the system which is not really helpful and makes their lives ''worse''. If people are getting older and living conditions are improving, people can and should be working longer.
The alternative is to remove the payroll cap on which the tax is applied, it tops out at just over 100k right now. Tax all income and the 'problem' with Social Security goes away.

Social Security goes almost entirely to poor people. You are arguing they should be forced to be even poorer, for longer. I don't see why that must be so.
 
It's hardly political when people are living longer and thus have to get money longer, while at the same time not working longer to pay for it though.
First, people aren't really living longer. Second, whether to pay for it is a political choice. And an easy one, in my opinion. I would certainly rather allocate resources to that than, say, corn subsidies or the occupation of Afghanistan. Or many, many other things.

The alternative is that you raise what working people pay into the system which is not really helpful.
That isn't necessary at all. There is no reason that the program has to be "self-funded," and in fact it would be better (less regressive) if it weren't. Again, free choices here.

If people are getting older and living conditions are improving, people can and should be working longer.
Your premises are't really true, but even if they were, I would strongly disagree. We are supposed to be working less, not more. That's the point of productivity gains and technological advancement, i.e., what our ancestors worked for. We are supposed to reap the benefits of that, not make our lives worse.
 
The alternative is to remove the payroll cap on which the tax is applied, it tops out at just over 100k right now. Tax all income and the 'problem' with Social Security goes away.

Social Security goes almost entirely to poor people. You are arguing they should be forced to be even poorer, for longer. I don't see why that must be so.
I didn't know that about the payroll cap thing (non-USA here). If doing what you said would greatly increase the feasibility of the program (which I'm assuming it would, makes sense obviously) then it should be done. I'm aware that social security goes mostly to poor people and my comment was only aimed at what would keep the program feasible. I wasn't arguing to force poor people to stay poor.
First, people aren't really living longer. Second, whether to pay for it is a political choice. And an easy one, in my opinion. I would certainly rather allocate resources to that than, say, corn subsidies or the occupation of Afghanistan. Or many, many other things.
Of course, so would I. As for the living longer, I don't really see that being not true. Life expectancy has been going up steadily the past century, I'm sure it still is thanks to various advances in scoiety? These programs were created at a time when the life expectancy was at a certain point. It has changed since then, and my assumption was that to keep the program feasible, it would have to change too. If it's not true then I don't understand why there is discussion about retirement age all over the developed world.
Your premises are't really true, but even if they were, I would strongly disagree. We are supposed to be working less, not more. That's the point of productivity gains and technological advancement, i.e., what our ancestors worked for. We are supposed to reap the benefits of that, not make our lives worse.
I agree with this. Obviously I want a better life. I'm simply talking about keeping the program feasible in an economic sense. Here in the Netherlands the retirement age has also been discussed endlessly and I would assume that it's not being discussed because there is no merit to the case. I'm not an economics major and I know you (and people in this thread) are more knowledgeable on the subject, which is why I asked the question in the first place obviously.

We've been conditioned to believe that: more old people + living longer + less young people working = young people paying more to maintain a certain standard of living for retirees. What you two are saying is that this is false, so I'm surprised. Though I understand your points.
 
Some of those questions sucked. I liked for healthcare being "Keep Obamacare" as one, and "Repeal Obamacare" as the other 4. And no "legalize gay marriage" option for gay marriage, as if that's such an outlandish position to have.

Still, Obama's my #1. My #2 was Bachmann :lol
 
It's hardly political when people are living longer and thus have to get money longer, while at the same time not working longer to pay for it though. The alternative is that you raise what working people pay into the system which is not really helpful and makes their lives ''worse''. If people are getting older and living conditions are improving, people can and should be working longer.
The problem with raising the retirement age is that as population grows, and fewer and fewer new jobs are introduced, keeping people in the game will mean fewer young people and imigrants will be able to enter the job market.
 
The problem with raising the retirement age is that as population grows, and fewer and fewer new jobs are introduced, keeping people in the game will mean fewer young people and imigrants will be able to enter the job market.
That is definitely a concern, you're right. I'm personally a fan of solidarity and shared wealth, so I would not be against a more ''socialistic'' future where the retirement age would not have to go up and part time work is more common and enough to actually have a decent life (since we're talking about a future where there simply are not enough full time jobs for everyone).
 
Religious people.


ThinkProgress reported last week that Kansas House Speaker Mike O’Neal (R) was forced to apologize to First Lady Michelle Obama after forwarding an email to fellow lawmakers that called her “Mrs. YoMama” and compared her to the Grinch.

Earlier that same week, the Lawrence Journal-World was sent another email that O’Neal had forwarded to House Republicans that referred to President Obama and a Bible verse that says “Let his days be few” and calls for his children to be without a father and his wife to be widowed.

O’Neal forwarded the prayer with his own message: “At last — I can honestly voice a Biblical prayer for our president! Look it up — it is word for word! Let us all bow our heads and pray. Brothers and Sisters, can I get an AMEN? AMEN!!!!!!”
Mock if old.
 
Let his days be few; and let another take his office
May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow.
May his children be wandering beggars; may they be driven from their ruined homes.
May a creditor seize all he has; may strangers plunder the fruits of his labor.
May no one extend kindness to him or take pity on his fatherless children.
Classy.
 
The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins announced that evangelical conservatives who met in Texas recently endorsed Rick Santorum, CNN’s Sam Feist reports.

Perkins said there was “strong consensus” in the room for Santorum, according to Dave Weigel. Perkins said Santorum got support from over two-thirds of the 150 conservative leaders present, according to Felicia Sonmez.

“It’s not news that there’s not strong support among conservatives for Mitt Romney,” Perkins said, according to Sonmez.
http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/updates/4067

Nate Silver thinks this will impact SC, but right now the state is heavily dominated by Romney v Gingrich. I think we'll see another split vote result, with Gingrich edging out unless Santorum just explodes in the polls.
 
Of course, so would I. As for the living longer, I don't really see that being not true. Life expectancy has been going up steadily the past century, I'm sure it still is thanks to various advances in scoiety?
Life expectancy going up is mostly attributable to people surviving past infancy more frequently. Life expectancy once a person reaches age 65 has gone up by about 6 years since the US social security program started, and a disproportionate amount of that increase is from wealthier people (i.e., it is skewed upwards based on a smaller subset of the population who significantly beat the average). For black males, life expectancy once the age of 65 has been reached has increased just three years since the program started. Regardless, our society has been working and creating collective wealth for the past seventy-five years that the program has been in operation. The point of doing all that work and building all that wealth is to make our lives easier. So the argument that raising the retirement age merely maintains the status quo as it existed in 1935 is inadequate. Society had orders of magnitude less wealth in 1935 than it does today. So we can afford to change the status quo. The only question is whether we want to. Do I want to consciously make a decision with the intention of making my life worse in the future? It is a no-brainer for me. NO.

These programs were created at a time when the life expectancy was at a certain point. It has changed since then, and my assumption was that to keep the program feasible, it would have to change too. If it's not true then I don't understand why there is discussion about retirement age all over the developed world.
The reason is because there is a class of politically powerful persons--people who benefit from depressing wages and labor bargaining power--that wants to make your life worse (because it is to their benefit to make your life worse). Those seeking to reduce social security benefits are not doing so in order to "save the program" or keep it feasible, it is to depress wages by weakening labor bargaining power (i.e., making people more dependent upon a job).

I'm simply talking about keeping the program feasible in an economic sense.
That isn't a problem in the US. The US has ample resources to maintain benefits where they are.

Here in the Netherlands the retirement age has also been discussed endlessly and I would assume that it's not being discussed because there is no merit to the case. I'm not an economics major and I know you (and people in this thread) are more knowledgeable on the subject, which is why I asked the question in the first place obviously.
I'm not trying to harp on you or anything, just explain why I think the presumption that benefits have to be reduced should be challenged. That said, I didn't realize you were in the Netherlands, and I have no real idea what your country's situation is in this respect. My comments are primarily about the US social security system. Having said that, I believe the assault on social spending is a global phenomenon that has the same roots. It is a capital assault (employers and investors) against labor (people who work for a living). Europe, in particular, is currently under heavy assault because there is the most there to destroy. Here, they are just trying to take away or reduce further what meager programs we currently have that bolster labor bargaining power.

We've been conditioned to believe that: more old people + living longer + less young people working = young people paying more to maintain a certain standard of living for retirees. What you two are saying is that this is false, so I'm surprised. Though I understand your points.
I'm saying something a little bit more radical than GhaleonEB (although he may or may not disagree with me). His comments are about fixing the American social security system as a self-contained program (which I do support as a last resort--basically maintaining the status quo). But my comments are a bit broader in that I am saying we are not even constrained by the programs as they currently exist (or the taxes that pretend to, but don't, fund them). There is no doubt that, as a society, the US can afford whatever retirement insurance plan we want (i.e., the country has more than ample resources to direct to this project). So the only question we have to answer in my mind is what kind of retirement insurance plan we want. And, I have to say, I sure as hell don't want one that forces me to wait past age 65 before collecting benefits.

See also: http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=749
http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=14880

Also, check out the article Invisible Insane posted above: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/01/02/unconventional_wisdom?page=0,7
 
I didn't know that about the payroll cap thing (non-USA here). If doing what you said would greatly increase the feasibility of the program (which I'm assuming it would, makes sense obviously) then it should be done. I'm aware that social security goes mostly to poor people and my comment was only aimed at what would keep the program feasible. I wasn't arguing to force poor people to stay poor.
I understand. There's a lot of political pressure to gut Social Security here in the US, so I'm a bit twitchy when the subject comes up. Didn't mean to snipe at you.

Here's some background on the payroll tax cap.

Social Security withholding tax equal to 6.20% of the gross wage amount, up to but not exceeding the Social Security Wage Base ($97,500 for 2007; $102,000 for 2008; and $106,800 for 2009, 2010, and 2011).
If that cap were lifted and applied to all income, it would enable the fund to continue to pay rising benefits and still be solvent. We have a political problem in the US, not a funding one with regard to Social Security.

First, people aren't really living longer. Second, whether to pay for it is a political choice. And an easy one, in my opinion. I would certainly rather allocate resources to that than, say, corn subsidies or the occupation of Afghanistan. Or many, many other things.
I want to add granularity to this. (Edit: I see you addressed this in your next post. I'll leave it here anyways.)

People are living a bit longer - but the gains are not evenly distributed.

Over the past quarter century, life expectancy at age 65 has increased by one year for lower-income men, compared to five years for upper-income men (see Figure F). Men in the lower half of the earnings distribution have not even caught up to where upper-income men were in 1982. In the case of women, life expectancy has grown slowly overall, with lower-income women actually seeing declines and upper-income women seeing only modest improvements. The general pattern appears to hold with older women as well, as Cristia (2009) found a substantial and statistically significant increase in mortality differentials by lifetime earnings for women aged 50-64, and a smaller and not significant increase among women aged 65-75.​

It speaks to how uneven access to healthcare in the US impacts the poor and working classes, which is why it would be particularly unfair and even cruel to raise the retirement age for them.
 
So I know those guys don't read the bible, but you think statistically, once in a while they'll be able to quote something that wouldn't make them look like idiots when taken in context.
Sadly, this is not the time.

For is you keep reading that chapter, you'll see why the days of that person should be numbered -
It was "Because that he remembered not to show mercy, but persecuted the poor and needy man" (109:16), and also because "as he loved cursing, so let it come unto him: as he delighted not in blessing, so let it be far from him. As he clothed himself with cursing like as with his garment, so let it come into his bowels like water, and like oil into his bones".
God sure loves some irony.

But the point is really driven home at the end of the chapter -

Let them curse, but bless thou:

when they arise, let them be ashamed; but let thy servant rejoice.

Let mine adversaries be clothed with shame;
and let them cover themselves with their own confusion, as with a mantle.

I will greatly praise the LORD with my mouth;
yea, I will praise him among the multitude.

For he shall stand at the right hand of the poor,
to save him from those that condemn his soul.

Word.

p.s.
Man, there is like no decent translation of the Bible to English.
 
It's hardly political when people are living longer and thus have to get money longer, while at the same time not working longer to pay for it though. The alternative is that you raise what working people pay into the system which is not really helpful and makes their lives ''worse''. If people are getting older and living conditions are improving, people can and should be working longer.
Many, many people that WANT to work longer are forced into retirement earlier than they plan anyway. Businesses do not want 70 year olds. An economy can only support so many walmart greeters. Full retirement benefits right now are already up to 67 years old.

Then there's people who physically can't do their job anymore due to age. Construction workers, laborers, etc.

I'm aware that social security goes mostly to poor people and my comment was only aimed at what would keep the program feasible.
No. Social security is available to everyone AFAIK.
 
This conversation is timely, as this week my wife and I met with our financial planner for our (first) annual review of our savings balance, strategy and trajectory. We're in good shape, and it just reminded me of how very fortunate we are in this country. I'm tracking to retire well before the official retirement age. I am very fortunate.
 
A new ARG poll has Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich both within striking distance in South Carolina. I'm not sure how reliable they are as a polling outfit, but that is a pretty big surge for Paul, who was only at 9% in their last poll.

Romney 29%
Gingrich 25%
Paul 20%
Perry 9%
Santorum 7%[
I wish Paul would drop out. He has zero chance and his votes would end up going to Gingrich or Santorum and they could finally beat Mitt. God dammit.

Perry can bail the fuck out any time now, too. Dipshit. I think he's just in it to troll the voter spread at this point
 
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