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  1. #1
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    Bruce Bartlett on the bubble and its ramifications

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    great article.

    this kind of intellectual honesty and self-reflection isn't common in Washington.



    Revenge of the Reality-Based Community - The American Conservative


    Bruce Bartlett
    November 26, 2012



    I know that it’s unattractive and bad form to say “I told you so” when one’s advice was ignored yet ultimately proved correct. But in the wake of the Republican election debacle, it’s essential that conservatives undertake a clear-eyed assessment of who on their side was right and who was wrong. Those who were wrong should be purged and ignored; those who were right, especially those who inflicted maximum discomfort on movement conservatives in being right, ought to get credit for it and become regular reading for them once again.

    I’m not going to beat around the bush and pretend I don’t have a vested interest here. Frankly, I think I’m at ground zero in the saga of Republicans closing their eyes to any facts or evidence that conflict with their dogma. Rather than listen to me, they threw me under a bus. To this day, I don’t think they understand that my motives were to help them avoid the permanent decline that now seems inevitable.

    For more than 30 years, I was very comfortable within the conservative wing of the Republican Party. I still recall supporting Richard Nixon and Barry Goldwater as a schoolchild. As a student, I was a member of Young Republicans and Young Americans for Freedom at the height of the Vietnam War, when conservatives on college campuses mostly kept their heads down.

    In graduate school, I wrote a master’s thesis on how Franklin Roosevelt covered up his responsibility for the Pearl Harbor attack—long a right-wing obsession. My first real job out of graduate school was working for Ron Paul the first time he was elected to Congress in a special election in 1976. (He lost that same year and came back two years later.) In those days, he was the only Tea Party-type Republican in Congress.

    article continued here

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  2. #2
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    "Paul Krugman"--that's going to be hard to swallow.

    Sounds like exclusionary thinking is even stronger in the GOP than it seems to be to an outsider.

    Somehow I can't envisage such ideological insularity developing in the Democratic Party--but why?
    They give power to elites; we give power to elites. They keep minorities down; we keep minorities down. They rig elections; we rig elections. They abuse prisoners; we abuse prisoners.

  3. #3
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    I thought the discussion after the article was better than the article. Kinda makes the discussion in PO look like what it is, kindergarten.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." Voltaire

    There are your fog people & your sun people, he said. I said I wasn't sure which kind I was. He nodded. Fog'll do that to you, he said.

    "We are all ignorant about most things."
    Mel Erickson

  4. #4
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    My take away…………

    Bush was a spender, nothing new. I’ve called him a Conservative Progressive (Similar to Teddy Roosevelt). Yes, there are a lot of mindless GOP hacks that drone on and on about how good Bush was, but let’s face it, he was terrible. Dems have their own set of issues with him, but anyone that calls themselves a Conservative should have massive issues with his spending and expansion of government.

    Bartlett talks about where he is politically, center – left. Those terms, moderate, moderate-con, center right con, hardcore con, extreme leftist, etc, are so relative, that they have lost all meaning. He says the GOP has moved farther and farther to the right, for me, I totally disagree, they have moved farther and farther to the left in regards to spending. – See again, the term are meaningless, without further explanation.

    Bartlett talks about basically switching sides. Why not fight the good fight and save his party? Is it because his conservative books did not sell? Wouldn’t he write better books if he wrote about what the GOP needs to do (become more libertarian, IMO), and not changing sides. Saying that he now embraces all that he loathed in the past, seems like a simple path.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by dougclaysmith View Post
    My take away…………

    Bush was a spender, nothing new. I’ve called him a Conservative Progressive (Similar to Teddy Roosevelt). Yes, there are a lot of mindless GOP hacks that drone on and on about how good Bush was, but let’s face it, he was terrible. Dems have their own set of issues with him, but anyone that calls themselves a Conservative should have massive issues with his spending and expansion of government.

    Bartlett talks about where he is politically, center – left. Those terms, moderate, moderate-con, center right con, hardcore con, extreme leftist, etc, are so relative, that they have lost all meaning. He says the GOP has moved farther and farther to the right, for me, I totally disagree, they have moved farther and farther to the left in regards to spending. – See again, the term are meaningless, without further explanation.

