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DoubtingDave
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1/8/2013 11:40:01 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
What would happen if the United States paid off the National Debt? Will it have a positive or a negative impact on the economy?

Whilst it may seem like an automatic choice to say that it would help, I read many places where it said that it would be disasterous and may cause a recession worse than the 2008 recession.

In fact, the Bush tax cuts were created percisely because of the fear of having $0 national debt (http://www.washingtonpost.com... ).

So, what would happen: Would the economy go into recession or boom? Why or why not?
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lewis20
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1/8/2013 12:00:52 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I've never completely understood this, because if we paid off the national debt held by the Federal Reserve, wouldn't that mean that the Treasury would have paid back to the Federal Reserve all of the reserve notes it received in payment for the securities (U.S. debt) issued by the treasury?

How much money would come out of the economy if all the treasury securities were bought back with federal reserve notes? Would it be 10% of the money supply? as that tends to be the average fractional reserve rate.
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lewis20
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1/8/2013 12:55:20 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Does this look right? I'm sure I'm missing something, forgot to include discount window down with the guaranteed loans part.

A zero national debt would make the link between the federal govt and the federal reserve null and void wouldn't it?
If that were the case wouldn't the treasury not have to print any fed notes? Would there just not be anymore cash? Or does the treasury print money for banks as well?

http://i.imgur.com...
"If you are a racist I will attack you with the north"- Abraham Lincoln

"Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material" - Leviticus 19 19

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malcolmxy
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1/8/2013 1:04:38 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
We don't owe anything to the Federal Reserve. The national debt is the money we owe to other sovereigns, and that debt is issued by the Treasury Department in the form of US Treasury Bonds.

To say that our money is secured by debt means that the FED prints it up and then issues it to member banks. Those banks then put the money into the economy via loans.

What you're talking about is personal debt. The $14 trillion (give or take) is all money we actually owe to other countries, or private entities owe to other private entities.

We actually owe $4.5 trillion to foreign investors and about $1.5 trillion to US investors.

The rest gets settled at the end of the business day.

We don't pay the Fed anything, and we never will. They get paid by the power they exert over the economy.

(Keeping inflation low is really the most important thing? It is if you are sitting on a sh!t-ton of cash like all FED member banks are.)

_________________

To the OP, the US has been debt free one day in its entire history - Jan. 8, 1835. Andrew Jackson paid the last $33,000 left in debt, and then began incurring more debt on Jan 9, 1835, the amount of which he was never able to pay off, or didn't have the inclination to do so.

I don't know if it was good or bad for the economy, or if the situation would even be analogous to today. It's a very different economic world.
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lewis20
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1/8/2013 1:12:08 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
The Fed has 1.5 trillion in Treasury securities on their books.
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malcolmxy
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1/8/2013 1:34:39 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/8/2013 1:12:08 PM, lewis20 wrote:
The Fed has 1.5 trillion in Treasury securities on their books.

OK...we owe them that then, but that's the extent of it, and paying off the debt that a government contractor is owed by a government doesn't do anything to dissolve that government's relationship with said contractor.

In your prior posts, you were attributing the entire public debt to the FED, and that's just not how it works.
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malcolmxy
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1/8/2013 1:36:50 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/8/2013 1:34:39 PM, malcolmxy wrote:
At 1/8/2013 1:12:08 PM, lewis20 wrote:
The Fed has 1.5 trillion in Treasury securities on their books.

OK...we owe them that then, but that's the extent of it, and paying off the debt that a government contractor is owed by a government doesn't do anything to dissolve that government's relationship with said contractor.

In your prior posts, you were attributing the entire public debt to the FED, and that's just not how it works.

Also, is that The FED, or debt held by all FED member banks? I don't care enough to look it up myself.

The FED's manipulation of the economy for the benefit of its members, and not for the benefit of the American people is much more concerning to me than any debt they hold.
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lewis20
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1/8/2013 1:48:54 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/8/2013 1:34:39 PM, malcolmxy wrote:
At 1/8/2013 1:12:08 PM, lewis20 wrote:
The Fed has 1.5 trillion in Treasury securities on their books.

OK...we owe them that then, but that's the extent of it, and paying off the debt that a government contractor is owed by a government doesn't do anything to dissolve that government's relationship with said contractor.

