Kevin and Charlie discuss AOC’s 70 percent plan, the Carlson monologue, and what tone Charlie would use to address the president.

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There are 21 comments.

  1. kentwerger Thatcher

    The Laffer curve was never meant to go to infinity where taxes could be cut to zero. This was probably inferred by anti Laffer folk much as the Keynesian multiplier is made fun of by stating that everyone should be on unemployment insurance due to the multiplier effect of 1.2. This too is a joke.

    The Laffer tax cuts are to bring more money into the treasury through added incentives. There is an optimum tax rate which is not zero. With the added tax money there are supposed to be spending cuts or at least not spending increases. The added money together with no spending increase will balance the budget per the Laffer curve.

    Politicians being what they are there has never been the second part of the equation. Politicians always spend what money comes into the treasury. This is true of both sides of the political aisle. Give a politician $1.00 and he will spend $1.01 at minimum.

    Do not blame the Laffer Curve for failing to bring in the promised revenue. The revenue arrives and it is spent instead of being used responsibly.

    The Laffer Curve has never implied anything other than an optimal tax rate for maximum revenue.

    • #1
    • January 11, 2019, at 10:06 AM PST
    • 1 like
  2. Taras Coolidge

     A relatively weak episode. 

     Just because Obama stretched his Constitutional authority, Charlie argues, that doesn’t mean Trump should, too.

    This seems to be an argument for unilateral disarmament: Obama got away with it, and the next Democratic President will get away with it, too. Whether we like it or not, that makes it Constitutional. Charlie seems to think that if we pretend it isn’t, it will go away. 

    • #2
    • January 11, 2019, at 10:42 AM PST
    • 1 like
  3. Taras Coolidge

    kentwerger (View Comment):

    The Laffer curve was never meant to go to infinity where taxes could be cut to zero. This was probably inferred by anti Laffer folk much as the Keynesian multiplier is made fun of by stating that everyone should be on unemployment insurance due to the multiplier effect of 1.2. This too is a joke.

    The Laffer tax cuts are to bring more money into the treasury through added incentives. There is an optimum tax rate which is not zero. With the added tax money there are supposed to be spending cuts or at least not spending increases. The added money together with no spending increase will balance the budget per the Laffer curve.

    Politicians being what they are there has never been the second part of the equation. Politicians always spend what money comes into the treasury. This is true of both sides of the political aisle. Give a politician $1.00 and he will spend $1.01 at minimum.

    Do not blame the Laffer Curve for failing to bring in the promised revenue. The revenue arrives and it is spent instead of being used responsibly.

    The Laffer Curve has never implied anything other than an optimal tax rate for maximum revenue.

    Milton Friedman warned against trying to tax our way out of a deficit because spending would expand by more than the projected revenue — even before we allow for the fact that the projected revenue itself would be an optimistic overestimate of the actual revenue.

    • #3
    • January 11, 2019, at 11:32 AM PST
    • 1 like
  4. RufusRJones Member

    I wonder if AOC endorses everything on the DSA website. It’s pretty shocking.

    • #4
    • January 12, 2019, at 3:51 AM PST
    • Like
  5. RufusRJones Member

    link

    BRAGUES: The big example that I discuss in the book is the money supply. The main argument that I make is that democracies tend to oversupply money into the economy, and that has an impact on the financial system. I distinguish two factors that drive democracy’s overproduction of money, this excess liquidity. One factor is this class conflict between taxpayers and tax consumers. This notion of a class conflict between taxpayers and tax consumers is a notion within Austrian economics and it is meant to replace the Marxist view that the fundamental class divide in society is between bourgeoisie, the capitalists who own property, and the labour working classes who don’t own property. The Austrian view is that the main class division is between those who on net pay more taxes than they receive in services from the government – this group would be the taxpayers – and the tax consumers are those who on net receive more from the government than they pay. In terms of what a tax consumer can receive, this can range to anything from unemployment insurance payments, social assistance payments, favors provided by the government in terms of inhibiting competitors in your industry. The argument is that in a democracy, if a politician wants to get elected, the name of the game is to get 50%+1. Given that the distribution of the income in modern commercial societies tends to be such that there’s a few rich and wealth tend to be a small segment of the population, and the middle class and lower classes tend to be the majority, the best way to get elected is to offer mostly the middle class all sorts of public goods in terms of social programs and so forth, and then have those financed by the well-to-do who would function as the taxpaying class. That way you get your majority and get elected.