    Bartlett talks about basically switching sides. Why not fight the good fight and save his party? Is it because his conservative books did not sell? Wouldn’t he write better books if he wrote about what the GOP needs to do (become more libertarian, IMO), and not changing sides. Saying that he now embraces all that he loathed in the past, seems like a simple path.
    Electing to start two wars, instead of paying for them (or at least part of them) as you go and conversely cutting taxes is liberal spending? Got any historic examples (US) of that other than under W?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by TerminatorX91 View Post
    Electing to start two wars, instead of paying for them (or at least part of them) as you go and conversely cutting taxes is liberal spending? Got any historic examples (US) of that other than under W?

    Cutting taxes is not spending.

    GW was a spender at home and in his quest to ship Americanism across the globe. Following in the footsteps of Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson and FDR .

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by dougclaysmith View Post
    My take away…………

    Bush was a spender, nothing new. I’ve called him a Conservative Progressive (Similar to Teddy Roosevelt). Yes, there are a lot of mindless GOP hacks that drone on and on about how good Bush was, but let’s face it, he was terrible. Dems have their own set of issues with him, but anyone that calls themselves a Conservative should have massive issues with his spending and expansion of government.

    Bartlett talks about where he is politically, center – left. Those terms, moderate, moderate-con, center right con, hardcore con, extreme leftist, etc, are so relative, that they have lost all meaning. He says the GOP has moved farther and farther to the right, for me, I totally disagree, they have moved farther and farther to the left in regards to spending. – See again, the term are meaningless, without further explanation.

    Bartlett talks about basically switching sides. Why not fight the good fight and save his party? Is it because his conservative books did not sell? Wouldn’t he write better books if he wrote about what the GOP needs to do (become more libertarian, IMO), and not changing sides. Saying that he now embraces all that he loathed in the past, seems like a simple path.
    He also indicates that we need Keynesian economics again just as we needed it in the 1930's. But it didn't work in the 1930's so why would it work now ??

    I've read three of his books including the one which he wrote in 2008 (The New American Economy) which he claims now is completely bogus and should have been pulled back for a complete rewrite based on his above contention ?? The book and its ideas seemed well researched and thought out but now he disavows his conclusions. He is clearly not a fan of Shrub for his spending which is a justified criticism but he leaves out the fact the Dubya initially wanted to tie the prescription drug benefit to a premium support option for Medicare. The fact that he advocated the plan that eventually passed is not defensible however.

    So what of what Mr. Bartlett writes are we to believe. He may completely renounce the article in the OP next week ??

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by AM999 View Post
    He also indicates that we need Keynesian economics again just as we needed it in the 1930's. But it didn't work in the 1930's so why would it work now ??

    I've read three of his books including the one which he wrote in 2008 (The New American Economy) which he claims now is completely bogus and should have been pulled back for a complete rewrite based on his above contention ?? The book and its ideas seemed well researched and thought out but now he disavows his conclusions. He is clearly not a fan of Shrub for his spending which is a justified criticism but he leaves out the fact the Dubya initially wanted to tie the prescription drug benefit to a premium support option for Medicare. The fact that he advocated the plan that eventually passed is not defensible however.

    So what of what Mr. Bartlett writes are we to believe. He may completely renounce the article in the OP next week ??
    Didn't work in the 30's? WWII was the ultimate stimulus. In fact it proves the adage, go big or go home. He also didn't disavow or claim his book was bogus. He said in light of events it needed more work but the publisher wanted it out so out it went.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." Voltaire

    There are your fog people & your sun people, he said. I said I wasn't sure which kind I was. He nodded. Fog'll do that to you, he said.

    "We are all ignorant about most things."
    Mel Erickson

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mel Erickson View Post
    Didn't work in the 30's? WWII was the ultimate stimulus. In fact it proves the adage, go big or go home. He also didn't disavow or claim his book was bogus. He said in light of events it needed more work but the publisher wanted it out so out it went.
    So for Keynesian economics to work we should start ..... nah, too easy.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dougclaysmith View Post
    Cutting taxes is not spending.

    GW was a spender at home and in his quest to ship Americanism across the globe. Following in the footsteps of Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson and FDR .


    Two wars is spending regardless of whether you omit the funding for them from the budget you submit to Congress and never in this country's history has a US president prior to W lead this country into a shooting war AND cut taxes (once or twice). Not Madison. Not Lincoln. Not TR. Not Wilson. Not FDR. Not Truman. Not Johnson. Not even W's daddy. You don't cut a deficit by spending more and bringing in less tax revenue than you would have if you hadn't cut taxes.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by TerminatorX91 View Post
    Two wars is spending regardless of whether you omit the funding for them from the budget you submit to Congress and never in this country's history has a US president prior to W lead this country into a shooting war AND cut taxes (once or twice). Not Madison. Not Lincoln. Not TR. Not Wilson. Not FDR. Not Truman. Not Johnson. Not even W's daddy. You don't cut a deficit by spending more and bringing in less tax revenue than you would have if you hadn't cut taxes.
    The Bush tax cuts were signed into law in June of 2001 a few months after the recession began and a few months before 9/11. The recovery from the recession started in 2003 and the revenues collected from the Bush tax rate reductions in the four recovery years from 04 to 07 were equivalent (adjusting for inflation and population growth) to the last 4 years of the Clinton presidency. Bush spent too much and arguably the Iraq war in hindsight was a mistake.

  12. #12
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    I'm curious. What do liberals include in the term "center left". I ask these questions because I really would like to get some kind of general consensus.

    1. Does it mean maintaining the current level of accountability in government employment and government programs?

    2. Does it mean increasing or decreasing the level of unfunded entitlements?

    3. What does it mean regarding illegal immigration?

    4. How does it deal with eligibility for government funded charity (for the sake of this question I am not including recipient paid for entitlements)?

    5. What is the proper allocation of tax burden and it's relationship to earned income?

    6. Is the current movement to increase the percentage of the tax load carried by the wealthy a one time thing or the right way to finance future entitlements.

    7. What percentage of voters should be exempt from paying federal income tax?

  13. #13
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    This for starters, no links.

    Quote Originally Posted by SwiftSolo View Post
    I'm curious. What do liberals include in the term "center left". I ask these questions because I really would like to get some kind of general consensus.

    1. Does it mean maintaining the current level of accountability in government employment and government programs?

    2. Does it mean increasing or decreasing the level of unfunded entitlements?

    3. What does it mean regarding illegal immigration?

    4. How does it deal with eligibility for government funded charity (for the sake of this question I am not including recipient paid for entitlements)?

    5. What is the proper allocation of tax burden and it's relationship to earned income?

    6. Is the current movement to increase the percentage of the tax load carried by the wealthy a one time thing or the right way to finance future entitlements.

    7. What percentage of voters should be exempt from paying federal income tax?
    1. Obama has cut the size of government, believe it or not, streamlining agencies and eliminating overlapping agency responsibilities and overlapping jobs.

    2. Borrowing, if that's what it takes, to continue unemployment compensation and food stamps should continue until recipients no longer need them. That is until they find jobs, until the economy improves to the point jobs are available.

    3. Obama has expatriated a few million illegal immigrants, a little known fact, I read about 5 times more than INS did during the GW Bush years. Simultaneously, he has championed admission of illegals who are productive members of society, who have settled down here and started families. That's his base, baby!

    4. Eligibility for govt. assistance is and always has been based on true need, from disability to retirement to food stamps, housing assistance, Medicaid, you name it. Few people who can afford these things are getting free handouts from the govt. They would be out on the street corners with placards, begging for a dollar, or conducting lives of crime, if it weren't for these programs.

    5. The more money one makes, the greater his taxes. That's been standard since income tax was introduced and there's no justifiable reason to change it to a flat tax. 80% of the American people know it is only fair for the top income earners to pay more in taxes than the struggling poor or middle class, both of whom spend immediately and sustain the economy. The wealthy do not spend enough to make a difference in this respect.

    6. The wealthy should continue paying 35% or more in income taxes, so that the government can turn a surplus and pay down the national debt. This will, it looks likely, be complemented by spending cuts that won't be on the backs of the truly needy, but will be absorbed by for example, defense contractors, health care providers and insurance companies. They will suck it up and go with the program. Or go out of business.

    7. The percentage of voters who pay no taxes will shrink as employment and wages go up, and people living on modest means can afford paying more income taxes. As it is, they're paying SS and Medicare, as well as sales and property taxes, taking much bigger chunks out of their income than the well to do.

    Gee, that was easy. .

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by BadHabit View Post
    "Paul Krugman"--that's going to be hard to swallow.

    Sounds like exclusionary thinking is even stronger in the GOP than it seems to be to an outsider.

    Somehow I can't envisage such ideological insularity developing in the Democratic Party--but why?
    You obviously are new here.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by AM999 View Post
    The Bush tax cuts were signed into law in June of 2001 a few months after the recession began and a few months before 9/11. The recovery from the recession started in 2003 and the revenues collected from the Bush tax rate reductions in the four recovery years from 04 to 07 were equivalent (adjusting for inflation and population growth) to the last 4 years of the Clinton presidency. Bush spent too much and arguably the Iraq war in hindsight was a mistake.
    That recession lasted from March 2001 to November 2001 (what did 9/11 have to do with the duration or depth of that recession?) and yet Bush doubled down on tax cuts in 2003 instead of leaving them be or raising them back up after he had taken this country into to two wars. In the Bush years the government grew bigger and more public sector jobs were created that private sector... More public sector jobs than have be created under Obama.

  16. #16
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    Publicist confirms it: Fox News banned book critical of George W. Bush - Greg Sargent | The Washington Post

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Sargent


    In his much-discussed mea culpa about the reality-denialism of movement conservatism, Bruce Bartlett made a striking claim: He wrote that he was not allowed on Fox News — where he had previously been a regular guest — to discuss a book he’d just published that was highly critical of George W. Bush.

    I’ve just received confirmation of this episode on the record from Bartlett’s publicist at the time.

    In the article, Bartlett charged that he’s had multiple firsthand experiences of the ways in which Republicans are “closing their eyes to any facts or evidence that conflict with their dogma.” As one of many examples, Bartlett recalled his personal experience of conservative intolerance of criticism of Bush.

    ...

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by TerminatorX91 View Post
    That recession lasted from March 2001 to November 2001 (what did 9/11 have to do with the duration or dept of that recession?) and yet Bush doubled down on tax cuts in 2003 instead of leaving them be or raising them back up after he had taken this country into to two wars. In the Bush years the government grew bigger and more public sector jobs were created that private sector... More public sector jobs than have be created under Obama.
    His first round of cuts (actually rebate checks which never work and is one of the criticisms that Bartlett makes of him) came before 9/11 and were hoped to act as a stimulus to the 2001 recession. The 2003 tax cuts were the rate reductions which again were to aid the sluggish recovery from the 2001 recesion and the 9/11 attacks. They were implemented at the same time we went into Iraq.

    The government always grows larger. But are you saying that of the 8 million jobs created in the 2004 recovery that half of them were public sector ?? Of course you aren't - you are comparing the conditions on day one to the last day of Bush's presidency. That's what passes for analysis on the left. And sure if you look at total public sector jobs including state and local the trend is down under Barry but if you look at the federal gov employees Barry has clearly been on a hiring spree. The current trend is down but the absolute number is still above Bush 43.



    Has government employment really increased under Obama? | AEIdeas

  18. #18
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    Your standards on proof are low but not unexpected. I think it would be interesting to see Mr. Bartlett on the Factor or Cavuto. Bartlett and O'Reily share some ideas on tax reform (VAT) and both have been critical of Shrub.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by AM999 View Post
    Your standards on proof are low but not unexpected.
    Considering the source (i.e. Captain Credulous)... Most Unintentionally Ironic Statement of the Year™.
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    Monkhouse: I want to die like my Dad did, peacefully, in his sleep... not screaming in terror like his passengers.

    xxl: Your post is so stupid, if stupid had a cognitively-impaired relative, it would be your post.

    Platypius:
    I'd rather fellate a syphilitic goat than own a Cervelo.

    AM999: Romney 320 Electoral votes, Obama 218. Colorado profs' prediction model, 100% accurate since 1980.

    Seam: Saw Bjork poop onstage back in the day, it blew my teenage mind.


  20. #20
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    We keep hearing about the death of the Republican party. Obama won by 3 million votes. That was 2.5% of the vote.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Live Steam View Post
    We keep hearing about the death of the Republican party. Obama won by 3 million votes. That was 2.5% of the vote.
    You haven't been keeping up... as the votes continue to be tallied, Obama's margin expanded. Right now he's up by 4.5 million votes, i.e. a 3.5% margin in the popular vote. And that's with an economy in slow-recovery mode.

    United States presidential election, 2012 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Republicans have lost the popular vote in five of the last six elections. Their inability to beat a sitting President who seemed vulnerable leaves them looking, well, weaksauce.

    Nor are the demographics looking at all good for the Republicans moving forward. Romney lost something like 80% of the non-white vote, which is a part of the electorate that's expanding rapidly. This is a problem for the GOP.

    Hell, even Sean Hannity is now saying that his position on immigration has 'evolved'.
    .
    Monkhouse: I want to die like my Dad did, peacefully, in his sleep... not screaming in terror like his passengers.

    xxl: Your post is so stupid, if stupid had a cognitively-impaired relative, it would be your post.

    Platypius:
    I'd rather fellate a syphilitic goat than own a Cervelo.

    AM999: Romney 320 Electoral votes, Obama 218. Colorado profs' prediction model, 100% accurate since 1980.

    Seam: Saw Bjork poop onstage back in the day, it blew my teenage mind.


  22. #22
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    Again...

    Two wars is spending regardless of whether you omit the funding for them from the budget requests you submit to Congress.

    Never in this country's history has a US president prior to W lead this country into one shooting war (let alone two) AND cut taxes. Not Madison. Not Lincoln. Not TR. Not Wilson. Not FDR. Not Truman. Not Johnson. Not even W's daddy.

    You don't cut a deficit by spending more and bringing in less tax revenue than you would have if you hadn't cut taxes.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by TerminatorX91 View Post
    Two wars is spending regardless of whether you omit the funding for them from the budget requests you submit to Congress.

    Never in this country's history has a US president prior to W lead this country into one shooting war (let alone two) AND cut taxes. Not Madison. Not Lincoln. Not TR. Not Wilson. Not FDR. Not Truman. Not Johnson. Not even W's daddy.

    You don't cut a deficit by spending more and bringing in less tax revenue than you would have if you hadn't cut taxes.
    Shrub did not cut taxes - the recovery tax revenues were equivalent to the last four years of the Clinton presidency.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by AM999 View Post
    Shrub did not cut taxes - the recovery tax revenues were equivalent to the last four years of the Clinton presidency.
    You're contradicting yourself and reality. Unlike any prior US President, W. DID cut taxes twice and started two shooting wars. The working population and economy grew as well as the size of government (deficit spending - in part because of the two wars). Correlation does not prove that W's tax cuts caused revenues to be equivalent to those of the last four years of the Clinton presidency.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by AM999


    Your standards on proof are low but not unexpected. I think it would be interesting to see Mr. Bartlett on the Factor or Cavuto. Bartlett and O'Reily share some ideas on tax reform (VAT) and both have been critical of Shrub.




    my "standards of proof"?

    you don't even know who Greg Sargent is.

    and by the way, you're the guy who reads books written by Dick Morris and Ann Coulter. 'nuff said.

    Bill O'Reilly has "ideas on tax reform"? really? what about Dr. Phil or the hosts on The View? what other TV entertainers have ideas on tax reform?

    it's hilarious that you're getting "ideas" from cartoon world. do those insta-books have popups? do they come with crayons?
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