Why not a pony

The Sanders’s campaign economic analysis of their plans is at this link. I pulled out a couple of their tables and highlighted the interesting to me areas

Friedman

I want a pony with these projections.

UPDATE 1: 

Yesterday I mentioned the Sanders plan claimed 5.3% GDP growth but I am highlighting a different number here of 4.5%

P.2 of the link:

The growth rate of the real gross domestic product will rise from 2.1% per annum to 5.3% so that real GDP per capita will be over $20,000 higher in 2026 than is projected under the current policy

The difference is the qualifier.  Yesterday was economy-wide growth of 5.3%.  The highlighted number today is 4.5% per person.  Slightly different metrics that are both wild-eye guesstimates that don’t pass basic sensitivity testing.  I can understand a campaign putting out optimistic numbers but when the numbers coming out are so optimistic that people who look at this stuff for a living start to first laugh and then cringe, three things need to be asked:

 

a)  What is the mechanism of change that can produce these massive variances?

b)  If they are real in A, why have they not been proposed and implemented in the past as 5% economy wide real growth solves an amazing shit ton of problems without any hard decisions or trade-offs?

c) Does any of this make sense?

 

242 replies
  1. 1
    Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class says:

    Kicking progressives while trying to protect your high falutin’, phony baloney job again, I see….

    Clearly, the Revolution will put you against the law early. Bernie will personally pronounce your sentence.

  2. 2
    Rob in CT says:

    *Sigh*

    Selling fantasy. I guess the theory is it works (sometimes, anyway) for the GOP…

  3. 3
    Cacti says:

    In Bernieville, every kid is above average.

  4. 4

    @Rob in CT: But if they are selling a fantasy, I want a redhead with a great ass in mine

  5. 5
    Miss Bianca says:

    Hell, with these projections I could finally AFFORD a pony.

  6. 6
    Corner Stone says:

    Isn’t it deeply saddening that 2.49% real wage growth is 665% higher than the CBO baseline?

  7. 7
    David Fud says:

    The growth rate of employment and the (equilibrium?) unemployment rate are quite interesting as well… I want to see the magic wand and ride the pony, preferably now. Why doesn’t he wave the magic wand now, since he is a Senator and gets things done?

    I WANT MY PONY!

  8. 8
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Those figures don’t take into account that the proposal would be translated into legislation after a political revolution.

    . Assumptions and calculations as for a prior political landscape would no longer hold.

  9. 9
    Corner Stone says:

    I honestly do not understand how anyone could see Ted Cruz on TV and ever consider voting for him, for anything.

  10. 10
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Richard Mayhew:

    you mean like this?

  11. 11
    AnonPhenom says:

    You may want a pony but the CBO is telling you’re gonna be fitted for a pair of horse shoes. I hope the reality is somewhere in between.

  12. 12

    Now you will be accused of being corporatist.

  13. 13
    Face says:

    @Richard Mayhew: Ref more soccer. You’ll find one eventually, from what I hear.

  14. 14
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    oops. Of course, you meant like this

  15. 15
    Fair Economist says:

    2/3 reduction in that inequality ratio? Phooey on the pony, you can get a team of unicorns with that!

    Actually, I’d agree that substantial improvements in wage gains are quite possible. There’s been a massive redistribution of wealth from workers to the wealthy over the last 40 years, and just partially rolling it back could easily produce a decade of large real wage gains.

  16. 16
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Corner Stone: Cruz gives off the creepiest vibe of any politician I’ve ever seen. He’s a character from a Steven King novel.

  17. 17
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Miss Bianca:
    Linky bad. You fix?

  18. 18
    Paul in KY says:

    @Richard Mayhew: I’m fine with that too. Would get me to vote for Bernie.

  19. 19
    Belafon says:

    @Betty Cracker: Which King was too scared to write.

  20. 20
    Dupe1970 says:

    @Betty Cracker: @Betty Cracker: OMG you’re correct. Does he need to be Dead Zoned?

  21. 21
    Stillwater says:

    @Corner Stone: Reality is often disappointing. Just like Clinton’s campaign to this point.

    Do’h!

  22. 22
    Eric S. says:

    @Richard Mayhew: Opinions of her tail may vary.

    Very, very Safe For Work

  23. 23
    Paul in KY says:

    @Betty Cracker: He’d have gone in to read for the Stilton part & the casting director would say ‘No, too creepy’.

  24. 24
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    A magic unicorn in every garage. He’s got my vote!

  25. 25
  26. 26

    I am very scared of going on any of those links

  27. 27
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    4.5% real growth rate in GDP for the next ten straight years?

    Insanity. That’s not even “unrealistic”. Well beyond that.

    Cruz gives off the creepiest vibe of any politician I’ve ever seen. He’s a character from a Steven King novel.

    Thinking along the lines of the “Walking Man” from the Stand.

  28. 28
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!:

    Insanity. That’s not even “unrealistic”. Well beyond that.

    Not in a post-political-revolution setting.

    All prior assumptions and conditions would go out the window. We’d be working with a clean slate.

  29. 29
    Bartholomew says:

    Today’s Wall Street Journal and other rightwing sites are all much more aligned with Balloon Juice than actual liberal Americans … for truth in advertising, Balloon Juice should put them on its blogroll. Alternatively a funny new tag called Ratfuckers should be created, hahahaha.

    Left is a mirror of the Right. Vote liberal.

    Bernie Sanders and the Victims of Socialism (http://www.wsj.com/articles/be.....1455711933)

    Here’s Why Young Democrats Shouldn’t Buy What Bernie Sanders Is Selling (http://thelibertarianrepublic......s-selling/)

  30. 30
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Richard Mayhew: We’re all friends here, Richard. Well, mostly, if I omit mclaren. Have some faith.

  31. 31
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    @Fair Economist:

    Lack of wage gains is a real puzzle. Kthug seems to think that the pattern of increasing productivity and output plus flat worker compensation points to market power being wielded by producers. This would reasonably be the case when unemployment is high. But we’re <5% and wages have barely ticked up. Dropping union membership may be part of it. It's an interesting question.

  32. 32
    Amir Khalid says:

    And the Berniebros call Hillary untrustworthy.

  33. 33
    Corner Stone says:

    @Stillwater: As a Sanders supporter, the reality is I would appreciate someone tightening up their numbers a smidge.

  34. 34
    Corner Stone says:

    @Gin & Tonic: That was a thread I was actually glad I decided to do something more productive. Yeah, it was testing electric shock levels on my nipples for auto-erotic purposes but that was still worlds more productive than that showing.

  35. 35
    Rob in CT says:

    @Richard Mayhew:

    Honey in every pot…

  36. 36
    JDM says:

    Just yesterday, Richard, you said Bernie was projecting 5.3% growth. Now you say he’s projecting 4.5% growth.

  37. 37
    Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    You realize the high likelihood that baud names mclaren his VP running mate, right?

  38. 38
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Betty Cracker: Stephen King, nothin’ – he’s out of Lemony Snicket. With maybe a dash of H. P. Lovecraft.

  39. 39
    Corner Stone says:

    @Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class: I don’t think locking up the bi-polar vote would be all that helpful to a campaign. Because your voters would love you!…then hate you!…then love you!!…then hate you!!

  40. 40
    Rob in CT says:

    @JDM:

    The 5.3% number came from an outside economist (and the campaign basically said “right on, man”). This is apparently direct from the campaign. Slightly different.

    Both numbers are fantasy.

  41. 41
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class: In that case, I’m voting for Nader.

  42. 42
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    I could see Cruz in a Charles Stross novel. He’s done sociopaths before in Rule 34 and he’s really good at it.

  43. 43
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Bartholomew: Bullshit. We’ve got frontpagers in the tank for Hillary, frontpagers in the tank for Bernie and frontpagers who haven’t completely made up their minds (moi). I’m not thrilled with the dueling potshots either, to be honest. But 99.9% of the folks who comment here will vote for whomever the Democrats ultimately nominate, even if that person is not their first choice. You, Rand Paul, Nick Gillespie, Megan McArdle, the Wall Street Journal editorial board, etc., can’t say the same.

  44. 44

    @JDM: FOLLOW THE LINK:

    P.2

    The Sanders economic policy will achieve broad-based and sustained prosperity with the following:
     The growth rate of the real gross domestic product will rise from 2.1% per annum to 5.3% so
    that real GDP per capita will be over $20,000 higher in 2026 than is projected under the current
    policy

    What I highlighted above is growth in GDP per capita

    the 5.3% is Growth in total GDP per capita plus new poplation

  45. 45
    TylerF says:

    @ultraviolet thunder Its pretty simple, the only thing corporate overlords hate paying more then employees are taxes. As long as taxes are low, they will pocket the gains. Raise taxes on them and they might pay their employees more rather then pay the government.

    I don’t think it’s merely coincidence that wage increases track pretty well with the tax rate on the 1-2%.

  46. 46
    WereBear says:

    @Betty Cracker: Cruz gives off the creepiest vibe of any politician I’ve ever seen. He’s a character from a Steven King novel.

    I can’t believe anyone voted for or married him.

    Tastes do differ!

  47. 47
    Stillwater says:

    @Corner Stone: Looking thru the report a bit, it appears that the discrepancy between CBO and Sander’s Camp estimates comes from differing values of the multiplier used to determine projected growth year-over-year as well as in the short and long term. (CBO made projections on a lower multiplier, etc.) I ain’t no economist, so I can’t say which is the right approach to take.

  48. 48

    @Betty Cracker:
    I thought the front pagers were just generally tanked.

  49. 49
    Chyron HR says:

    Aww, now Killer Mike is going to have to execute your poodle. I hope you’re satisfied. :^(

  50. 50
    dslak says:

    Criticizing Bernie’s numbers is just like when the Wall Street Journal calls him a dirty socialist. Do you want to be in league with the Establishment? Now read this Daily Caller article about how Hillary and DWS are subverting democracy!