    All politicians, whether the left or the right, both sides of the political spectrum do this. Perhaps the left does this with a bit more conviction guiding their efforts, but on both sides of the political spectrum this happens. So politicians engage in this bidding war every time election time comes, trying to offer the majority all these goodies with the idea that they don’t have to pay for it, someone else will. What ends up happening, I argue in the books, is that after a while of this bidding war where politicians offer more and more public goods, someone has to finance this. Eventually you run out of taxpayers or you run into taxpayer resistance.

    • #5
    • January 12, 2019, at 6:01 AM PST
    • Like
  6. RufusRJones Member

    At that point politicians then resort to the bond market and the bond market has proven historically quite eager to lend funds to the government. Government bonds are very attractive investments for a lot of folks because of the safety. This is money that’s backed up by the power of the state, unlike corporate bonds which are not. Corporate bonds are only paid ultimately if the corporation is successful at attracting people to voluntarily buy their goods and services. I argue in the book that we now have a kind of financial market-government complex, or a bond market-government complex. The bond market has emerged as a kind of handmaiden to the welfare state, this growth of government. At a certain point, even the bond market will say ‘we can’t lend more’ and at that point politicians will appeal to the money press and they will enlist the central bank to print money, essentially, though it’s more complex how liquidity is injected into the economy, but that’s basically what happens. So essentially democracy leads to fiscal profligacy, too much spent relative to the revenues politicians are willing to collect from people. They then have to go to the bond market; public debt rises. And then to increase their options of financing this deficit that is inherent to democracy, they require control over the monetary supply. My argument in the book is that the gold standard, which existed for a good part of the 20thcentury in one form in another, which ultimately ended in the early 1970s – August 1971 if you want to get exact – that was in a way written in the DNA of democracy; that democracy ultimately is intentioned with a monetary constraint like the gold standard. That’s one of the ways I make this argument that democracies do damage to the financial markets.

    link

    • #6
    • January 12, 2019, at 6:01 AM PST
    • Like
  7. Daniel Sterman Listener

    Taras (View Comment):

    A relatively weak episode.

    Just because Obama stretched his Constitutional authority, Charlie argues, that doesn’t mean Trump should, too.

    This seems to be an argument for unilateral disarmament: Obama got away with it, and the next Democratic President will get away with it, too. Whether we like it or not, that makes it Constitutional. Charlie seems to think that if we pretend it isn’t, it will go away.

    Establishing that such an action is illegitimate, passing additional laws in Congress to limit executive power, and appointing judges who will rule in favor of a stricter reading of what the president can and cannot do is not “unilateral disarmament”.

    Saying that Trump should be able to do it because Obama did it? That’s not unilateral disarmament, that is active surrender.

    • #7
    • January 12, 2019, at 4:39 PM PST
    • Like
  8. Hank Rhody, Missing, Inaction Contributor

    Taras (View Comment):

    A relatively weak episode.

    Just because Obama stretched his Constitutional authority, Charlie argues, that doesn’t mean Trump should, too.

    This seems to be an argument for unilateral disarmament: Obama got away with it, and the next Democratic President will get away with it, too. Whether we like it or not, that makes it Constitutional. Charlie seems to think that if we pretend it isn’t, it will go away.

    I’m fine with that sort of stuff when you’re talking traditions of the senate or norms of decorum. The Constitution is a different matter. A world where we win the temporary fight but lose the Constitution is not worth fighting for.

    • #8
    • January 12, 2019, at 9:02 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  9. Hank Rhody, Missing, Inaction Contributor

    Criticism of the show; could you guys spend a little bit less time talking about what other people are saying, and a little more time on the things they’re saying them about.

    Kevin’s whole “They’re not saying this, but I think they’re really saying” argument is pretty pointless because I don’t buy that people are actually implying that either (leastaways nobody except twitter accounts, and they don’t count for anything.)