Why wouldn't that, for all practical purposes dissolve the relationship? If they are no longer buying and selling treasury securities what relationship would they have? The Fed would still pay the Treasury to print it's notes but that would be it.
"If you are a racist I will attack you with the north"- Abraham Lincoln

"Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material" - Leviticus 19 19

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lewis20
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1/8/2013 1:59:54 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
This is another part I don't get, straight from the Federal Reserve website.
"Virtually all of currency notes in use are Federal Reserve notes. Each Federal Reserve Bank is required by law to pledge collateral at least equal to the amount of currency it has issued into circulation. The bulk of the collateral pledged is in the form of U.S. Government securities and gold certificates owned by the Federal Reserve Banks."

The fed has to have collateral for their notes, the collateral, they claim, is government securities, yet the fed buys said government securities with federal reserve notes created with no backing correct?

Is there a difference between the trillions of dollars that exist on computers and the billions that exist as physical notes? Are the virtual dollars, being created through things like fractional reserve banking, not backed by any kind of collateral?
"If you are a racist I will attack you with the north"- Abraham Lincoln

"Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material" - Leviticus 19 19

"War is a racket" - Smedley Butler
innomen
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1/8/2013 3:21:39 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/8/2013 2:03:05 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
Andrew Jackson did it.

Actually, Alexander Hamilton thought that a national debt would be a unifying force for the country which he feared would remain fractured by individual states claiming economic independence from the federal government. Hamilton was hell bent on a strong federal government and thought the national debt would help that cause.
DoubtingDave
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1/8/2013 3:33:04 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/8/2013 2:03:05 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
Andrew Jackson did it.

And the following year was a major recession increasing the debt tenfold...but that was mostly due to economic bubbles. I'm not sure how much the debt actually contributed to it.
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"Evolutionists think that people evolved from rocks" -Scotty

"And whats so bad about a Holy war? By Holy war, I mean a war which would aim to subdue others under Islam." -Ahmed.M

"The free market didn't create the massive wealth in the country, WW2 did." -malcomxy

"Independant federal regulators make our capitalist society possible." -Erik_Erikson
darkkermit
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1/8/2013 3:47:50 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Well current quantiative easing measures isn't just using Treasury notes. Mortgages and other bonds used to create money. Really if there are any assets of value, the FED could theoretically use it to create money i needed.
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malcolmxy
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1/8/2013 4:29:33 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/8/2013 1:59:54 PM, lewis20 wrote:
This is another part I don't get, straight from the Federal Reserve website.
"Virtually all of currency notes in use are Federal Reserve notes. Each Federal Reserve Bank is required by law to pledge collateral at least equal to the amount of currency it has issued into circulation. The bulk of the collateral pledged is in the form of U.S. Government securities and gold certificates owned by the Federal Reserve Banks."

The fed has to have collateral for their notes, the collateral, they claim, is government securities, yet the fed buys said government securities with federal reserve notes created with no backing correct?

Is there a difference between the trillions of dollars that exist on computers and the billions that exist as physical notes? Are the virtual dollars, being created through things like fractional reserve banking, not backed by any kind of collateral?

Not currently. The FED just announced that it would be printing (or creating, since M3 has little relation to actual printed currency out in the world) $80 billion "magical" dollars per month to help combat the recession's recovery (since, in the post-WWII history of modern economics, we've never taken close to this long to recover from a recession before).

Luckily, the thing that gives currency value is a belief in its value (which boils down to faith in the government which issues said currency), and since the US dollar is still the world's 1st choice for the exchange of goods and services (until China is able to pay Iran in all of the gold they are snatching up from Japan for an oil deal they've been working on for a while), there is obviously plenty of confidence left in the US Federal Government.

There is so much confidence, in fact, the US currency is the preferred choice on the black market (and, once it isn't, that is the true signal that our economy is on the fast decline), which is why the $100 bill accounts for 80% of all printed currency in circulation, currently...most of it is held securely overseas.
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malcolmxy
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1/8/2013 4:36:00 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/8/2013 3:47:50 PM, darkkermit wrote:
Well current quantiative easing measures isn't just using Treasury notes. Mortgages and other bonds used to create money. Really if there are any assets of value, the FED could theoretically use it to create money i needed.