  51. 51
    LeonS says:

    @Richard Mayhew: First you want a pony, not you want a donkey!? And a great one at that? So entitled.
    Well here you go:

  52. 52
    DCF says:

    @Stillwater:

    Thomas Piketty on the rise of Bernie Sanders: the US enters a new political era

    The Vermont senator’s success so far demonstrates the end of the politico-ideological cycle opened by the victory of Ronald Reagan at the 1980 elections

    http://www.theguardian.com/us-.....ction-2016

    For Hillary to Survive, Clintonism Had to Die
    Hillary Clinton both embraces and rejects her husband’s legacy—which is her campaign’s biggest strength and biggest weakness.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/polit.....had-to-die

  53. 53
    LeonS says:

    @Amir Khalid: To be fair they are talking about slightly different things. Without endorsing either view, I think the criticism of Hillary is that she doesn’t really mean what she says (ala “I will tell Wall Street to cut it out” vs. cozy relationship with Wall Street). There’s little doubt that Bernie really wants what he is pushing, he’s been pushing the same message for decades, but real doubt about whether he is realistic about whether he can actually do it or not.

  54. 54
    LeonS says:

    @LeonS: Sorry, not sure what happened with the link. Anyway: http://www.gettyimages.com/det...../103520013

  55. 55
    daveNYC says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: Hey, the Walking Man was supposed to be very charismatic, just in a creepy way. Cruz isn’t even charismatic.

    4.5% GDP growth would be doable, all you need to do is increase government spending by about 25%. Piece of gravy. Cough.

  56. 56
    The Raven says:

    First politician evah to promise more than he can deliver? Oh, noes!

    And hey, if you ask for a pony you just might get something good, even if it’s not a pony.

    Look at what the other candidates are asking for! Clinton, we may reasonably expect to deliver war and nothing on employment, health care, and housing. The Republicans will deliver even more wars, a police state, and an economic collapse or else military Keynsianism. I’ll take a Sanders compromise any day, though I will admit that Clinton is likely to fight the good fight for women’s rights and against the radical right, which she has every reason to hate. Still, I don’t want to vote for a candidate who defends that war criminal Kissinger. Is there no point at which the lesser evil is too evil to abide?

    @Ultraviolet Thunder: “Lack of wage gains is a real puzzle.”

    Summers thinks “secular stagnation” — a prolonged period of low growth and high unemployment — is real and advocates fiscal policy to fight it. This major mainstream economist is now advocating redistribution as policy.

    Returning to the subject at hand, which of the Presidential candidates is most likely to support non-military fiscal policy as a response to secular stagnation?

  57. 57
    Cacti says:

    @The Raven:

    First politician evah to promise more than he can deliver? Oh, noes!

    Is he promising anything he can deliver?

  58. 58

    @The Raven: Massively overpromising and failing to deliver is what built the Trump campaign’s supporters.

    I want to be part of the reality based community which means pushing back against fantasies. For my entire professional life, the GOP is the party of fantasy (and not the fun kind); I don’t want my party to go down that road so I’m pushing back as much as I can with the platform that I have available to me.

  59. 59
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    @Cacti:
    Krugman calls the contrast between Clinton’s policies and Sanders’ a debate over whether a unicorn is more real than a magic unicorn, since no really progressive policy is going anywhere without Dem control of the Legislative branch.

  60. 60
    singfoom says:

    This feels right. I’ve been wanting a pony forever. If Bernie delivers on his economic promises AND gets me a pony, it’ll be great.

    Yeah, I wish these numbers added up more. I wish he could pull this economic improvement off….but yeah, this seems extreme.

    Bernie supporters should want this addressed and improved.

  61. 61
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @The Raven: Sanders is a fan of Daniel Ortega. That ain’t great.

  62. 62
    singfoom says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder: All unicorns are magic, but I also like that metaphor.

  63. 63
    The Raven says:

    @Cacti: Trying to make things better for most of us. Strikes me as a pretty good promise. He’s not going to get everything he asks for and I think, as a 30-year veteran politician, he knows it. But he can try for some things, and, as 30-year veteran politician, he knows he has a chance of getting some things. And he’s the only major candidate who is even likely to try to deliver on jobs, housing, education, and health care; Clinton will “realistically” not even try and the Republicans are going to make matters worse.

  64. 64
    Sibelius says:

    Wouldn’t 2008 have been the time for Bernie’s “revolution”? I mean, what was the harm then, we were burning anyway, right? We are finally getting on the right trajectory from my perspective. I don’t want to risk a revolution failing to Trump, Cruz, Rubio…No thanks Bernie, I’d rather have a little more secure incrementalism. Boring, I know, but I’ve got 2 little girls to raise.

  65. 65
    NCSteve says:

    Historically, one of three things happen in the years after a revolution:

    a) war (civil and/or foreign)
    b) recession or depression
    c) war and recession/depression.

    Because, however much it needs doing, it turns out that expropriation, execution, exile, etc. of the ruling class or throwing out the colonial masters is really, really, really bad for business. I am unaware of any revolution where improvements in the standard of living and GDP growth followed any of a revolution in less than a generation. They’re may be a coup or two somewhere that did, but none come to mind.

    Economic recession happened here after the real revolution and after the Jeffersonian and Jacksonian policy revolutions. The south never truly recovered from the Civil War. The only exception is FDR’s policy revolution because damn near anything he could have done could only make things better by that time.

  66. 66
    Stillwater says:

    Richard Mayhew:

    a) What is the mechanism of change that can produce these massive variances?

    The idea Sander’s plan works on seems to me similar to the logic of regular ole gummint spending in the form of a “stimulus”: his plan would effectively put more disposable income into consumer’s hands, money that will be spent on goods and services, which will put more money into other people’s hand, which will be spent on G&Ss, and so on. The recursion is the multiplier effect I was talking about upthread. Depending on the value of the multiplier used to calculate changes in GDP , demand, wages, etc you’ll get wildly different projections over the long term. (Read the report: the guy basically says he used a conservative but still higher multiplier coefficient than the CBO.)

    b) If they are real in A, why have they not been proposed and implemented in the past as 5% economy wide real growth solves an amazing shit ton of problems without any hard decisions or trade-offs?

    My guess is because Sander’s plan takes money away from rich people; but it also goes against conventional economic orthodoxy.

    c) Does any of this make sense?

    I think it makes sense as a plan – that is, holding a bunch of other variables constant, the math on Bernie’s plan works out (seems to me). But the Fed has tools at its disposal to change the overall effects, as well as politicians (!!) and unintended consequences (eg., regarding raising the national minimum wage) could stifle or even retard the growth projections when theory confronts practice.

  67. 67
    NCSteve says:

    @The Raven:

    And he’s the only major candidate who is even likely to try to deliver on jobs, housing, education, and health care; Clinton will “realistically” not even try and the Republicans are going to make matters worse.

    You guys have really morphed Hillary into a monster in your heads who is unrecognizable even to those of us who vociferously opposed her in 2008. Even as a hardcore Obot, I never had any doubt that she would push and push hard for all of those things if she won. Still don’t.

  68. 68
    Rob in CT says:

    @NCSteve:

    Come now. Bernie’s revolution is a peaceful democratic one. He’s not insane.

    He *is* blowing smoke up our asses, though. For those who like that sort of thing, ok, but I’m with Richard (member of the reality-based community).

  69. 69
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @The Raven:

    And he’s the only major candidate who is even likely to try to deliver on jobs, housing, education, and health care; Clinton will “realistically” not even try

    I’m already disappointed by the things Hillary Clinton hasn’t even given up on yet!

  70. 70
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    Over 3% annual productivity growth?!?! Isn’t that hugely high? Let’s see, it looks like productivity growth was over 4% at the end of the Tech Bubble. Maybe that’s what Bernie’s advisers are aiming for.

    :-/

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  71. 71
    The Raven says:

    @Richard Mayhew: “Massively overpromising and failing to deliver is what built the Trump campaign’s supporters.”

    Yeah. The question comes up whether Sanders can deliver enough to keep the public happy, even if he can’t get the whole thing. Sanders economics, if he is given the opportunity to implement it, is more likely to work better than the economics of the other candidates. It won’t be ponies for everyone, but many of us would settle for better, even if it isn’t everything promised.

    It is still “the economy, stupid” and, as you say, disappointing the voters is a Bad Thing. Still, I don’t see that Clinton even wants to deliver, and the Republicans are so crazy they can at most improve the economy through military Keynesianism. More likely the R’s will simply make things horrible.

    As I wrote a few weeks back:

    It may not matter. Foreign policy and domestic immigration policy may dominate both the election and the next Presidency, making all these issues moot. But there is much false hope for liberals. Clinton supporters hope she will turn into an economic liberal, which seems unlikely, and Sanders supporters hope he will somehow be able to get sweeping reforms through a Congress that has charged off a cliff to the right, which also seems unlikely.

    Maybe the best possible outcome is for Hillary Clinton to become President, the Republicans to self-destruct, and the Sanders campaign to go on to found a new liberal party!

  72. 72
    Mike R says:

    @The Raven: Hey I asked for a pony and guess what. Got one and let me tell about something that goes with a pony, and that is horse shit and lots of it. Just hate to see all the enthusiasm Bernie is building bring a giant let down when his promises prove to be well out of his reach. Personally I will vote for Bernie if he is the nominee but he wouldn’t be my first choice. The republicans are just horse shit.

  73. 73
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder: If the NAIRU is really 2.3% now, that would explain the lack of motion on wages.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  74. 74
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Stillwater: But, hold on. Wasn’t the original graphic that was going around supposed to show that Bernie Sanders could do all of this in a revenue-neutral way? If it’s stimulus, it’s just borrowed and pays for itself in the long run, right, at least in theory?