    • #9
    • January 12, 2019, at 9:14 PM PST
    • Like
  10. Taras Coolidge

    Hank Rhody, Acting on Emotion (View Comment):

    Taras (View Comment):

    A relatively weak episode.

    Just because Obama stretched his Constitutional authority, Charlie argues, that doesn’t mean Trump should, too.

    This seems to be an argument for unilateral disarmament: Obama got away with it, and the next Democratic President will get away with it, too. Whether we like it or not, that makes it Constitutional. Charlie seems to think that if we pretend it isn’t, it will go away.

    I’m fine with that sort of stuff when you’re talking traditions of the senate or norms of decorum. The Constitution is a different matter. A world where we win the temporary fight but lose the Constitution is not worth fighting for.

    Remember, we are merely talking about letting the Supreme Court interpret the Constitution, instead of pre-judging the result ourselves.

    In a not entirely dissimilar situation …

    A strict observance of the written law is doubtless one of the high duties of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self-preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of higher obligation. To lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to the written law, would be to lose the law itself, with life, liberty, property and all those who are enjoying them with us; thus absurdly sacrificing the ends to the means.—Thomas Jefferson explaining the Louisiana Purchase to Congress (by way of Wikipedia).

     Personally, I think Jefferson did the right thing. If Louisiana had fallen into the hands of the British, during the War of 1812 the effects would have been dire. 

     

     

    • #10
    • January 13, 2019, at 1:52 PM PST
    • Like
  11. Taras Coolidge

    DanielSterman (View Comment):

    Taras (View Comment):

    A relatively weak episode.

    Just because Obama stretched his Constitutional authority, Charlie argues, that doesn’t mean Trump should, too.

    This seems to be an argument for unilateral disarmament: Obama got away with it, and the next Democratic President will get away with it, too. Whether we like it or not, that makes it Constitutional. Charlie seems to think that if we pretend it isn’t, it will go away.

    Establishing that such an action is illegitimate, passing additional laws in Congress to limit executive power, and appointing judges who will rule in favor of a stricter reading of what the president can and cannot do is not “unilateral disarmament”.

    Saying that Trump should be able to do it because Obama did it? That’s not unilateral disarmament, that is active surrender.

     The court system very nearly established that Trump is a sort of Junior President, unable to reverse some of Obama‘s executive orders. For Trump to voluntarily make himself a Junior President would be ill-advised indeed!

     A lot of Republicans questioned the constitutionality of the Independent Counsel Statute. A majority of the Supreme Court did not agree, however, and Republicans’ opinion of the law didn’t stop them from using it against Bill Clinton. In fact, the only reason the Democrats agreed to let the law lapse was precisely because it had been used against a Democrat. 

     Similarly, the only way to get the Democrats to agree to limit these emergency powers is if Republican Presidents use them, too.

    • #11
    • January 13, 2019, at 2:18 PM PST
    • Like
  12. Daniel Sterman Listener

    The court system very nearly established that Trump is a sort of Junior President, unable to reverse some of Obama‘s executive orders. For Trump to voluntarily make himself a Junior President would be ill-advised indeed!

    I have never heard of this. What is this?

    • #12
    • January 13, 2019, at 2:38 PM PST
    • Like
  13. Taras Coolidge

    DanielSterman (View Comment):

    The court system very nearly established that Trump is a sort of Junior President, unable to reverse some of Obama‘s executive orders. For Trump to voluntarily make himself a Junior President would be ill-advised indeed!

    I have never heard of this. What is this?

     Here’s the New York Times on June 26: 

    In a 5-to-4 vote, the [Supreme] court’s conservatives said that the president’s power to secure the country’s borders, delegated by Congress over decades of immigration lawmaking, was not undermined by Mr. Trump’s history of incendiary statements about the dangers he said Muslims pose to the United States.

     In other words, four of the nine Justices accepted lower court rulings that stripped Donald Trump of some of his Presidential powers over immigration because of things he said on the campaign trail. 

     Incidentally, I’ve suspected that Anthony Kennedy’s shock, that the decision was only 5-to-4, was what made him decide to retire when he did, while Trump and the Republican Senate were still able to name his replacement. 