This is public debt and it is the much more common method of money creation (much better, as well, because it gets the money out to the economy much faster, assuming the FED member bank to which it's issued doesn't hoard it, which has been a problem of late, and it begins multiplying immediately, as opposed to the government dragging its feet or using the money for foreign debt payment...not that this isn't important, but it does little for recovery...it does prevent a crash and an ensuing chaos, I suppose, so that's good.)
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malcolmxy
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1/8/2013 4:40:26 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/8/2013 3:21:39 PM, innomen wrote:
At 1/8/2013 2:03:05 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
Andrew Jackson did it.

Actually, Alexander Hamilton thought that a national debt would be a unifying force for the country which he feared would remain fractured by individual states claiming economic independence from the federal government. Hamilton was hell bent on a strong federal government and thought the national debt would help that cause.

Which is why I'm saddened each day that Burr was such an awful shot with a pistol. Hamilton was useless.

I'm not opposed to debt, but if Hamilton had, had his way (and, I suppose now, he has), we would have had banks running the country from the get-go.

If there is one of the founding fathers that we could have done without, it was Hamilton.
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lewis20
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1/8/2013 4:49:03 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/8/2013 4:44:04 PM, Franz_Reynard wrote:
Bill Clinton?

Talking about the Debt, not the deficit.
"If you are a racist I will attack you with the north"- Abraham Lincoln

"Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material" - Leviticus 19 19

"War is a racket" - Smedley Butler
Franz_Reynard
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1/8/2013 4:54:51 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/8/2013 4:49:03 PM, lewis20 wrote:
At 1/8/2013 4:44:04 PM, Franz_Reynard wrote:
Bill Clinton?

Talking about the Debt, not the deficit.

Ah.
Jake-migkillertwo
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1/8/2013 8:54:38 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/8/2013 11:40:01 AM, DoubtingDave wrote:
What would happen if the United States paid off the National Debt? Will it have a positive or a negative impact on the economy?

Whilst it may seem like an automatic choice to say that it would help, I read many places where it said that it would be disasterous and may cause a recession worse than the 2008 recession.

In fact, the Bush tax cuts were created percisely because of the fear of having $0 national debt (http://www.washingtonpost.com... ).

So, what would happen: Would the economy go into recession or boom? Why or why not?

It's very difficult to say. So let's put on our economist glasses and look at this two ways, the Classical model and the Keynesian model.

In the classical model there is no problem at all. Consumption expenditures would plummet and we would have to endure a tremendous amount of pain in the short run. However, that money would be financing massive investment and thus greatly expand our capital stock. So in the long run, it would be great.

Now in the Keynesian model things get a little more complicated.

If the government were to pay off the national debt, taxes would have to skyrocket and spending would have to plummet. In your textbook Keynesian models, this would cause an enormous contraction and increase unemployment.

But the Keynesian model does not rule out dollar-for-dollar crowding-out, or crowding in. It will certainly reduce consumption and therefore overall welfare in the short run, but who is to say that this will not result instead in a massive increase in demand for assets/investment goods? The result could be merely the same as the Classical model; short term pain for long term gain.
malcolmxy
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1/8/2013 9:18:08 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
huh? The Keynesian Model didn't change the way an economy works. It is simply a theory that a government could control an economy via spending.

It doesn't divert from "the classic model". It simply offers a way to manipulate the economy through spending.

As it turns out, Mr. Keynes was 100% correct in his analysis. People may not like the way he proposed it be done, which is why The Austrian Model came about, but that is simply modified Keynesian theory which is meant to smooth out the highs and lows.

Economics works the way economics works, regardless of the model in which you place it, because economics is the psychology of scarcity. Adam Smith didn't invent Capitalist Economics, just like Marx/Engels didn't invent Socialist Economics. At best, they discovered them (though, in reality, they simply named each system, because both have existed since humans began exchanging one thing for another).
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malcolmxy
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1/8/2013 9:22:26 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/8/2013 4:54:51 PM, Franz_Reynard wrote:
At 1/8/2013 4:49:03 PM, lewis20 wrote:
At 1/8/2013 4:44:04 PM, Franz_Reynard wrote:
Bill Clinton?

Talking about the Debt, not the deficit.

Ah.

