Author Topic: Sound The TRUMPets! A Thread for Presidential Pondering 2016-2020(?)  (Read 449180 times)

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Offline drogulus

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Re: Sound The TRUMPets! A Thread for Presidential Pondering 2016-2020(?)
« Reply #3320 on: June 18, 2017, 06:19:22 AM »


     Obama Has Done More for Clean Energy Than You Think

In the end, the LPO's successes helped kill off some of its own portfolio of projects. Building utility-scale solar photovoltaic plants like Agua Caliente and Antelope Valley helped render obsolete solar thermal power plants like Ivanpah and Solana as silicon technology improved dramatically and costs dropped whereas the price of steel and glass remained relatively high. Large photovoltaic installations also helped make solar panels so cheap that it drove companies like Solyndra—whose business model relied on PV remaining expensive—into bankruptcy. "We were simply financing the best deals available," Silver says, noting that the program could not independently seek out good projects. "The single thing that bound all these applications together was not their size or technology or geography or financing structure. The single thing that bound them together is that they applied."

That also means the loan program may have taken too little risk. The program has made a profit of nearly $1 billion in interest payments to the U.S Treasury to date. At least $5 billion more is expected over the next few decades as loans are paid back. That compares with $780 million in losses to date, the bulk of which is accounted for by the $535 million loaned to Solyndra. And more money could be made if the program were to ever sell its group of loans rather than managing them for the next few decades.


     Rules for public investment:

     1) Pay for what's needed if it's too expensive, because it's too expensive.

     2) Bring the costs down to where the private sector can make use of it.

     3) Avoid making a profit on the programs. Profits should be on the private sector side, a "government profit" is a tax.

     
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Offline Bubbles

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Re: Sound The TRUMPets! A Thread for Presidential Pondering 2016-2020(?)
« Reply #3321 on: June 18, 2017, 07:06:53 AM »
     3) Avoid making a profit on the programs. Profits should be on the private sector side, a "government profit" is a tax.

I kinda disagree with this one. I think maybe the government should try to make profits wherever it can. The more profits the government makes through voluntary transactions, the less it has to raise revenue via involuntary taxation.

For example, I'd like to see the Fed's balance sheet run like a giant hedge fund. They could rapidly expand their balance sheet in the midst of a financial crisis by buying when there is "blood on the street", then unwind their balance sheet between crises. They could even coordinate their purchases and sales with interest rate moves to maximize their profits.

The result would be huge profits for the Fed. They would be buying low and selling high!  Then all such profits should (must!) be transferred to the Treasury.  Fed profits might replace, for example, corporate taxation. In this case, however, giant loopholes would have to be closed that currently allow wealthy individuals to masquerade their financial accumulations as corporations.

On a related thought, people assume that government seigniorage is a bad thing. Clearly too much seigniorage is inflationary.  But within the constraints set by inflationary considerations, government should maximize its seigniorage benefits. Part of that would involve curtailing bank seigniorage – unbeknownst to most, banks are the other main source of money creation (the difference between M0 and M1 is money created by banks).  Not sure they need or deserve the seigniorage benefit.

Still thinking this through.  Food for thought anyway.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2017, 07:20:32 AM by Fidgety »
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Offline drogulus

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Re: Sound The TRUMPets! A Thread for Presidential Pondering 2016-2020(?)
« Reply #3322 on: June 18, 2017, 07:55:18 AM »
     "I kinda disagree with this one. I think maybe the government should try to make profits wherever it can. The more profits the government makes through voluntary transactions, the less it has to raise revenue via involuntary taxation."

     I don't think the government raises revenue. That is, it's misleading more than nonfactual to think it does. The government circulates saved dollars into spent ones that are spent on until taxed or go dead in huge savings piles, where they become high cost buffers. Taxing the buffers down is part of a general program to recycle dollars. Government "profits" subtract from private sector profits and raise the bar on the aggregate savings costs net spending above taxation is designed to overcome. The choice is to tax savings more and spending less to channel savings into GDP, income and productivity growth, or raise deficits to the same end. We do some of both at all times, but efficiency certainly is lowered by government trying to take dollars from the dollar tree when its job is to be the dollar tree. Look at the late '20s and the late '90s to see what several years of "government profits" can do.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2017, 07:59:30 AM by drogulus »
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Re: Sound The TRUMPets! A Thread for Presidential Pondering 2016-2020(?)
« Reply #3323 on: June 18, 2017, 07:57:50 AM »
Trump thinks in macro.  Clearly all religious fanatics are the same to him regardless of their brand.