    • #13
    • January 14, 2019, at 6:58 AM PST
    • Like
  14. Daniel Sterman Listener

    That bears absolutely no resemblance to what you described two comments ago. “Junior president”? “No right to overrule Obama executive orders”? That’s complete nonsense.

    • #14
    • January 14, 2019, at 10:13 AM PST
    • Like
  15. Taras Coolidge

    DanielSterman (View Comment):

    That bears absolutely no resemblance to what you described two comments ago. “Junior president”? “No right to overrule Obama executive orders”? That’s complete nonsense.

    Maybe I can make this simpler.

    According to the progressive judges, Donald Trump‘s Constitutional powers over immigration are limited because of things he said on the campaign trail. Meanwhile, Obama’s powers over immigration were not so limited. Thus, Trump’s powers are less than Obama’s, making him sort of a second-class or junior President. 

     For example, if Obama issued an executive order facilitating Muslim immigration into the United States, then according to these judges Donald Trump does not have the authority to rescind it. 

    • #15
    • January 14, 2019, at 12:04 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  16. Daniel Sterman Listener

    Taras (View Comment):

    According to the progressive judges, Donald Trump‘s Constitutional powers over immigration are limited because of things he said on the campaign trail. Meanwhile, Obama’s powers over immigration were not so limited. Thus, Trump’s powers are less than Obama’s, making him sort of a second-class or junior President.

    This is completely illogical. Trump’s powers are not “less than Obama’s”. Trump and Obama have the exact same powers as president, with the exact same limitation of not discriminating against people on the basis of race. There is no difference between them.

    Taras (View Comment):
     For example, if Obama issued an executive order facilitating Muslim immigration into the United States, then according to these judges Donald Trump does not have the authority to rescind it. 

    This doesn’t follow at all. The reason Trump couldn’t ban immigration from Muslim countries according to the progressive judges is because that would be discrimination against Muslims. Cancelling a theoretical preferential treatment in favor of Muslims and thus treating them equally to everybody else does not qualify as discrimination.

    • #16
    • January 15, 2019, at 12:26 AM PST
    • Like
  17. Taras Coolidge

    DanielSterman (View Comment):

    Taras (View Comment):

    According to the progressive judges, Donald Trump‘s Constitutional powers over immigration are limited because of things he said on the campaign trail. Meanwhile, Obama’s powers over immigration were not so limited. Thus, Trump’s powers are less than Obama’s, making him sort of a second-class or junior President.

    This is completely illogical. Trump’s powers are not “less than Obama’s”. Trump and Obama have the exact same powers as president, with the exact same limitation of not discriminating against people on the basis of race. There is no difference between them.

    Taras (View Comment):
    For example, if Obama issued an executive order facilitating Muslim immigration into the United States, then according to these judges Donald Trump does not have the authority to rescind it.

    This doesn’t follow at all. The reason Trump couldn’t ban immigration from Muslim countries according to the progressive judges is because that would be discrimination against Muslims. Cancelling a theoretical preferential treatment in favor of Muslims and thus treating them equally to everybody else does not qualify as discrimination.

     Islam is not a race. It is a religion. If you unjustly discriminate against Muslims, you may be guilty of religious bigotry, but not of racism. Progressives often muddle this up because telling the truth is not their priority. 

    I see now where I left a loophole which permitted a misunderstanding to arise. The progressive judges had no problem with the actions. If Obama had done the same thing — temporarily suspended immigration from a handful of dangerous and poorly run countries, all together comprising only a small percentage of the world’s Muslim population — they would have left it unchallenged.

     Instead, they claimed they had a problem with Trump‘s motives. Not the stated motives, but what they chose to infer or imagine were his real motives, based on things he said during the campaign, especially early on.

     Now, this is a jaw-dropping innovation. According to these judges, campaign promises now have Constitutional force. In what cases? Answer: any time it’s useful to the progressive cause. Happily, the Supreme Court knocked this down; ominously, by only 5-to-4. 

    • #17
    • January 15, 2019, at 8:59 AM PST
    • 1 like
  18. Daniel Sterman Listener

    Taras (View Comment):

     Instead, they claimed they had a problem with Trump‘s motives. Not the stated motives, but what they chose to infer or imagine were his real motives, based on things he said during the campaign, especially early on.

     Now, this is a jaw-dropping innovation. According to these judges, campaign promises now have Constitutional force. In what cases? Answer: any time it’s useful to the progressive cause. Happily, the Supreme Court knocked this down; ominously, by only 5-to-4.

    And that’s a perfectly legitimate criticism of their position. You can use it to argue the merits of whether or not their reasoning is sound or whether you think they’re just making up a legal-sounding excuse to take down a policy they don’t like. But overwrought statements like “Trump is a junior president who can’t overturn Obama legislation” are completely unhelpful because they do not reflect reality.

    • #18
    • January 16, 2019, at 2:08 AM PST
    • Like
  19. Taras Coolidge

    DanielSterman (View Comment):

    Taras (View Comment):

    Instead, they claimed they had a problem with Trump‘s motives. Not the stated motives, but what they chose to infer or imagine were his real motives, based on things he said during the campaign, especially early on.

    Now, this is a jaw-dropping innovation. According to these judges, campaign promises now have Constitutional force. In what cases? Answer: any time it’s useful to the progressive cause. Happily, the Supreme Court knocked this down; ominously, by only 5-to-4.

    And that’s a perfectly legitimate criticism of their position. You can use it to argue the merits of whether or not their reasoning is sound or whether you think they’re just making up a legal-sounding excuse to take down a policy they don’t like. But overwrought statements like “Trump is a junior president who can’t overturn Obama legislation” are completely unhelpful because they do not reflect reality.

    Remember, what I actually said was:

    According to the progressive judges, Donald Trump‘s Constitutional powers over immigration are limited because of things he said on the campaign trail. Meanwhile, Obama’s powers over immigration were not so limited. Thus, Trump’s powers are less than Obama’s, making him sort of a second-class or junior President. 

    They didn’t quite make it stick, of course.

     Similarly, in the Senate, Jeff Flake wanted to tie one of Donald Trump‘s hands behind his back by passing legislation to take away Trump’s power to fire the independent counsel. If it had passed, it would probably have ended up as another 5-to-4 decision in the Supreme Court. 

    • #19
    • January 16, 2019, at 8:21 AM PST
    • Like
  20. Daniel Sterman Listener

    Taras (View Comment):

    Remember, what I actually said was:

    According to the progressive judges, Donald Trump‘s Constitutional powers over immigration are limited because of things he said on the campaign trail. Meanwhile, Obama’s powers over immigration were not so limited. Thus, Trump’s powers are less than Obama’s, making him sort of a second-class or junior President.

    And my point is that that’s not true in the least. Trump’s powers are limited because of things he said on the campaign trail – and if Obama had said those same things, he would have been just as limited. This is like saying that if Alice wants to murder Bob, and Carol wants to give Bob a hug, Carol has more rights than Alice. They both have the same rights; they just don’t want to do the same things.

    • #20
    • January 16, 2019, at 11:32 AM PST
    • Like
  21. Taras Coolidge

    DanielSterman (View Comment):

    Taras (View Comment):

    Remember, what I actually said was:

    According to the progressive judges, Donald Trump‘s Constitutional powers over immigration are limited because of things he said on the campaign trail. Meanwhile, Obama’s powers over immigration were not so limited. Thus, Trump’s powers are less than Obama’s, making him sort of a second-class or junior President.

    And my point is that that’s not true in the least. Trump’s powers are limited because of things he said on the campaign trail – and if Obama had said those same things, he would have been just as limited. This is like saying that if Alice wants to murder Bob, and Carol wants to give Bob a hug, Carol has more rights than Alice. They both have the same rights; they just don’t want to do the same things.

    We seem to be backsliding here. I thought we already agreed that the progressive judges would have not challenged the same executive action, justified the same way, if it had come from a President who had said nothing about Muslims before he became President.

    Or, at any rate, that’s what they claimed. Progressive judges begin with the result they want, and then come up with some kind of constitutional rationale. 

     If, as you say, “Trump’s powers are limited“, compared to previous Presidents, that makes him a second-class or junior President by definition. It doesn’t matter why those judges tried to put him in that inferior class.

    • #21
    • January 16, 2019, at 2:05 PM PST
    • Like