  75. 75
    Emma says:

    @NCSteve: This. I don’t get it. She wouldn’t be exactly what I would want a Democratic president to be but she wouldn’t be my Republican nightmares, either. Even if all she turned out to be was the third term of an Obama presidency, the country would be miles ahead than with President Trump or President Cruz.

    This fantasy fifth columnist is beyond sanity.

  76. 76
    The Raven says:

    @NCSteve: I remember Sister Souljah. I remember the stupid crime bill. I remember welfare “reform.” And Clinton has praised that war criminal Kissinger.

    She is her own monster. Seriously, Kissinger?

    Look, both candidates have records. I like Sanders’ a hell of a lot better than Clinton’s.

    @FlipYrWhig: Sanders said some sympathetic things about Ortega back in the 1980s. So?

  77. 77
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @The Raven: You really do think that Hillary Clinton is a callous Iron Lady privatizing warmonger, don’t you? I submit that that’s an issue more with you than with her.

  78. 78
    azlib says:

    This reminds of what I called the Lotus 1-2-3 syndrome in the 80’s when spreadsheets were just starting to get used in business. All you had to do was tweak your spreadsheet numbers to get the result you wanted no matter how unrealistic. What surprised me was banks actually bought this crap for loans because it was an electronic spreadsheet.

    I think what Bernie is afraid of is if he cranks the maxcro numbers back to a realistic level, then he is back to incrementalism.

  79. 79
    Stillwater says:

    @FlipYrWhig: No. The analogy was to a stimulus (which I cleverly included since everyone HERE is AOK with gummental stimulus!!). It’s redistribution.

  80. 80
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @The Raven: Prolife, corrupt, and an abettor of terrorism. Having a “profoundly emotional” meeting with Daniel Ortega doesn’t reflect well on Bernie Sanders. Hillary Clinton says she respects Kissinger’s opinions. She’s not shaped by him. She didn’t say it was “profoundly emotional.”

  81. 81
    Marc says:

    You’re quoting a 1997 biography, right? You remember that this occurred in the Reagan administration, before Ortega took power at all, and well before anyone knew their opinions on abortion at all? You do know about the track record of the government that they were fighting, correct? The murder of the nuns and archbishop?

    Pulling hit pieces out of 20-year old writings isn’t remotely accurate. And, as we saw with Bill Clinton and Obama, it also doesn’t work.

  82. 82
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Marc: If we’re playing stupid guilt-by-association games with Hillary Clinton and Henry Kissinger, 40 years after the end of Vietnam, I’ll play some stupid games myself. It’s not just Ortega (which I mostly liked because of the “profoundly emotional” part), it’s affection-verging-on-fandom for Fidel Castro and the Soviet Freakin’ Union too. So let’s knock off OMG SHE SAID HENRY KISSINGER COMPLIMENTED HER MANAGEMENT SKILLS.

  83. 83
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Fixed. I think. Hate it when I mess up my own punchlines…

  84. 84
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Richard Mayhew:

    Don’t be scared. HORSIE!

  85. 85
    Stillwater says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Kissinger was instrumental in the carpet bombing of Laos and Cambodia as well as North Vietnam (the Christmas Bombing) because it negotiated in good faith over the Kissinger-clusterfucked US treaty proposal.

  86. 86
    DCF says:

    @Richard Mayhew:

    ‘Reality – what a concept’
    Robin Williams

    ‘First of all, Bernie Sanders may use the word socialist, but he’s basically a New Dealer. Now in the current American political spectrum, to be a New Dealer is to be way out on the left. Eisenhower, for example, who said that anyone who questions the New Deal doesn’t belong in the political system would be regarded as a raving leftist [today]….’
    Noam Chomsky

    I’ve never harbored a desire for a unicorn – magical or otherwise – but a creature like Pegasus (metaphorically-speaking) is another matter entirely…a ‘horse of a different color’?….
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pegasus

    The ‘reality’ of the last thirty-five years? Trickle-down economics and the steady decline of the American middle class. I’ll be keeping close watch on the veracity of these numbers/estimates as they are examined and refined over time. What is increasingly clear to me is the ennui within/around our nation that closely parallels the inception of the Reagan ‘revolution’….

    UpFront – Noam Chomsky on Clinton vs Sanders
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btJfkPBLULg

  87. 87

    @Richard Mayhew:
    Uh… can I trade my pony for one of those? Can she be an artist, a geek, and a little on the crazy side, since I’m a lot on the crazy side? Love of cartoons a big plus.

    @The Raven:

    Clinton, we may reasonably expect to deliver war and nothing on employment, health care, and housing.

    Uh… no. It’s not reasonable to expect that at all. It’s almost as bizarre a reading as those people who thought Obama was going to make big cuts to Social Security.

  88. 88
    Miss Bianca says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I’m already disappointed by the things Hillary Clinton hasn’t even given up on yet!

    And you, ma’am/sir, win the Internet for today. Your pony is in the mail.

  89. 89
    Corner Stone says:

    @Stillwater: He didn’t say he approved of her carpet bombing tactical skills, he said she seemed to run an efficient ship at State.

  90. 90
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Sibelius: I wish he had run for the nomination in 2000. That would have pushed Gore to the left and changed the narrative from panty sniffing to more substantive issues. And it might have short circuited Nader. Plus Bernie would have been much younger.

  91. 91
    Stillwater says:

    @Corner Stone: he said she seemed to run an efficient ship at State.

    Which sometimes requires carpetbombing as a solution to political problems. I mean, let’s be realists here.

  92. 92
    daveNYC says:

    @Bobby Thomson: He would have been a Representative for all of nine years at that point. The jump from U.S. Representative to president hasn’t happened since Garfield.

  93. 93
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Corner Stone: Yup. And that’s why it’s something worth noting: world’s most famous Republican statesman (um, after a fashion) says nice things about the woman Republicans have been loving to hate for 25 years.

  94. 94
    Cacti says:

    @DCF:

    Is there anyone who isn’t already a Sanders supporter who’s likely to be impressed by a Noam Chomsky endorsement?

  95. 95
    Corner Stone says:

    @Stillwater: Ok, let’s do that. How many carpet bombings did she realistically strategically engineer, or realistically implement?

  96. 96
    Stillwater says:

    @Corner Stone:

    What do YOU think an endorsement from Kissinger means, Corner?

    Edit: I mean, we got the AUMF vote for one. A war based on lies as brother Trump informed us the other night.

  97. 97
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Cacti: maybe not, but I think we’re all agreed we can count on the average American voter to coolly evaluate the distinction between a “Socialist” and a “Social Democrat”

  98. 98
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Stillwater: It wasn’t an “endorsement” from Kissinger, though. It was a compliment. About managing the bureaucracy.

  99. 99
    Roger Moore says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder:

    This would reasonably be the case when unemployment is high. But we’re <5% and wages have barely ticked up.

    But U6 is still around 10%, which means there’s still a lot of slack in the labor market. I’m sure that loss of union representation has something to do with it, but the economy isn’t as healthy as the top-line unemployment figure makes you think.

  100. 100
    randy khan says:

    4.5% average growth over a 10-year period is essentially a fantasy. We’re already 6 years past the last recession, so the likelihood of another one during the next ten years approaches 100%. And the U.S. hasn’t had a 10-year stretch of 4.5% annual growth since the end of WWII, a period that I think everyone would agree was a special case.

  101. 101
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @randy khan: I think Sanders’s argument is CONVENTIONAL WISDOM BE DAMNED NO ONES EVEN TRIED!

  102. 102
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    It’s almost as bizarre a reading as those people who thought Obama was going to make big cuts to Social Security.

    They’re gonna happen any day now, you just wait and see.

  103. 103
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Corner Stone: In fairness, the Hilbeast did bomb the carpet, there were fleas.

  104. 104
    Corner Stone says:

    @Stillwater: Find me the endorsement and I will be able to respond appropriately. Currently we simply have a note that she didn’t bungle the place into the dumpster fire.

  105. 105
    Corner Stone says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: You know what they say, “Lay down with Colombian dogs, wake up with Peruvian fleas!”
    /that’s a reference to when she was running drugs out of Arkansas and using the staties as guards.

  106. 106
    J R in WV says:

    I suppose you can link Hillary to the actions of the previous Clinton presidency if you really want to. But she was NOT the Clinton who was President then, at all.

    Granted, she may have talked to Bill about welfare, crime, etc, etc. But I barely suspect Bill might have listened closely, nodded at the right times, said “Those are some really good points, Hillary…” and then done as he believed was better for him at that time.

    So I think beating Hillary over the head for stuff Bill did isn’t much farther from reality than the Unicorns Bernie is selling.

    Look up the Youtube of Hillary barking at Republicans like a dog who knows when you (the Republicans) are lying. You can’t call that person stiff or cold. It’s both hilarious and meaningful.

    The big crowd loved it too. She is going to be the Democratic nominee. I just hope Cruz gets the R’s nomination and Trump runs as an independent.

    That’ll be an election race for the ages!! But no way a monster like Cruz wins their nom, never gonna happen.

  107. 107
    eponymous coward says:

    @The Raven:

    The thing is if he doesn’t deliver, those whoppin’ huge tax increases aren’t gonna balance the budget over the long term, and single-payer is a pretty radical change for a nice size chunk of the American economy.

    I admit to being Sanders-curious, but the more I dig, the more it feels like Bernie’s platform was written by Underpants Gnomes:

    Phase 1. Elect Bernie!
    Phase 2. ?
    Phase 3. Denmark and 5% annual GDP growth for a decade!

  108. 108
    Stillwater says:

    @Corner Stone: Coming from Kissinger….

    The guy who told us that foreign policy reduces to straight power concepts….

  109. 109
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @eponymous coward: in fairness, in a world in which Bernie Sanders can win a general election in these United States, Underpants Gnomes are probably real

  110. 110
    slag says:

    First of all, this issue is less about Bernie Sanders than it is about the credibility of the left and lefty ideals. In as much as Bernie wants to be a representative of those ideals, he has to maintain a certain level of credibility himself. If he chooses not to do so, I would expect other allies to do so simply because I value lefty ideals and don’t want to see them discredited because of a single presidential primary contender.

    Whether we like it or not, in the mainstream world, the left is still in the minority. We need to maintain respectability by any means necessary.

  111. 111
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @daveNYC: his candidacy then would have made a difference when it really could have mattered. I’m confident it would have been better than Kucinich’s joke candidacy four years later.

  112. 112
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Stillwater: … is still not an endorsement, but some of us retain a bourgeois preoccupation with facts.

  113. 113
    Corner Stone says:

    @Stillwater: So you can’t find an endorsement, then?

  114. 114
    eponymous coward says:

    @slag: Well, I’m not looking for “respectability” in the sense of Serious Totebagger Catfood Commission Centrists in a Center-Right Nation™… more like “my numbers aren’t using the left wing version of Paul Ryan’s Magic Asterisk”.

  115. 115
    different-church-lady says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    We’d be working with a clean slate.

    Well why not write “14.5% growth” on it then?

    Let’s promise GIANT PONIES!!!

  116. 116
    TylerF says:

    @eponymos coward If Sanders wins and doesn’t delivery it will be the death of liberalism in this country for a long time.

  117. 117
    slag says:

    @eponymous coward:

    Well, I’m not looking for “respectability” in the sense of Serious Totebagger Catfood Commission Centrists in a Center-Right Nation™…

    I guess I never thought of that as respectability. More the “not looking clueless and completely detached from reality” kind of respectability. I guess that’s more self-respectability.

  118. 118
    different-church-lady says:

    The Raven:

    And hey, if you ask for a pony you just might get something good, even if it’s not a pony.

    What child has ever been promised a pony, gotten a chess set, and then completely forgotten about the pony?

  119. 119
    different-church-lady says:

    @TylerF: Emo-liberalism, on the other hand, will carry on as though nothing had happened.

  120. 120
    Stillwater says:

    @Corner Stone: Man, what are we arguing here? Semantics or policy?

    I don’t think anything I’ve said will change the way anyone here votes, yeah? But the fact is Kissinger has gone on record supporting Hillary – her ability to “run the ship of state” or whatever he actually said. Does it mean something? Nothing? If it means something, the fact that it came from Kissinger means something as well.

    If nothing, then nothing.

  121. 121
    different-church-lady says:

    @NCSteve: People, people, people, how many times does it need to be explained? This is a metaphorical revolution! There won’t actually be any genuine physical tumbrel rides.

    I know this gets confusing because we’re not actually supposed to say it’s only metaphorical, but jeez…

  122. 122
    different-church-lady says:

    SKEPTIC: numbers don’t work.

    REVOLUTIONARY: Yeah? Well, KISSINGER!!

  123. 123
    different-church-lady says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet:

    Let’s see, it looks like productivity growth was over 4% at the end of the Tech Bubble.

    And look how well that turned out!

  124. 124
    J R in WV says:

    @TylerF:

    I don’t think we have to worry about that!

    Your first if statement
    [If Sanders Wins & If Sanders Doesn’t Deliver]

    won’t be true, so the then

    [Then The Death Of Liberalism]

    statement won’t be executed.

  125. 125
    different-church-lady says:

    @Corner Stone:

    He didn’t say he approved of her carpet bombing tactical skills…

    But that’s only because he hasn’t had a chance to see them yet.

    [nods]

  126. 126
    Sherparick says:

    @Richard Mayhew: Does your wife know? (P.S. I think you may have read to much Robert Heinlein.) I will take the redhead I have along with the pony.

  127. 127
    Corner Stone says:

    @Stillwater: C’mon. We’re not in the realm of parsing, “what the meaning of ‘is’ is”. Did Kissyface give his endorsement to HRC as a candidate for elected political office? Did he endorse her as in effect saying “I will vote for her if possible.”
    Or did he simply acknowledge she put the right people in place and held it down while she was SecState?
    It’s world’s apart here. Anyone suggesting Kissy “endorsed” her is flatly stating HK wants HRC to be president.
    If you can’t find that sentiment or statement, then you can’t use the word endorsed.

  128. 128

    @Stillwater:
    The type of compliment is as important as who gives it. I hate George W Bush with a fucking passion. I compliment his skills as a campaigner. He was great at it. If only he wasn’t a complete pooch-screwing ignorant narcissist shit in every other way. I hate Ronald Reagan possibly worse. I admire his ability to change the direction of the entire nation, and would certainly love that power. The direction he changed it in was an unholy abomination that has dragged us down for thirty-five years now. Similarly, if Kissinger thinks Clinton organizes well, I’m sure it means something. It probably means she organizes well.

    Sometimes I think Bernie supporters define policy by who your enemy is.

  129. 129
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @different-church-lady: Let’s promise GIANT PONIES!!!

    Like…. Cave Ponies?

  130. 130
    different-church-lady says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    It’s almost as bizarre a reading as those people who thought Obama was going to make big cuts to Social Security.

    Psst: they’re the same people.

  131. 131
    chopper says:

    @different-church-lady:

    a 20 foot tall electric pony with green tentacles?

  132. 132
    different-church-lady says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Giant… flying… CAVE PONIES!!!!!

  133. 133
    Calouste says:

    @eponymous coward: I’m starting to think that the Sanders team is being fed fantasy numbers from the American Enterprise Institute or some other right-wing think tank with just different policies in front of it. The level of realism seems identical.

  134. 134
    Stillwater says:

    Now I’m confused. I didn’t introduce Kissinger into this discussion. FlipYrWhig did, as an attack on unjustified attacks against Hillary. I just mentioned why people might do that, given Kissinger’s history.

    He has a bad history.

  135. 135
    chopper says:

    @Stillwater:

    But the fact is Kissinger has gone on record supporting Hillary – her ability to “run the ship of state” or whatever he actually said.

    if by “supporting” you mean “complimenting her managerial skills” then yeah, huge fucking deal OMG SHES A WAR CRIMINAL TOO

  136. 136
    Sherparick says:

    @different-church-lady: And we may get it again, but we really don’t know why we got in 1933-69 and then again close to 3% from 1992-2000. There is a correlation with real wages going up, which may cause firms to seek efficiency and invest in labor saving capital (bad as the Great Depression was, if you did no lose your job and did not have much debt, things got better for the worker. Wages did fall by 25%, but since prices fell by 50%, real wages went up 25%). But as they say “correlation is not causation,” just suggestive.

  137. 137
    different-church-lady says:

    @slag: You’re talking about the old leftie ideals. The new leftie ideal is “Anything is possible as long you want as long as you want it badly enough.”

    The change happened well before Bernie started his campaign. He’s just leveraging the zeitgeist.

  138. 138
    chopper says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Sometimes I think Bernie supporters define policy by who your enemy is.

    sometimes?!

  139. 139
    chopper says:

    @Stillwater:

    Now I’m confused.

    we can tell.

    I didn’t introduce Kissinger into this discussion. FlipYrWhig did, as an attack on unjustified attacks against Hillary. I just mentioned why people might do that, given Kissinger’s history.

    and in doing so invented a ‘fact’ out of thin air. that’s what you’re eating shit over right now.

  140. 140
    geg6 says:

    @Stillwater:

    So, you tell me…

    What does it mean? You are the one insisting that there are hidden meanings in his praising her administrative skills. Since a lot of us don’t ascribe anything to it other than he thought she had done a good job as administrator of his former cabinet department, you need to spell out what it is you think it means.

  141. 141
    Stillwater says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Similarly, if Kissinger thinks Clinton organizes well, I’m sure it means something. It probably means she organizes well.

    IF that’s where this stuff started, then sure. It wasn’t. (Read Flip’s comment upthread that started this conflagration.)

    Look, if you guys wanna accuse Bernie of playing politics with Kssinger’s comments about Hillary, then fine. I just think the Bernie is on sound political ground playing a card against Hillary given Kissinger’s history of the use of force to solve political problems.

  142. 142
    Corner Stone says:

    @Stillwater:

    I didn’t introduce Kissinger into this discussion. FlipYrWhig did, as an attack on unjustified attacks against Hillary.

    Sorry, but no. The Raven did at #56 and #76. And he used the exact same loose association that you picked up and carried water for.
    The Raven:
    “Still, I don’t want to vote for a candidate who defends that war criminal Kissinger. Is there no point at which the lesser evil is too evil to abide?”
    &
    “And Clinton has praised that war criminal Kissinger. ”

    You at #85
    “Kissinger was instrumental in the carpet bombing of Laos and Cambodia as well as North Vietnam (the Christmas Bombing) because it negotiated in good faith over the Kissinger-clusterfucked US treaty proposal. “

  143. 143
    Stillwater says:

    @chopper: You’re wrong. Re-read the thread.

  144. 144
    geg6 says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Sometimes I think Bernie supporters define policy by who your enemy is.

    Ya think?

    Meanwhile, the Berniebros are back to saying the only thing that qualifies Hillary for office is her uterus. Cuz, you know, them bitches just need to see a person with a vagina and they vote for her, no matter what. Just ask Sarah Palin! Killer Mike said so and he is the great leader of all African Americans, him and Cornell West.

  145. 145
    Stillwater says:

    @geg6: What does it mean? You are the one insisting that there are hidden meanings in his praising her administrative skills.

    I’m not parsing anything. Kissinger believed that foreign policy reduced to straight power concepts. Take his compliment of Hillary’s tenure as SoS however you wish.

  146. 146
    Stillwater says:

    @Corner Stone: The first time I mentioned Kissinger was in response to a comment by FlipYrWhig.

    Go look it up!

    It was a response to his comment. And only his comment.

  147. 147
    Corner Stone says:

    @Stillwater: I did. I’m not a close parser of words as some here can be at times. But when you say “introduced” it means something. And when you say “endorsed” that also means something.
    You have failed on correctly using, or backing up your usage, of both these terms in this thread. Flip was responding to something The Raven introduced as an attack line, and Kissinger has not endorsed HRC. Unless you can find it and present it. The mother of Sandra Bland just endorsed HRC on MSNBC. That is an endorsement of a candidate for elected office.

  148. 148
    slag says:

    @different-church-lady: I like to think I’m not that old. And I’m not convinced that kids these days are, as a rule, totally out of touch. Some of them are. But then so are some of my elders.

    So, the only pattern that I’m prepared to fully acknowledge at this time is the usual: Shit’s fucked up and shit. Beyond that, I prefer to generalize only on a case by case basis :).

  149. 149
    different-church-lady says:

    @Corner Stone:

    But when you say “introduced” it means something. And when you say “endorsed” that also means something.

    And when they say “revolution”…

  150. 150
    Stillwater says:

    @Corner Stone: You have failed on correctly using, or backing up your usage, of both these terms in this thread.

    No!! Disqualified on a technicality!!!!!

    Let me ask you this, since I think it might help in squaring what you’re trying to circle: What do you think my motivation was in making the comments I did?

  151. 151
    J R in WV says:

    Well, as long as Mrs Clinton didn’t endorse Kissinger’s foreign policy in the 1968-1975 era, I’m not gong to attach Old Henry’s beliefs to her foreign policy.

    She’s got good foreign policy credentials in my book. Libya is a cluster-fuck, what else is new? The Middle-East has been a morass longer than any of us have been alive, not for decades but for centuries.

    Anyone who thinks we can fix the Middle-East doesn’t know as much as can be learned by watching Lawrence of Arabia a couple of times. That goes for all of it, from Persia to Eastern North Africa, including most of the ‘stans.

    I can’t believe Putin got suckered into it, like hugging a glue pot. Because he wants that warm-water port in the eastern Med, he got suckered into an unending religious war. Even after personal experience with Chechnya which is better that it once was. And the history of the Soviet Union in Afganistan…

    So I’m not gonna paint Mrs Clinton with the Evil Brush of Kissinger for what the US did in Libya. Obama was in charge, and Clinton didn’t get to overrule him.

  152. 152
    Applejinx says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder: We’re not <5% unemployment. We're lied to.

    And how the heck does 'putting everybody back to work on infrastructure projects' NOT equate to GDP gain?

    And how the fuck do you expect to win the White House on a 'nothing is going to get better and there will be no gains' platform?

  153. 153
    Corner Stone says:

    @Stillwater: When you purpled this schlongen the dinosaur you referenced seemed to be a kindergartner. Agreed, this controlled bikini waxer does make poutine.

  154. 154
    Stillwater says:

    @Corner Stone: Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt?

  155. 155
    ellennelle says:

    to your (b) question, these proposals don’t get implemented because the people with the money (and power to keep these rules and the unfair skew) would stop making all the money; it would instead go to the peeps who’ve been getting screwed all these years, most royally (on every level) in the past 20-30.

    if there is more money in the middle and bottom – i.e., if there is closer to zero income/wealth inequality – there will more peeps to circulate that money. this is where economies grow, not when the only numbers being generated are showing growth that only reflects the top hoovers sucking it from everywhere they can.

  156. 156
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Stillwater:

    given Kissinger’s history of the use of force to solve political problems

    Umm…unlike any other US SOS?

    Look, I think Kissinger is a flat-out evil SOB. And I really wish HRC hadn’t chosen to note approvingly his praise of her administrative skills. To me that’s kind of like saying, “Albert Speer thinks I’m a great draughtsman!”

    But that’s it. He’s praising her ADMINISTRATIVE SKILLS. He’s not endorsing her positions, or her candidacy. And it’s beyond disingenous for Bernie Sanders or his supporters to conflate praise of administrative chops with advocating policy.

  157. 157
    Stillwater says:

    @Miss Bianca: Fair enough. But that’s politics, yeah? For better or worse.

    And in this case it’s worse.

    And adding: Umm…unlike any other US SOS?

    I’d like to THINK that Clinton and Kerry have been/are trying to resolve political disputes without the use of force. Which makes bringing Kissinger into the mix all the more open to the worser.

  158. 158
    Corner Stone says:

    @Stillwater: What do you mean? I quite clearly stated that while I could speculate as to your motives in this thread, there’s no need to. Speculation not required for the ongoing incorrect application of clearly defined words, nor your poor defense in doing so.

  159. 159
    Davis X. Machina says:

    We’re not <5% unemployment. We're lied to.

    Are you saying "U3 isn't under 5%" or "They should use U5 or U6 instead of U3."

    They're different claims.

  160. 160
    Stillwater says:

    @Corner Stone: Well, wrt Kissinger, all my initial comment was meant to suggest is that he has a track record of the use of force, an objective one, which Bernie has good reason (based in fact!) to use for political purposes. One which merely saying “He complimented her ADMINSTRATIVE skills!!” doesn’t negate or undermine.

    It’s politics, bro. I thought you, of all people on this site, would understand that.

  161. 161
    different-church-lady says:

    @Applejinx: I’m pretty damn sure there’s some open field between “MAGIC UNICORNS FOR EVERYONE!” and “OMG WE’RE DOOMED SO WHY EVEN TRY?”

  162. 162
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Stillwater:

    Secys. Clinton and Kerry have indeed done a masterful job of pushing the “speak softly” rather than the “big stick” approach to diplomacy. Which is why my knickers remain obstinately unbunched by any reference HRC has made to Kissinger.

  163. 163
    Corner Stone says:

    @Stillwater: To be fair, so does President Obama. If he complimented HRC’s work at State would we schmear her with his words on that management?

  164. 164
    Richard Mayhew says:

    @Sherparick: she is the redhead with a great ass

  165. 165
    J R in WV says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    Me too! Succinct and well said!

  166. 166
    geg6 says:

    @Stillwater:

    I don’t need lectures on what Henry Kissinger believed. You were claiming that Kissinger endorsed Clinton and that what he said has some sort of meaning beyond the actual words. So what were his actual words?

    “She ran the State Department in the most effective way that I’ve ever seen.”

    USA Today 9/9/14

    And just to make sure the context is understood, the follow up question was did he think ran it more effectively than he did. And he said she’d been more effective than anyone he’d ever seen and that he was a more “chaotic” administrator.

    So, tell me, what is the hidden meaning there that means Hillary is just as much a monster as Kissinger?

  167. 167
    Corner Stone says:

    @Richard Mayhew: Wait…does that mean you’re a Berniebro or a HillShill?
    A TrumpChump or Rubmentum?

  168. 168
    Stillwater says:

    @geg6: Hillary’s cool. It ain’t no thang. Cruz to the election…

  169. 169
    Stillwater says:

    @Richard Mayhew: Did you see my comment way upthread answering your a,b,c?

    I’d actually like to talk more about that, if you get the chance.

  170. 170
    Stillwater says:

    @geg6: I don’t know, geg. You tell me. What did he mean when he said that?

  171. 171
    Stillwater says:

    @Corner Stone: If he complimented HRC’s work at State would we schmear her with his words on that management?

    Alls fair in love and politics, yeah?

    I don’t know who you mean by “we” in that above comment, but if “we” think it’s politically useful to schmear her, then by gawd we’d better fucking do it!

  172. 172
    moderateindy says:

    @Richard Mayhew: Well Mr Mayhew if you indeed want to live in reality, then reality, and history, says Hillary, just like Bernie, has zero chance of passing any legislation of note with the Republican house in power.. The right wing despises Clinton, and will not give her anything that even resembles a win. So what might we end up with? Milquetoast policies that look like Republican lite, like the stuff that came out of Bill’s admin? NAFTA, DOMA, what was the name of that crap Wall Street legislation he pushed for? The Whatever modernization act?
    Reality says that Hillary is a hawk, that will be the more likely of the two candidates to get us involved in military interventions.
    The Reality is that Hill, and Bill have been hanging out with, and getting handsomely paid by Wall Street, and corporate America, (who was on Wal-Mart’s board again? How many millions did Bill get paid by the for profit education industry?) for the past 25 years. I’m sure that hasn’t garnered any empathy from them for the one percenters. Just how vigilant will a Clinton Justice department be when it comes to prosecuting her friends, and people in her, and Bill’s social circle?
    Most Bernie supporters aren’t actually deluded enough to think that he has any chance to pass a whole bunch, if any, of his policies They just rather not return to the days of the Clintonian Triangulation, DCCC, BS that simply moved economic policy ever more to the right. Because that was the reality of a Clinton presidency, and I don’t see how Hillary has proved herself to be that much different.
    Of course if I think she has a better chance against the Republican candidate, I’ll vote for her in the primary. But as of right now, I actually think Sanders will drive higher turnout on the Democratic side; whereas, I think Clinton will spur higher turnout on the Republican side.

  173. 173
    Richard Mayhew says:

    @Stillwater: your answer to C is the key to a good sensitivity analysis… What are the immediate and secondary knock on effects. One of the most predictable is a Fed response if inflation goes up too high.

    December was a revealed preference that the Fed fears 2% inflation far more than below trend growth as it kicked itself in the balls with a stupid rate hike. Why would any plausible Fed in 2018 not yank interest rates up 400 basis points if the u3 was 3.8% and cpi-u was 3.9?