“I’m religious—the Evangelicals like me.”
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Offline Bubbles

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Re: Sound The TRUMPets! A Thread for Presidential Pondering 2016-2020(?)
« Reply #3324 on: June 18, 2017, 10:07:39 AM »
I don't think the government raises revenue. That is, it's misleading more than nonfactual to think it does. The government circulates saved dollars into spent ones that are spent on until taxed or go dead in huge savings piles, where they become high cost buffers. Taxing the buffers down is part of a general program to recycle dollars. Government "profits" subtract from private sector profits and raise the bar on the aggregate savings costs net spending above taxation is designed to overcome. The choice is to tax savings more and spending less to channel savings into GDP, income and productivity growth, or raise deficits to the same end. We do some of both at all times, but efficiency certainly is lowered by government trying to take dollars from the dollar tree when its job is to be the dollar tree.

I confess that I can't figure this out. In part your comments sound like Modern Monetary Theory – i.e. government spending creates money, government taxation removes money – but I'm not sure if this is what you're thinking. 

Is it possible to break this down into simpler, smaller pieces?

Quote
Look at the late '20s and the late '90s to see what several years of "government profits" can do.

What do you mean here?  I am aware the government ran a fiscal surplus in the late 90's (but I'm less sure about the late '20s). Is that what you are referring to?  And if so, are you arguing that the government surplus subsequently had negative effects on the economy?

Not sure if I agree or disagree; just trying to understand....   :-[
« Last Edit: June 18, 2017, 12:02:36 PM by Fidgety »
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Offline drogulus

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Re: Sound The TRUMPets! A Thread for Presidential Pondering 2016-2020(?)
« Reply #3325 on: June 18, 2017, 02:21:24 PM »
I confess that I can't figure this out. In part your comments sound like Modern Monetary Theory – i.e. government spending creates money, government taxation removes money – but I'm not sure if this is what you're thinking. 

Is it possible to break this down into simpler, smaller pieces?

What do you mean here?  I am aware the government ran a fiscal surplus in the late 90's (but I'm less sure about the late '20s). Is that what you are referring to?  And if so, are you arguing that the government surplus subsequently had negative effects on the economy?

Not sure if I agree or disagree; just trying to understand....   :-[

     How dare you question the great and powerful...... *

     * My acolytes follow me everywhere

     I don't know what it is you think needs to be explained. It sounds like you understand, but you could combine that with something important that flows from it. Money has its purpose in how it's managed, to raise or lower growth so the economy stays within the band of inflation and deflation. Quarrel among policy makers comes from where in the band we should be and what kind of operational and investment spending is best. Tax rates are important distributionally, primarily as an efficiency measure. There is less need to replace spending with other spending than there is to replace savings with spending.

     The tax always comes back if we let it. We don't, because taxing back all the savings in the economy is the definition of insanity. No one want a Flintstones economy, which means the Flintstoners are not even cognizant of how bogus their understanding is. The shrinkers literally do not know what they are talking about.

     
Quote
I am aware the government ran a fiscal surplus in the late 90's (but I'm less sure about the late '20s).

     I'm sorry, there is no excuse for this. Seriously, if you have understood what I wrote above you'd have no trouble figuring out how a government can keep taxing an economy into asphyxiation. You have to try hard not to see it. As for how it worked in the '20s and why it has not been similarly catastrophic since 2000, it's a matter of countermeasures. We have far more stabilization in place.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2017, 10:33:22 AM by drogulus »
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Offline drogulus

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Re: Sound The TRUMPets! A Thread for Presidential Pondering 2016-2020(?)
« Reply #3326 on: June 18, 2017, 03:21:03 PM »

     Russia renewed 6 Trump trademarks while interfering in the 2016 election — 4 were approved on Election Day

     Putin rewards Trumpski, but not for anything, never for anything. Friends help friends, that's all.
     
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Re: Sound The TRUMPets! A Thread for Presidential Pondering 2016-2020(?)
« Reply #3327 on: June 19, 2017, 02:40:47 AM »
It's the bromance!
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Offline eljr

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Re: Sound The TRUMPets! A Thread for Presidential Pondering 2016-2020(?)
« Reply #3328 on: June 19, 2017, 03:14:44 AM »
     Russia renewed 6 Trump trademarks while interfering in the 2016 election — 4 were approved on Election Day

     Putin rewards Trumpski, but not for anything, never for anything. Friends help friends, that's all.
   

an obviously an American President and Russian leader are friends.  ???
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Offline Bubbles

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Re: Sound The TRUMPets! A Thread for Presidential Pondering 2016-2020(?)
« Reply #3330 on: June 19, 2017, 08:13:40 AM »
If anyone is interested in following the developments in Syria, this is an interesting website:
https://syria.liveuamap.com

There is even a feature that let's you see what the "battlefield map" looked like at any point in the past few years (top-right corner, labelled "Time"). I don't see a way to animate the maps though.