Reagan and Bush 43 were the worst offenders in the modern age for both. Clinton, though largely through circumstance, was the 1st president in quite some time, and the last one as well, to see a budget surplus during his presidency.

Obama, for all this talk of fiscal cliff and Socialism, is the first in recent memory (possibly post WWII, but I didn't check) with a budget which was actually lower than the previous year.

For all the talk that Republicans do, they are, by far, the worst offenders when it comes to this kind of stuff. In fact, despite me not thinking he's a very good president, a large portion of the debt that Obama has amassed during his presidency (~40%) is directly attributable to his predecessor.
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lewis20
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1/8/2013 9:23:10 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Keynes ideas didn't take into account human nature. He proposed deficit spending when needed and saving when appropriate. Politicians are good at the spending in bad times and even better at spending in good times.
"If you are a racist I will attack you with the north"- Abraham Lincoln

"Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material" - Leviticus 19 19

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malcolmxy
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1/8/2013 9:34:34 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/8/2013 9:23:10 PM, lewis20 wrote:
Keynes ideas didn't take into account human nature. He proposed deficit spending when needed and saving when appropriate. Politicians are good at the spending in bad times and even better at spending in good times.

Republicans are.

Prior to Reagan, deficits were more or less capped at $50 billion per year. During the Reagan years and beyond, they moved to $300 billion/year (again, with the exception of Clinton who actually had a surplus one year).

Fast forward to Bush 43 (Bush 41 was actually a very good president, in retrospect...his kid, not so much) - now, deficits have ballooned to $1.8 trillion plus.

Gotta love the symmetry there...they didn't just bump up their deficit spending, the both ballooned it by 6X the previously accepted levels.

Viva GOP!!! (less GOP, more neo-cpn, but whatever...not that neo-liberalism is a big improvement over its neo-con brother)

Fas
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DoubtingDave
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1/9/2013 7:48:08 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/8/2013 9:34:34 PM, malcolmxy wrote:
At 1/8/2013 9:23:10 PM, lewis20 wrote:
Keynes ideas didn't take into account human nature. He proposed deficit spending when needed and saving when appropriate. Politicians are good at the spending in bad times and even better at spending in good times.

Republicans are.

Prior to Reagan, deficits were more or less capped at $50 billion per year. During the Reagan years and beyond, they moved to $300 billion/year (again, with the exception of Clinton who actually had a surplus one year).

Fast forward to Bush 43 (Bush 41 was actually a very good president, in retrospect...his kid, not so much) - now, deficits have ballooned to $1.8 trillion plus.

Gotta love the symmetry there...they didn't just bump up their deficit spending, the both ballooned it by 6X the previously accepted levels.

Viva GOP!!! (less GOP, more neo-cpn, but whatever...not that neo-liberalism is a big improvement over its neo-con brother)

Fas

Agree 100%, although I see that the Democrats have become as bad as the GOP when it comes to spending and deficits.

Bush 43 was a terrible President and Bush 41 was decent, he lost because he broke the "No new tax" promise which made him a sitting duck in the election (no, Perot did not play any role in causing Clinton to win).

Clinton was not a bad President. He worked extraordinarily well with the GOP controlled congress - which controlled congress throughout much of his time in office.
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"I have doubts that anti-semitism even exists" -GeoLaureate8

"Evolutionists think that people evolved from rocks" -Scotty

"And whats so bad about a Holy war? By Holy war, I mean a war which would aim to subdue others under Islam." -Ahmed.M

"The free market didn't create the massive wealth in the country, WW2 did." -malcomxy

"Independant federal regulators make our capitalist society possible." -Erik_Erikson
ConservativePolitico
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1/9/2013 8:36:40 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/9/2013 7:48:08 AM, DoubtingDave wrote:
At 1/8/2013 9:34:34 PM, malcolmxy wrote:
At 1/8/2013 9:23:10 PM, lewis20 wrote:
Keynes ideas didn't take into account human nature. He proposed deficit spending when needed and saving when appropriate. Politicians are good at the spending in bad times and even better at spending in good times.

Republicans are.

Prior to Reagan, deficits were more or less capped at $50 billion per year. During the Reagan years and beyond, they moved to $300 billion/year (again, with the exception of Clinton who actually had a surplus one year).

Fast forward to Bush 43 (Bush 41 was actually a very good president, in retrospect...his kid, not so much) - now, deficits have ballooned to $1.8 trillion plus.

Gotta love the symmetry there...they didn't just bump up their deficit spending, the both ballooned it by 6X the previously accepted levels.

Viva GOP!!! (less GOP, more neo-cpn, but whatever...not that neo-liberalism is a big improvement over its neo-con brother)

Fas

Agree 100%, although I see that the Democrats have become as bad as the GOP when it comes to spending and deficits.

Bush 43 was a terrible President and Bush 41 was decent, he lost because he broke the "No new tax" promise which made him a sitting duck in the election (no, Perot did not play any role in causing Clinton to win).

Clinton was not a bad President. He worked extraordinarily well with the GOP controlled congress - which controlled congress throughout much of his time in office.

Something Obama is too stupid to figure out how to do.
Greyparrot
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1/9/2013 3:18:13 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/8/2013 9:22:26 PM, malcolmxy wrote:

Obama, for all this talk of fiscal cliff and Socialism, is the first in recent memory (possibly post WWII, but I didn't check) with a budget which was actually lower than the previous year.

I agree, Obama is the most fiscally conservative politician in modern times.

The bar is never lowered for this hero.
malcolmxy
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1/9/2013 3:33:53 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/9/2013 8:36:40 AM, ConservativePolitico wrote:

Something Obama is too stupid to figure out how to do.

He's not stupid. He is a poor communicator. I know that is going to make some people do a double take, but while President Obama is an excellent orator, he is a horrible communicator.

Universal Healthcare, under a single payer system (the reason Toyota is packing up its US plants and building new ones...BUILDING NEW ONES...in Canada) failed, by all accounts of those who worked in the special committee assigned to this agenda, because Obama failed to effectively communicate the benefits to the public (who would have put the pressure on Congress to pass it).

As it turns out, Universal Healthcare also would have kept us off the fiscal cliff (or at least kept Medicare solvent), because instead of a bunch of sick people in the fund, a way larger bunch of healthy people would be in it, and their premiums (taxes...in this case, it's the same thing) would have far outpaced their claims, and the fund would start to stabilize.

Also, Obama isn't that fiscally conservative. It's more like Brewster's Millions. Monty Brewster left him so much money, he's having a hard time spending it all.

He's having a really hard time spending it on anything useful.
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malcolmxy
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1/9/2013 3:43:19 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/9/2013 7:48:08 AM, DoubtingDave wrote:

Bush 43 was a terrible President and Bush 41 was decent, he lost because he broke the "No new tax" promise which made him a sitting duck in the election (no, Perot did not play any role in causing Clinton to win).

Clinton was not a bad President. He worked extraordinarily well with the GOP controlled congress - which controlled congress throughout much of his time in office.

GHW Bush lost because he did two huge things that were the right things to do for the country.

1. He bugged the f*ck out of Iraq after Kuwait was free of Iraqi occupation (he could have invaded Iraq just like his idiot son did, but he listened to his joint chiefs of staff and ran as far from that idea as possible...if he would have extended that war by 6 months, he would have crushed any of the DNP challengers in his bid for reelection...people seem to forget that the DNP field was as weak as it was that year, sans the dark horse from Arkansas, because no one thought Bush stood a chance of losing after riding the wave of popularity he was riding from his quick, in and out, in the 1st Gulf War...)

2. Yeah..."read my lips". This was the direct result of the Reagan administration tossing out new taxes for about each and everything they could. Income tax was lowered under Reagan (mostly just for the top bracket, but it was slightly lower in all brackets), but total federal taxes were higher for everyone except the uber-rich.

If Bush wanted to win his 1st term, he had to show that he wasn't gonna keep on this same path. Then, the numbers just didn't add up and he had to institute a couple new taxes.

Except, he didn't. He could have left the country in bad shape so he could have won his 2nd term.

He didn't. He was an honorable guy. I don't agree with his politics, but I'll take 5 more GHW Bush's for president if anyone can find me someone who had half the honor and love of country that man did.
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FREEDO
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1/9/2013 11:35:27 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/8/2013 2:03:05 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
Andrew Jackson did it.

And collapsed the economy.

Eliminated the debt. Killed the central bank. A classic Libertarian failure.

Ask an economist about it. Debt builds nations.
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