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Do deficits really matter?

by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / February 15, 2004 11:54 PM PST
The truth about the Reagan deficits.
One point that she doesn't mention is that Reagan's economic policies turned the US from the world's largest creditor namtion to the world's largest debtor in less than two years...

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!
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Re:Do deficits really matter?
by Evie / February 16, 2004 12:04 AM PST
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Re: Do deficits really matter?
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / February 16, 2004 12:27 AM PST

Hi, Evie.

Bush's focus on the useless Star Wars program is his Achilles heel, both philosophically and in terms of realpolitik. He wants a 13% increase in that useless program (after all, terorists aren't going to shoot an ICMB at us!) while cutting the budget of the Centers for Disease Control by 9% at a time when there's real concern about a new pandemic, and holding NIH to just about the current Biomedical Research Inflation rate. Defense is about more than missiles and terrorists!

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Oooooh
by Evie / February 16, 2004 12:35 AM PST

Holding it to just about the rate of inflation? I'll tell you what Dave, there is plenty of funding for health issues related to national security. What is needed is a re-prioritization of how the funds are spent. Yes, fewer gun and second-hand smoke studies and more studies on infectious diseases like those that might be used in C&BW

Oh, and scrap Hillary's vaccine program so that we can reverse the disasterous effect it has had on our nation's vaccine supply and quality.

Evie Happy

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I talked to a Phd. in Economics from MIT whose profession is financial
by Kiddpeat / February 16, 2004 2:02 AM PST

analysis. He said President Bush's tax cut was what was needed at the time to revive the economy. He said neither the deficit nor the debt are out of line as percentages of GNP when compared to historical levels. He said Bush 'pushed every button he could', and properly so to stimulate the economy. I think he had some reservations about the duration of the cuts.

He also said he was disappointed in many of his peers who are condemning the Bush tax cuts. He said they all sat in the same classes, and studied the same theory. They know the truth, but are obviously criticizing Bush for political reasons.

I haven't had a chance to research it yet, but perhaps y'all can tell us how the percentage of debt and deficit stacks up against historical levels.

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Re:I talked to a Phd. in Economics from MIT whose profession is financial
by Josh K / February 16, 2004 2:19 AM PST
He also said he was disappointed in many of his peers who are condemning the Bush tax cuts. He said they all sat in the same classes, and studied the same theory. They know the truth, but are obviously criticizing Bush for political reasons.

Obviously? To who? How do you know that your friend's peers aren't the ones who know "the truth" and that your friend isn't the one defending the tax cuts for political reasons?
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Because, if anything, he tends to be a little on the liberal side.

For example, he thought Microsoft should have been 'creamed' by the DOJ. He also thinks gay marriage would have some distinct advantages. He is also not particularly political and is very honest, so when he says something like what he said, that's very significant to me. He doesn't say things unless he believes that they are true.

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Re:Because, if anything, he tends to be a little on the liberal side.
by Josh K / February 16, 2004 2:41 AM PST

Well that's nice (and refreshing) to hear. Too many people defend the cuts because it's the party-line thing to do. Same for many of the critics.

I favored the concept but not the way they were distributed. The economy is showing some signs of recovery. We'll see what the analysts (and your friend) have to say about that, whether the recovery can be directly attributed to the tax cuts or whether it is happening despite them.

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That's fine. I think they've all said why they think a recovery is occurring, but

maybe they'll change their minds in the future.

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That depends
by Angeline Booher / February 16, 2004 5:25 AM PST

That all depends on which economist 's thinking is correct, though most agree that the deficits impact us more than the debt.

Volker's vision was for the long term to control inflation.

What he didn't consider is that there are unpredictable forces that require immediate intervention, which is what Greenspan did immediately after his appointment.

The cornerstones of major economic thought all have a cost, tradeoffs, tradeoffs are necessary, incentives matter, and voluntary trade creates value. Macroeconomics looks at the economy as a whole, including inflation, recession, unemployment, economic growth, and gross domestic product (GDP).

Government controls demand with fiscal policy ? affecting tax and spending ? and monetary policy ? involving the Federal Reserve, interest rates, and the banking system

The effects of deficits are dependent upon how they are financed.

Few economists recommend running budget surpluses to reduce the debt. Instead, most economists favor significantly reducing or eliminating the deficit. If this can be accomplished, the debt will grow less rapidly than GDP and the debt will become relatively less important.

A personal observation - I haven't read anything about any economist having a plan to encourage personal savings. Instead, the cheap price of money has saddled consumers with the highest personal debt to date, especially credit cards.

Angeline
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

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