My guess is that the Islamic State is going to implode soon and there will be a land grab in Eastern Syria, but who knows.  Plenty of opportunities for a US plane to get shot down.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2017, 08:38:45 AM by Fidgety »
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Offline drogulus

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Re: Sound The TRUMPets! A Thread for Presidential Pondering 2016-2020(?)
« Reply #3331 on: June 19, 2017, 10:52:47 AM »

      I haven't linked to Krazy Eyes Krugman in a while, so:

      Zombies, Vampires and Republicans
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Offline Turner

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Re: Sound The TRUMPets! A Thread for Presidential Pondering 2016-2020(?)
« Reply #3332 on: June 19, 2017, 11:06:48 AM »
"Sean Spicer is searching for candidates to take over the White House press briefing ..... has spoken with radio host Laura Ingraham and Daily Mail editor David Martosko, among others " 

:-X

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/19/sean-spicer-replacement-press-secretary-239721

Offline Bubbles

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Re: Sound The TRUMPets! A Thread for Presidential Pondering 2016-2020(?)
« Reply #3333 on: June 19, 2017, 11:57:08 AM »
      I haven't linked to Krazy Eyes Krugman in a while, so:

      Zombies, Vampires and Republicans

Good article. Krugman takes a lot of heat from Republicans, but he has always been a very astute critic and an excellent economist.

With one big caveat – he puts rather too much faith in the effectiveness of fiscal stimulus.  This, coming from an economist who has studied Japan's lost decades, seems hard to understand.

What he needs is a new and improved underlying economic model!

 :)
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Offline drogulus

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Re: Sound The TRUMPets! A Thread for Presidential Pondering 2016-2020(?)
« Reply #3334 on: June 19, 2017, 12:49:35 PM »
Good article. Krugman takes a lot of heat from Republicans, but he has always been a very astute critic and an excellent economist.

With one big caveat – he puts rather too much faith in the effectiveness of fiscal stimulus.  This, coming from an economist who has studied Japan's lost decades, seems hard to understand.

What he needs is a new and improved underlying economic model!

 :)

     Bringing up Japan is a good point. What about Japan is consistent with Krugman's view that fiscal stimulus is needed? I mean not what Krugman is really saying, but what Japan is really like. I doubt he is unaware that very high savings to GDP is low GDP. Is Japan's GDP not low for a number of interrelated reasons?
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Offline drogulus

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Re: Sound The TRUMPets! A Thread for Presidential Pondering 2016-2020(?)
« Reply #3335 on: June 19, 2017, 02:39:31 PM »
"Sean Spicer is searching for candidates to take over the White House press briefing ..... has spoken with radio host Laura Ingraham and Daily Mail editor David Martosko, among others " 

:-X

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/19/sean-spicer-replacement-press-secretary-239721

     This may sound crazy, but why not hire a professional with solid credentials, someone widely respected?

     OK, that wasn't as funny as I thought it would be.
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Re: Sound The TRUMPets! A Thread for Presidential Pondering 2016-2020(?)
« Reply #3336 on: June 20, 2017, 12:25:33 AM »
What about the infamous wall? Any progress on that? Is Trump thinking all the brouhaha caused by his presidency is going to make the people who voted for him forget about the wall?
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Offline drogulus

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Re: Sound The TRUMPets! A Thread for Presidential Pondering 2016-2020(?)
« Reply #3337 on: June 20, 2017, 04:00:46 AM »
What about the infamous wall? Any progress on that? Is Trump thinking all the brouhaha caused by his presidency is going to make the people who voted for him forget about the wall?

     Trump made promises to build a wall, but Mexico will only pay for the ladders.

     Trump's voter base has been holding steady according to some analysts. This shows up in his approval ratings which have been about 10 points higher than Bush II at his lowest. Within the base, though, it looks like the subset of hard core support has eroded. The attrition comes from his inability or unwillingness to keep promises. What happens when these people see it isn't fake news that millions will lose health coverage, when they see their friends and co-workers and family lose theirs, what then?

      Even if a million people lose coverage as states shrink their coverage as the bill anticipates, not millions right away, just a million, that's going to have far flung effects on families. All over the country the damage will be evident. A million people can gain coverage and you don't know, because you got yours, it could be fake news. It's fake that premiums have gone up long before, during and after OCare, only OCare has that, right? Yeah believe that, because you can believe anything if you don't know and who has the time?