    Best answer is bully pulpit revolution and that does not work.

    Now back to B… Why not, Obama really would have liked a Dem Congress in 2011 and Bill Clinton would have a strong preference for a Dem Congress in 1995. Getting the economy cranking out 300k net new jobs a month is a great political program.

  174. 174
    Richard Mayhew says:

    @moderateindy: has there been higher Dem turn out in 2016 vs 2008 for iowa or new Hampshire?

  175. 175
    chopper says:

    @Stillwater:

    so kissinger’s endorsement of hilz is real? show us.

  176. 176
    chopper says:

    @Stillwater:

    What do you think my motivation was in making the comments I did?

    apparently you’re trying to associate kissinger with clinton policy-wise merely because he praised her management skills. and then trying to passive-aggressively backtrack and say ‘well, just take of it what you will. i’m just saying is all’.

  177. 177
    Stillwater says:

    @chopper:

    I’m only showing you that what he said about her is, and was, political. Nothing more nor less. So I think the showing is already done. Unless you want to criticize my semantics, which has nothing to do with what Kissinger said about Hillary or the political utility – one way or the other! – of his comment.

    {{I hate to say that some of you people are really fucking stupid, but this comment was really fucking stupid.}}

  178. 178
    different-church-lady says:

    @Stillwater: “Your mother’s a whore. I don’t think that, I’ve just heard people say it. Please don’t pick my words apart.”

  179. 179
    moderateindy says:

    @Richard Mayhew:

    has there been higher Dem turn out in 2016 vs 2008 for iowa or new Hampshire?

    Why yes, by all means, let’s take what was by all standards an historic year for turnout, and apply that to this situation, outlier much?
    Your Mr. Statistics, so tell me, just how F’in stupid is your comparison, and thus argument.
    By the way, where did I say that Bernie was going to get better turnout than Obama? I simply said he will drive more turnout than Hillary for the GE. That should be simple enough even a Soccer fan can understand it.

  180. 180
    Stillwater says:

    @Richard Mayhew: The thing is, tho, c) is completely outa Sander’s control as far as a plan goes. (Or Hillary’s, or Cruzer’s or Trump’s.) In fact, his argument is that US governance is in the handbag of The Monies, so it’ll do whatever it can to make sure that his plan doesn’t become realized.

    That’s not to say I endorse Sander’s or his plan. Pragmatics – economic pragmatics in addition to political realities – come into play here big time.

    It’s more to say that your initial view that his economic plan was Fairy Tales wasn’t quite right. That’d have been the case if his proposals were mathematically standalone Pie in the Sky fantasies RATHER THAN because in the current political environment his proposals require a whole bunch of legislative acceptance, which is wildly unrealistic. (But’s that true of all reformists…)

    That doesn’t mean, btw, that I’m opposed to Sanders. Or supporting him. There’re lots of vectors to consider here. In the Primary…

  181. 181
    LeonS says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Yeah, she’s not that into privatizing!

  182. 182
    Stillwater says:

    @different-church-lady: Wow! Very intelligent response.

  183. 183
    different-church-lady says:

    @Stillwater: YOU’RE PICKING MY WORDS APART!

  184. 184
    Stillwater says:

    @different-church-lady: YOU NEED TO HAVE ANOTHER BUMP OF CRACK!!

  185. 185
    geg6 says:

    @Stillwater:

    You’re the one implying there is something there other than the plain meaning of his words. I take it the way he said it. So what hidden meaning am I missing?

    I’ll wait.

  186. 186
    the Conster, la Citoyenne says:

    @moderateindy:

    Can you please explain to me then how a lower turnout among Dems for Bernie than Obama makes this a revolution? What is it about this group of pony hunters will keep them more engaged than the ones who got disappointed with Obama, when he actually was doing things, just not fast enough and the way they liked it then stayed home. With even less support from Dems, too since he’s alienated a lot of his colleagues. I don’t get the thinking- nothing seems to add up in Bernie world at all.

  187. 187
    Stillwater says:

    @geg6: You don’t have to wait, geg. Either you’re an idiot or willfully ignorant that an alignment with Kissinger is gonna play out politically one way or the other or both.

    It’s politics. Kissinger, once upon a time, was universally reviled by the left. Now that he’s complimented Hillary folks want to split hairs about what he means.

    It’s bullshit. It’s not Hillary’s fault, but it’s Hillary’s fodder. (I think I just made up a supercool new phrase.)

  188. 188
    TallPete says:

    a) What is the mechanism of change that can produce these massive variances?

    Political revolution

    b) If they are real in A, why have they not been proposed and implemented in the past as 5% economy wide real growth solves an amazing shit ton of problems without any hard decisions or trade-offs?

    See a)

    c) Does any of this make sense?

    No, and neither does this.
    From Kaiser (2012 data) Health Expenditure Per Capita (PPP; International $)
    1. US $8845
    2. Luxemborg $5379
    3. Norway $6060
    10. Oh Canada! $4610
    22. UK $3235
    31. Israel $2315

  189. 189
    LeonS says:

    @Stillwater:

    Hillary’s fodder

    Is that what Richard will feed his new pony?

  190. 190
    different-church-lady says:

    @Stillwater:

    Kissinger, once upon a time, was universally reviled by the left.

    Ah, yes: call-and-response politics. It’s a real shame the two-minute hate ain’t what it used to be.

  191. 191
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Stillwater:

    It’s politics. Kissinger, once upon a time, was universally reviled by the left. Now that he’s complimented Hillary folks want to split hairs about what he means.

    H’mmm… you keep saying “it’s all politics”, then you keep slamming Sec. Clinton for practicing politics.

    I prefer to give her the benefit of the doubt. Yeah, I’m a leftist. But I also know that (to my incredible shock and indignation) a lot of the country is not. And that *some* portion of that electorate beyond leftists are going to have to be persuaded to pull the lever for her rather than NutJob du Jour (R) who’ll be going up against her in order to clinch the deal in November (presuming she is the D candidate, and I’m going to go out on a limb here and presume it).

    Knowing that, and knowing that *some* portion of the electorate might not see praise from Kissinger of her competence as a bad thing, I just can’t be bothered with giving a flying fuck at the moon if she’s saying that he thinks she was good at her job. If she had added, “while Henry and I were dining on cold roast baby,” maybe. Or maybe, from the way some folks are reacting, she DID add that and my news sources just left that part out…

  192. 192
    Stillwater says:

    @different-church-lady: Oh, it’s exactly what it used to be, thank goodness.. You’d just like it to not be the case in this instance.

  193. 193
    Stillwater says:

    @Miss Bianca: H’mmm… you keep saying “it’s all politics”, then you keep slamming Sec. Clinton for practicing politics.

    See, I haven’t. That’s the thing. All I’ve done is recognize that bringing Kissinger into this is political. So I’m not criticizing her for practicing politics, I’m defending Bernie for practicing the same type of politics you’re apparently trying to defend Clinton for.

    ETA: We haven’t talked about policy since Richard’s initial post, as far as I can tell.

    Well, I made a few efforts at it…

  194. 194
    geg6 says:

    @Stillwater:

    You really can’t be as stupid and mendacious as you sound. No one but an idiot believes that a compliment from someone about one’s administrative skills means that the two people in question are allies in politics or ideology. But keep telling yourself and all your Berniebros that. The same way you’re telling yourselves that lower turnout from the last change election somehow signals REVOLUTION!

  195. 195
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Stillwater:

    Oh, so Sen. Sanders’s sneering comments implying that HRC was being pals-y with Kissinger are OK in your book because “it’s all politics”? I thought part of his appeal was that he was a pure, shiny white knight who was above such things?

    ETA: And if you’re going to talk about policy…foreign policy…then as far as I’m concerned, Sec. Clinton’s record speaks pretty well for itself.

  196. 196
    The Raven says:

    @FlipYrWhig: “You really do think that Hillary Clinton is a callous Iron Lady privatizing warmonger, don’t you?”

    I don’t use those words, and I don’t know if they’re correct. I do think she’d be a better general than President. And what she has recently said about Kissinger, unforced and sincerely respectful, horrifies me. Kissinger’s policies have been responsible for at least half a million deaths. (I’ve seen three million argued.) How would you feel if, say, she had spoken well of Pol Pot?

    In the 1980s there was hope in the then democratic socialist Ortega, who was one of the many victims of US Latin American policy under Reagan.

    Sanders relation with Ortega was 30 years ago; Clinton’s relationship with Kissinger continues.

    @J R in WV: No, no, Hillary Clinton was an active participant in William Clinton’s administration, responsible for Clinton’s health plan proposal and one of the major advocates and authors of that crime bill.

    I’ve tried to be positive about her. But, but, but, … Kissinger? Really?

    I think that policy stance may help her in this election; the country has been whipped into war fever. But it does not help her with me.

  197. 197
    Stillwater says:

    @geg6: Well, I still think you’re either an idiot or willfully ignorant, but at least we know where your allegiance lies. Hillary!!

  198. 198
    Mike R says:

    @geg6: Can one be insulted worse than to be called a Hillary supporter. Obviously you don’t understand the revolution, when the guillotines start those of us less than pure best hide.

  199. 199
    Richard Mayhew says:

    @Stillwater: if your argument that the Sanders plan is plausible if you assume away the Fed acting like the Fed wants to act as an institution as it has easily fulfilled the full employment component of its dual mandate, good luck making that argument.

  200. 200
    Stillwater says:

    @Miss Bianca: And if you’re going to talk about policy…foreign policy…then as far as I’m concerned, Sec. Clinton’s record speaks pretty well for itself.

    So again, we’re going to the facts? Hillary voted for the invasion of Iraq, on the flimsiest of pretexts and the most transparentist of lies. That’s her record.

    And I say that because it’s a fact, not because I’m an anti-Hillary Bernie-bro.

  201. 201
    different-church-lady says:

    @Stillwater:

    Oh, it’s exactly what it used to be, thank goodness..

    Have you actually read 1984?

  202. 202
    Stillwater says:

    @Richard Mayhew: Oh, there’s no chance of it either being passed or being supported y extra-Presidential agencies My only point is that your initial critique didn’t strike me as accurate.

    The real devil in the details is getting an entire policy apparatus on board with that picture, and there’s basically no chance in hell of that happening. Which doesn’t mean people shoudn’t support Sanders. If Pres., he’d move the needle in that direction to the extent that he’s able. Just like Hillary. Which is, practically speaking, on a very limited scale. So the question to me is this: which candidate will move things more, culturally and politically, in the direction we’d like to see them go, given an obstructionist GOP and recalcitrant Dems and other practical realities?

    And the power over executive decisions comes into play in a significant way here. Particularly CinC status. (Hence all the talk about Kissinger….)

  203. 203
    nutella says:

    @The Raven:

    Hillary Clinton was an active participant in William Clinton’s administration, responsible for Clinton’s health plan proposal and one of the major advocates and authors of that crime bill.

    That crime bill that SANDERS VOTED FOR! And HRC did not since she held no elective office at the time but she probably would have.

    All of them, Clintons, Sanders, Biden, Congressional Black Caucus, etc. would agree now that the crime bill was a mistake but it was a mistake that all of them thought was a good plan at the time.

    If you’re going to use support for that crime bill to decide your vote now you’ll have to eliminate anyone who was around in 1994.

  204. 204
    Stillwater says:

    @different-church-lady: You’re really going there? Hillary is more establishment than anyone except Bush. If 1984 is real, she’s part of it.

  205. 205
    Richard Mayhew says:

    @Stillwater: assuming away the Fed is asking for a pony

  206. 206
    tones says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder: and if wages had parity with productivity, minimum wage would be $22 by now …then people could afford to live , it would actually be a living wage, like it was in 1968

  207. 207
    Stillwater says:

    @Richard Mayhew: Heh. One thing we can be sure of: the Fed ain’t asking for a pony.

    Except the one it rode in one, acourse.

  208. 208
    different-church-lady says:

    @Stillwater: So, the answer is no, you haven’t actually read it?

  209. 209
    Stillwater says:

    @tones:and if wages had parity with productivity, minimum wage would be $22 by now

    That’s where things get dicey, seems to me. given the trade regimes in place now (and I mean that neutrally, just that they’re there) US wages for lots of sectors of employment must be competitive with the rest of the world, all things considered. It’s a complicated knot to untie, on the one hand; or a knot that needs to be tightened on the other.

  210. 210
    Stillwater says:

    @different-church-lady: Enlighten me!

  211. 211
    cokane says:

    @Corner Stone: yep, it’s like 10-20% of the average annual inflation rate…

  212. 212
    The Raven says:

    @different-church-lady: “What child has ever been promised a pony, gotten a chess set, and then completely forgotten about the pony?”

    I don’t know. It’s something I worry about, though.

    geg6: @geg6: You can see them hugging and smiling as Kissinger presents Clinton with an award here. Now, to cast this in the best possible light … oh, hell, I can’t do that. There’s simply no good light. Kissinger clearly is deficient in empathy and I can only hope that Clinton is not. (“For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax-collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”)

  213. 213
    The Raven says:

    @nutella: Which Sanders said at the time that he supported only because of the Violence Against Women Act. But Clinton wrote the damn thing.

  214. 214
    Revrick says:

    @Ultraviolet Thunder: Oh, it’s not just declining union membership. It’s also de-industrialization, globalization, change in tax policies, a shift to a service economy, the growth of the financier/rentier sector, diminishing returns and probably a bunch of other stuff I can’t think of off the top of my head.

  215. 215
    different-church-lady says:

    @Stillwater: There is simply no way for someone who has both read 1984 and understood it to be under the impression the Two-Minute Hate is a good thing.

  216. 216
    The Sheriff Endorses Baud 2016 says:

    @different-church-lady: Not unless they’re angling themselves for an Inner Party position.

  217. 217
    Stillwater says:

    @different-church-lady: Still not getting it DCL. You’re gonna have to do better than that. Like, actually say what you mean.

    All’s I can hear is you suggesting we revise Kissinger’s history so that he wasn’t a sociopathic bomb-dropper but a person who really valued “administrative efficiency”.

    And you say you’ve read 1984….

  218. 218
    The Sheriff Endorses Baud 2016 says:

    @Stillwater:

    It’s politics. Kissinger, once upon a time, was universally reviled by the left. Now that he’s complimented Hillary folks want to use that to demonize Clinton as Nixon incarnate.

    FTFY. Now back to Clinton Legs Bad, Sanders Legs Good.

  219. 219
    Stillwater says:

    @The Sheriff Endorses Baud 2016: Well, Hillary DID vote for AUMF…

  220. 220
    mclaren says:

    Sadly, Mayhew is 100% right on this one. Why the Sanders campaign is digging itself a hole like this, I don’t know. It’s entirely clear to anyone with a grasp of basic economics that the U.S. GDP is not going to grow at 4.5% per year anytime soon.

    First, we’re in the aftermath of one of the biggest economic collapses in U.S. history, and Reinhart & Rogoff’s study (“This Time It’s Different,” 2009) has shown that GDP growth is extremely sluggish and distinctly sub-par for a long period after the typical balance sheet recession/depression — usually for about a generation afterwards. For comparison, even with all the stimulus of U.S. war spending, American GDP growth never got back to where it was in 1928 until 1948. That’s 20 years. And this time around, thanks to the obstructionist Repubs in congress, we don’t have all the stimulus spending that congress lavished on the U.S. economy back from 1942-1945.

    Second, there hasn’t been any Peccora Commission cleaning up the financial fraud. Without that, it’s not likely that companies or individuals will invest in plant and infrastructure necessary to grow the economy, because why should they? Until the massive Wall Street fraud gets cleaned up and a whole lot of Wall Street financial crime lords get sent to pound-me-in-the-ass prison, any sensible investor must assume as a matter of course that investments today are nothing but cleverly disguised Ponzi schemes (as they were back during the dot-com bubble and back during the housing bubble).

    Third, China’s growth is slowing and the Eurozone is deep in the shitter because of the stresses and strains caused by the lack of a central bank that can lend to individual countries to overcome the financial fractures caused when one country’s economy slows down in a financial union with a fixed exchange rate. This was the same problem that bedeviled countries stuck in the gold standard. The solution in the 1930s was to abandon the gold standard. Europe doesn’t want to abandon the Euro, and until they do, they’re going to be stuck with very sluggish growth.

    Fourth and last, the U.S. has now become the economy of the giant monopoly. Corporations are making record profits by extracting rents, not by producing useful products. Microsoft churns out shite for operating systems and charges sky-high prices, not because the OS is any good (Windows 8 was shite, Windows 10 is worse) but because Microsoft has 90% of the OS market. Cable companies charge sky-high prices not because their product is any good but because they’ve got a monopoly. And so it goes. From health care to operating systems, across the board America no longer has competitive companies vying to produce good products, but a handful of giant corrupt monpolies that churn out shit products and force consumers to pay through the nose for them. Obviously consumers are rebellin and simply refuse to pay. They cut the cord and download TV shows through bittorrent, they abandon Microsoft and run linux, they abandon the U.S. health care system and do health tourism trips to India to get that operation for 1/10 the cost.

    These realities mean that a 4.5% GDP growth rate is just not happening in the U.S. in the foreseeable future. Every respected economist admits this. Every economic forecast with any credibility puts U.S. GDP growth somewhere between 0% and 1.5% per annum for the next 5-7 years.

    Why the Sanders campaign is going with these ridiculous numbers utterly baffles me. But if it keeps up, I will conclude that Bernie Sanders is not reality-based and I will stop supporting his campaign.

    Bottom line: it’s fine to be optimistic, but Democrats have to live in the real world.

  221. 221
    mclaren says:

    @Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class:

    Kicking progressives while trying to protect your high falutin’, phony baloney job again, I see….

    Clearly, the Revolution will put you against the law early. Bernie will personally pronounce your sentence.

    Unfair and untrue.

    Even the most committed Sandernistas, like myself, readily admit when Mayhew is correct, and in this particular instance Mayhew is absolutely correct in calling out the Sanders campaign for these garbage numbers and this flat-out voodoo economics.

  222. 222
    different-church-lady says:

    @Stillwater: Earlier on you seemed to reject the premise of taking something someone said as something they actually meant.

    In 1984 the Two-Minutes Hate is a brainwashing tool, with a caricature of a legendary enemy at its heart.

    For someone to say “thank goodness” it functions belies a misunderstanding of what the Two-Minutes Hate was.

    In this instance I don’t know if that misunderstanding is ironic, or merely naive.

  223. 223
    mclaren says:

    @Fair Economist:

    Actually, I’d agree that substantial improvements in wage gains are quite possible. There’s been a massive redistribution of wealth from workers to the wealthy over the last 40 years, and just partially rolling it back could easily produce a decade of large real wage gains.

    Maybe. Problem is, real wage gains will require huge structural changes in the U.S. economy. The gov’t would have to actually enforce pro-union laws, most of the giant monopolies and monopsonies would have to be broken up, the Sherman Anti-Trust Act would have to vigorously enforced (right now it is not being enforced at all), the U.S. economy would need to be massively de-financialized… There are just a huge number of basic structural changes needed before we’re going to see real wage gains across the board for the bottom 90% of the U.S. population.

    This means we can get started, but won’t likely see real wage gains for a number of years — maybe 8 to 10 years at minimum, perhaps more.

    Moreover, all those structural changes are so entrenched that each one involved a knock-down drag-out multi-year battle to the death to get enacted. So it’s not going to happen quickly.

    That’s why I’m incredibly skeptical that we’re going to see rapid results from Sanders’ policies. They’ll work, but it will take titantic amounts of struggle, and the results will be quite a few years in the offing.

  224. 224
    different-church-lady says:

    @mclaren: Most excellent comment.

  225. 225
    mclaren says:

    @azlib:

    This reminds of what I called the Lotus 1-2-3 syndrome in the 80’s when spreadsheets were just starting to get used in business. All you had to do was tweak your spreadsheet numbers to get the result you wanted no matter how unrealistic. What surprised me was banks actually bought this crap for loans because it was an electronic spreadsheet.

    I think what Bernie is afraid of is if he cranks the maxcro numbers back to a realistic level, then he is back to incrementalism.

    Excellent point. Even worse, I think Sanders’ campaign staff is trying this end run around reality because they don’t want to let the public know just how titanic a struggle it will be to get the kinds of serious reforms Sanders proposes.

    He’s talking about breaking up the big banks, national single-payer health care, putting bankers in jail for fraud, reducing or ending our endless foreign wars. Each of these will be a death struggle with the Repubicans.

    I’m for it, let’s get it done…but let’s not pretend it won’t grind this country to a halt and put us all into Thunderdome.

  226. 226
    Stillwater says:

    @different-church-lady: OK. I’m not sure if you’re in the bag for Hillary or in the bag for some principle Orwell highlighted back in the day (one that I still don’t think you’re getting right. Kissinger is, as a matter of fact and not indoctrination, a sociopath….). But either way, my point is that playing politics with Kissinger’s views of Hillary is not only AOK, it’s the American Way. If you don’t like it, fight it out! But at this point it’s just a matter of what sticks to whom and not any principles derived from supposedly deep but unfortunately misguided analyses of Orwellianisms.

  227. 227
    Emma says:

    @Stillwater: So if Hillary gets people who were screwed over by Bernie bff Daniel Ortega and does a number of commercials linking the two together, it’s only politics, right?

  228. 228
    Stillwater says:

    @Emma: Well, the fact is a political campaign is gonna engage in politics… So I’m not sure what you’re asking me.

  229. 229
    different-church-lady says:

    @Stillwater: Your assumption that I am “in the bag” for anyone at all appears to be highly indicative of why you can’t see what people are saying here.

  230. 230
    different-church-lady says:

    @mclaren: Let’s also not pretend that everyone in the population is going to sign on for the “revolution”, even if that revolution amounts to just an edgy brand-name for progressive incrementalism.

    Hell, we got watered-down, baby-steps health insurance reform only by suffering through the ungodly screeching of half the misinformed population, and every day that ends in “Y” congress critters that people voted for on the promise of reversing it try to reverse it. And yet somehow that’s not going to repeat the moment President Whomever starts trying to reform the banking system?

  231. 231
    Stillwater says:

    @different-church-lady: Your assumption that I am “in the bag” for anyone at all appears to be highly indicative of why you can’t see what people are saying here.

    You left out the other explanation for your views, but that’s ok.

    Look, I’m not the one who’s all up in everyone’s shit for saying that the Kissinger comments can be used against Hillary. I’m just pointing out that fact. It’s on all of you guys to justify why a known sociopath’s views of her aren’t politically useful to the other side, or reflect poorly on her in their own right.

    And you guys have been doing a really good job of trying.

    I’ll give you that.

  232. 232
    The Raven says:

    @Stillwater: It’s going to be really hard to make that 2013 photograph of an embrace go away. On the other hand, there’s plenty as think that “tough” is good in foreign policy, so maybe that connection will actually help Clinton.

  233. 233
    Stillwater says:

    @The Raven: It could help Hillary insofar as folks are playing a game here: that her hawkishness needs to be concealed to get dovish voters. If folks feel that way, tho, they got no ground to criticize Bernie for going after the Kissinger stuff.

  234. 234
    mclaren says:

    @moderateindy:

    Most Bernie supporters aren’t actually deluded enough to think that he has any chance to pass a whole bunch, if any, of his policies They just rather not return to the days of the Clintonian Triangulation, DCCC, BS that simply moved economic policy ever more to the right.

    This is the sensible calculus behind supporting Bernie Sanders: neither he nor HRC has much chance of getting any of their policies passed by a Republican-dominated fanatically obstructionist congress. So why not vote for the guy who will fight for genuinely transformative policies, rather than the woman who will fight for minor tinkering-around-the-edges policices that do very little to change anything?

    There’s little chance that either Bernie or Hillary will get much of their agenda past a Repub-dominated congress…but on the off chance that they do get some of their policies past such a congress, which policies would you rather have? Triangulating Clintonian Republican lite policies? Or policies of the kind espoused by Sanders that will actually change our republic for the better?

    That seems like a pretty simple question to answer.

  235. 235
    mclaren says:

    @different-church-lady:

    You’re exactly right. Even if Bernie Sanders gets elected, there will be just as much of a fight to the death between Democrats who are incrementalists and fear major change, and the Democrats who advocate massive systemic change, as with the diehard osbtructionist Republicans.

    What I think the moderate pragmatist Democrats who pooh-pooh Sanders’s talk of a “political revolution” may be missing is the larger general sense that Bernie Sanders has tapped into that things just can’t keep going on like this. We are near a tipping point. The sheer amount of intransigent obstructionism by Republicans has reached a peak apex point at which there is very little further room for the Republicans to maneuver short of simply ignoring the laws and doing crazy stuff like staging a sit-down strike in the House of Representatives, or declaring the Democratic president of the united states “illegitimate” and refusing to deal with hi/r.

    We are very nearly at that point right now. When president Obama sent down his latest budget earlier this year, the Republicans declined even to address it. They were in effect treating the Democratic president as though he had no political legitimacy. You can only push this kind of Jacobin insurgency so far before the entire country gets fed and erupts.

    I think Sanders realizes that we are very nearly at that point. There will come a point very soon now at which the Republicans in congress will have so run out of the patience of even their own electorate that extreme measures, like the Democratic president unilaterally declaring the debt ceiling null and void on hi/r own volition, will become acceptable to the electorate. At that point, the Republicans’ political calculations will fall apart, because at some stage of the political insurgency process, Republicans will sooner or later actually have to accomplish something in order to remain in power.

    If all the Republicans do is obstruct, then by definition they are not going to accomplish anything. The electorate will only tolerate that for so long before a whirlwind of rage sweeps in and votes all the bums out. Sanders is, I think, obliquely referring to this issue when he speaks vaguely about “a political revolution.”

  236. 236
    No One You Know says:

    @Miss Bianca: With dressage lessons, also, too.

  237. 237
    The Raven says:

    @mclaren: “Republicans will sooner or later actually have to accomplish something in order to remain in power.”

    Maybe in a generation. Oh, wait… Not a coincidence, is it, that Sanders has many young supporters? But of course this is also where Trump supporters come from. And Clinton… One thing that government can always accomplish is war, and both Trump and Clinton promise different versions of that. Me, I favor “Peace, Prosperity, and Weed“.

    I’ve been writing about this for five years, too.

  238. 238
    The Raven says:

    Former reporter Fred Clark (Slacktivist) offers an analysis of the 1994 crime bill and points out that, “The current argument is focused exclusively on the Gingrich parts of the Biden Bill — the elements of the law that the Republican-controlled House demanded as the price for their support.” I’m going to retire that argument against Clinton, since it appears that both she and Sanders were on the same side in that bill.

    My apologies for not doing my homework.

  239. 239
    Dr. Morpheus says:

    So when does one of the front pagers put any of Hillary’s proposals under the same electron microscope that all of Sanders’ proposals are subject to? The second week of never I’m sure. ..

  240. 240

    Get a blog or ask John for the keys to this one

  241. 241
    Dr. Morpheus says:

    I didn’t think John had officially committed to Hillary. Nevertheless, even if that were the case wouldn’t it be prudent to subject Hillary’s campaign proposals to same level of scrutiny?

    Or is that outrageous to even consider?

  242. 242
    Freefalln says:

    http://blogs.wsj.com/economics.....e-numbers/
    – For 01/2016 year to date, wages increased by 2.5%.
    – So a 2.5% wage growth is not pie-in-the-sky

    Why hasn’t anything been done to improve the economy. Reaganomics. Tax breaks don’t increase demand for product and services, wages do. The following is a long winded description. The short story is to get Hillary to support the move away from Reaganomics, and America will recover its greatness.

    Reaganomics increased profits by decreasing taxes without a proportional increase in demand for product. What drives the economy, consumption, the demand for products and services. What Reaganomics did is shift the tax burden from the rich to the middle class and the poor. The resulting suppression of middle class wages has been going on for 30 years. This suppression reduces or limits wages and therefore consumption, which reduces demand for product/services which limits demands for labor and the wages paid. It is a downward spiral. With NAFTA and PPT, it shifts the cost of labor off shore so the price of products are cheaper so the limit wages can continue to buy, but to stay up with inflation, consumers have had an increasing dependency on debt.

    Bernie has been labelled an one issue candidate, Big Money. But until Reaganomics can be removed, the economy will continue it’s stagnation. It can’t be removed because Big Money has bought the politicians to assures profit to the 1%. If you remove the tax burden on the middle and low income workers which shifts the taxes back on the corporations and 1%ers, they can buy the products, drives production, which stimulate the economy here in the US.

    BTW, if we could take the Defense budget of $650B which is the amount of the next 7 nations spend combined (and 3 times that of #2, China) and instead of taking it out into a desert and burning it, invest it in the infrastructure, the US would be an amazing place.

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