     But when your brother loses coverage and can't afford the "access", or your mother has her premiums hiked enough to cut donor taxes, you will know, oh yes you will, and you will know who did it, and your tiny mind will know why.
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Re: Sound The TRUMPets! A Thread for Presidential Pondering 2016-2020(?)
« Reply #3338 on: June 20, 2017, 04:04:57 AM »
     Trump's voter base has been holding steady according to some analysts.

There really are people who will support him even if he guns someone down on Fifth Avenue.
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Re: Sound The TRUMPets! A Thread for Presidential Pondering 2016-2020(?)
« Reply #3339 on: June 20, 2017, 04:33:37 AM »
The GOP’s hard, messy options for destroying Trumpism

By Michael Gerson

Nearly 150 days into the [El Tupé] era, no non-delusional conservative can be happy with the direction of events or pleased with the options going forward.

[El Presidente Tupé] is remarkably unpopular, particularly with the young (among whom his approval is underwater by a remarkable 48 percentage points in one poll). And the reasons have little to do with elitism or media bias.

[El Tupé] has been ruled by compulsions, obsessions and vindictiveness, expressed nearly daily on Twitter. He has demonstrated an egotism that borders on solipsism. His political skills as president have been close to nonexistent. His White House is divided, incompetent and chaotic, and key administration jobs remain unfilled. His legislative agenda has gone nowhere. He has told constant, childish, refuted, uncorrected lies, and demanded and habituated deception among his underlings. He has humiliated and undercut his staff while requiring and rewarding flattery. He has promoted self-serving conspiracy theories. He has displayed pathetic, even frightening, ignorance on policy matters foreign and domestic. He has inflicted his ethically challenged associates on the nation. He is dead to the poetry of language and to the nobility of the political enterprise, viewing politics as conquest rather than as service.

[El Tupé] has made consistent appeals to prejudice based on religion and ethnicity, and associated the Republican Party with bias. He has stoked tribal hostilities. He has carelessly fractured our national unity. He has attempted to undermine respect for any institution that opposes or limits him — be it the responsible press, the courts or the intelligence community. He has invited criminal investigation through his secrecy and carelessness. He has publicly attempted to intimidate law enforcement. He has systematically alarmed our allies and given comfort to authoritarians. He promised to emancipate the world from American moral leadership — and has kept that pledge.

For many Republicans and conservatives, there is apparently no last straw, with offenses mounting bale by bale. The argument goes: [El Tupé] is still superior to Democratic rule — which would deliver apocalyptic harm — and thus anything that hurts [El Tupé] is bad for the republic. He is the general, so shut up and salute. What, after all, is the conservative endgame other than [El Tupé’s]  success?

This is the recommendation of sycophancy based on hysteria. At some point, hope for a new and improved [El Tupé] deteriorates into unreason. The idea that an alliance with [El Tupé] will end anywhere but disaster is a delusion. Both individuals and parties have long-term interests that are served by integrity, honor and sanity. Both individuals and the Republican Party are being corrupted and stained by their embrace of [El Tupé]. The endgame of accommodation is to be morally and politically discredited. Those committed to this approach warn of national decline — and are practically assisting it. They warn of decadence — and provide refreshments at the orgy.

So what is the proper objective for Republicans and conservatives? It is the defeat of Trumpism, preferably without the destruction of the GOP itself. And how does that happen?

Creating a conservative third party — as some have proposed — would have the effect of delivering national victories to a uniformly liberal and unreformed Democratic Party. A bad idea.

A primary challenge to [El Tupé] in the 2020 presidential election is more attractive, but very much an outside shot. An unlikely idea.

It is possible — if Democrats take the House in 2018 — that impeachment will ripen into a serious movement, which thoughtful Republicans might join (as they eventually did against Richard Nixon). But this depends on matters of fact and law that are currently hidden from view. A theoretical idea.

A Democratic victory in the 2020 election would represent the defeat of Trumpism and might be a prelude to Republican reform. But Democrats seem to be viewing [El Tupé’s] troubles as an opportunity to plunge leftward with a more frankly socialistic and culturally liberal message. That is hardly attractive to Republican reformers. A heretical idea.

Or Republicans and conservatives could just try to outlast [El Tupé] — closing the shutters and waiting for the hurricane to pass — while rooting for the success of a strong bench of rising 40-something leaders (Marco Rubio, Mike Lee, Nikki Haley, Tom Cotton, Ben Sasse). This may be the most practical approach but risks eight years of ideological entrenchment by Trumpism, along with massive damage to the Republican brand. A complacent idea.

Whatever option is chosen, it will not be easy or pretty. And any comfort for Republicans will be cold because they brought this fate on themselves and the country.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
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His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot