Was John Maynard Keynes a ‘Keynesian’?

Since Blue NC is 'where people come to think' in North Carolina, what do you think about this?

http://www.telemachusleaps.com/2010/09/was-john-maynard-keynes-keynesian.html

Comments

Chief of Staff to Elizabeth Dole

I think that a former Chief of Staff to Elizabeth Dole has no business talking about deficit spending.

Tax cuts, wars, deficits. What did Dole vote for again?

Thanks for trying.

Keynes clearly laid out his theories that applied WHEN INTEREST RATES ARE AT ZERO and what policy makers can do when they aren't.

Buh-bye.

 

I was on the House Budget

I was on the House Budget Committee from 1991-1995 as budget associate to Congressman Alex McMillan (NC-9) who along with John Kasich put together a $500 billion spending reduction package (over 5 years, not 10 as they do now)and was eventually passed in 1997 as the core of the 1997 Budget Agreement passed by a GOP Congress and signed by President Clinton.

Is that enough qualification to be able to speak directly about how to balance federal budgets?

Please present any amendment or bill or motion that you have had a hand in that has led to any budget action at any level and we can have an honest and polite discussion going forward.

You link to an article that derides political cowardice

... and ignorance in economic matters, and now want to chide me for the same thing?

Try again.

Better yet, try asking a direct question if you want a specific answer.

You asked what I thought. I think the article is a bunch of disingenuous jibberish.

Ask another question.

By the by, I'm not burnishing my credentials as I still prefer to post with some degree of anonymity (you linked to an article that listed the author's affiliations). Rest assured that I can follow your budgetary discussions.

 

I was only responding to your

I was only responding to your comment that somehow '(I) was not qualified to talk about deficit-reduction matters'.

I just begged to differ.

But now that you asked, what would you do to reduce these monstrous budget deficits going forward? I had one other respondent already tell me point-blank that he did not care if we ran up a national debt to $100 trillion even if that meant annual federal interest payments of $5 trillion/annum.

(the annual total federal budget is now around $3.6 trillion with a $1.5 trillion deficit for FY 2009, 2010 and probably 2011 as well)

You didn't ask me, but here goes anyways ...

I would cut defense spending by 5% a year for 2012 - 2015, add 10 cents to the federal gas tax for each of the next 5 years (10 years would be better) and, of course, let the Bush tax cuts expire.

The gas tax $$ (which hasn't increased since 1993) would go to infrastructure, deficit reduction and incentives for conversion to clean energy sources. Not sure if it's mandated to infrastructure. If it is then high speed rail (assuming that counts) would get some serious $$ instead of deficit reduction and boosting clean energy.

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

now that you have hit a

now that you have hit a return volley, let me ask you something:

Would you support a consumption tax if it were to completely replace the current exemption/deduction riddled income/payroll tax system?

You have already indicated support for the gas tax. Why not go the whole hog and just establish a 'gas tax mechanism' on everything people purchase (with some allowances for the poor)

imagine this: 'No income tax code to manipulate: No lobbyists. No lobbyists: No PACs. No PACs: no money (at least not as much) to influence campaigns'

sounds like a John Lennon song.

and as to curtailing defense spending, remember any 'cut' in Washington is from the 'baseline projections going forward' meaning that there are never any 'real' cuts year-over-year in anything.

So why not hold the entire growth of overall federal spending to less than the rate of inflation (as was done under PAYGO from 1995-2000) and let the economy grow enough to make the tax revenue/spending lines cross again?

That means we still have to make some tough decisions like getting the eligibility age for SS and Medicare to 70 to account for longer lifespans and ending useless Pentagon projects and eliminating federal education and yes, even environmental programs that were put into effect by a powerful chairman of a committee (yes, it happens across-the-board in a bipartisan manner)

but now is the time to make the tough decisions and stop living in dreamland where we think we can 1) cut everyone's taxes and 2) spend more money on everyone's programs and projects.....

it can not be done.

Don't like the across the board consumption tax

It's regressive as the poor spend a higher percentage of their incomes on necessities than people in higher income brackets. The allowances for the poor you mention would seem to be rather difficult to implement - an ID card? a temporary, renewable tattoo? Just how would that work in the store at the time of purchase? And it can't be a refund at some later date.

I do like the idea of less $ involved in elections, but that's a whole 'nuther can o' worms.

My SS eligibility is 69 (I think) so it's almost to 70 already.

Eliminating education and environmental spending would be more expensive in the long run (less educated, unhealthy people use government resources more) and just shift burdens to states which are already in the red. States would scream "unfunded mandate!!" even louder than they do now. And they would be right.

You are correct, tough decisions need to be made, and soon.

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

your eligibility age for SS

your eligibility age for SS is now 67 probably if you are under 45 or so.

there is a 10-year freeze on SS age going up right now (for some reason) and it is now 66. but around 2020 or so, it starts going up again in 2 month increments till it hits 67.

Medicare just started to go up to 66 but it won't begin til 2019.

Simplify the Income Tax

Would you support a consumption tax if it were to completely replace the current exemption/deduction riddled income/payroll tax system?

I would prefer to fix the problems with the current exemption/deduction riddled income/payroll tax system with a progressive personal income tax on all income regardless of source, and a standard exemption based on something like twice the annualized Federal minimum wage. In other words, exempt the first $22K or so from all tax, then have four or five progressive brackets for all income above that amount. Tax all income regardless of source -- no special treatment for income from capital gains or dividends or anything else. Do away with all manner of tax exempt and tax deferred investment schemes. Do away with the separate FICA and Medicare taxes -- those programs would be funded out of the general tax revenue. Eliminate the corporate income tax, and require sole proprietorships, S-Corps, LLCs, etc. to maintain separate books so that any payment or benefit to "owners" be treated as the owner's personal income, while allowing the business to retain earnings without tax penalty. Any benefits in lieu of cash payments (e.g. country club memberships) would be taxable as personal income.

Social Security should be need-based, true "insurance" for retirement income. And we should finally catch up to the 20th century developed world and provide single-payer health insurance for all.

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The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

This is where my thinking is too.

The consumption tax crowd is disingenuous on two levels. First, their underlying motive is lower taxes overall, and they're rarely honest about that. And second, they ignore the host of proven, real-world cases that suggest the model will trigger wide-ranging black markets, gray markets and fraud.

Why focus on creating a new system that will be rife with unknown problems when we could reset the current system, where the problems are well defined and fixable?

I agree with you straight down the line. Plus the elimination of corporate income tax in my view, is an important first in the elimination of a system wherein corporations have rights and privileges as though they are people.

I agree totally with the

I agree totally with the elimination of the corporate income tax system...it is riddled with enough exemptions and deductions to render it almost useless going forward....plus the 'corporate tax' is just passed through in the form of higher taxes that are paid by the end consumer anyway.

The Corporate Income Tax used to bring in over 11% of federal revenues but has now steadily declined to where even if they come in at CBO projected rates for 2010-2011 (which they won't), they will only account for maybe 7%, 8% of all revenues. It has been on a steady trajectory downward over the decades.

well...it looks like we are

well...it looks like we are 90% of the way towards a massive agreement then.

SS should be need-based completely...Bill Gates and Warren Buffett don't need it or deserve it. Payroll taxes are 'taxes', not 'premiums paid into some pension fund'

that is why they are called taxes in the first place.

I agree with the blending of payroll taxes into general tax revenue funding streams...for this reason, mainly:

'General revenue funds ALREADY fund 75% of all Medicare Part B payments and they are now funding SS payments this year and last because of the recession that has crushed payroll tax payments in light of all this unemployment'

Keynes and other economists worried a lot about wages being 'sticky' and hard to push down to a new equilibrium level

tell that to the millions of commission-paid commercial real estate brokers; real estate people; consultants; IT professionals; former Wachovia bank execs....

there is nothing 'sticky' about going from high earned income to zero......

The sticky wicket...

..is not the general public, who like the idea of some bumper sticker solution (flat tax, fair tax, ___________ tax ... fill in the blank). Resistance will come from those whose income is not primarily "wages, salaries, and tips." That's why we don't already have a simplified tax structure.

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The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

If Social Security is to be "need based"

then why should those who save to ensure they won't need SS be required to pay into the system?

Warren Buffet and Bill Gates may not "need" SS but they "deserve" it under law. They paid their monies and took their chances that they might or might not be here to collect it...just like many others.

Re Medicare B: Once you're 65 you can elect to use B or not...but my prior employer, for example, bases the insurance offerings available to me with the assumption that I use and pay for B. Further, if Medicare pays more than my secondary insurer for a procedure, then my secondary insurer recovers the excess paid and then the physician bills me for what my insurer took. The whole system is a mess. Nothing is as straight-forward as it seems.

Stan Bozarth

Social Security Income Insurance

Warren Buffet and Bill Gates may not "need" SS but they "deserve" it under law. They paid their monies and took their chances that they might or might not be here to collect it...just like many others.

Social Security is income INSURANCE. It should be like health insurance, where you pay premiums, but you don't collect benefits unless you need the benefits.

With need based Social Security benefits, premiums would no doubt go down for everyone.

As for Buffet and Gates, it would be interesting to know how much of their income over their lifetimes has been in the form of "wages, salaries, and tips" (and therefore subject to the Social Security tax) versus income from interest, dividends, and capital gains.

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The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

To my knowledge...and I will happily accept proof

that I'm not so well informed...only SSDI is an "insurance" program.

And, if Gates and Buffett paid in less than required to qualify, they they won't get it.
I certainly agree they don't need it...and perhaps they've never applied. That's their option.

Stan Bozarth

Medicare Part B is

Medicare Part B is mandatory.....and the general revenue fund subsidy from the wage-earner taxpayer to each enrolled senior, Warren Buffett or not, is between $12,000 and $15,000 per year of enrollment.

$12,000-$15,000 per year per senior.

Bill Gates and Warren Buffett can, and probably have, already endowed and bought enough hospitals themselves to treat whole states.....they DO NOT NEED MEDICARE PART A, B OR D OR ANY OF THE OBAMACARE subsidy from Joe Q. Sixpack!

that is the height of unfairness in any tax code.

and Bill Gates and Warren Buffett don't 'deserve' anything from the US taxpayer. They pay into a payroll 'tax' system, not a 'premium' pension or defined contribution or even a defined benefit program as defined by ERISA when they make monthly SS payroll tax payments.

(although Bill Gates reaches his SS 'max' in salary in about 10 seconds after New Year's Eve is over. Warren Buffett 'only' takes out $100,000 in earned income salary every year so he doesn't even reach his SS max in earnings each year!)

I am mystified why anyone on any side of the political aisle continues to support the concept of the 'filthy' rich being 'entitled' to SS and Medicare payments.

There is something almost anti-American in that....sounds like we are still supporting Kings and Queens in their dotage on some Scottish Highland Estate named Donegal....

Actually On Medicare

If you are 65 years old and are covered under some other insurance plan and are receiving Social Security, you do not have to be covered under any Medicare plan and no money will be taken out of your social security disbursement. When that coverage ends, you have two months to enroll then into Medicare.

If the "filthy rich" paid their dues like the rest of us,

they deserve the benefits like the rest of us. What they didn't and don't deserve is a 15% capital gains tax rate when people who earn their livings by the sweat of their brow don't get such a break. Same for Hedge Fund managers and their scams of the tax system.

Who made all this possible? Congress. Republicans and Democrats alike.

Congress is useless. Scoundrels that deserve to be tarred and feathered for not doing their job.

Stan Bozarth

SS and Medicare are not

SS and Medicare are not 'official' pension or health benefit program like the ones in the private sector and which are governed by ERISA.

They are 'tax' systems that are made to look like a pension or benefits plan so people will do crazy things like believe that Warren Buffett and Bill Gates have 'paid into something' and deserve to get something out.

They don't. It is precisely like an income tax paid in that goes for either a defense program or a welfare program or an education program or to pay some part of this enormous interest costs on the national debt each year.

and it goes in the US treasury one day...and is paid immediately out the second it goes in. No trust fund; no real interest accrued...no nothing.

it is a complete charade game that needs to be fixed

and the first thing to make it right is to allocate federally collected dollars first to those who need it and are in poverty and then go up the scale of income until at one point or another, SS and Medicare subsidized benefits disappears for those who can afford it on their own.

Accurate Language

let the Bush tax cuts expire

I am a big fan of Edwin Newman and his books A Civil Tongue and Strictly Speaking. I am also a fan of James Kilpatrick's columns on the importance of language that is accurate in its application.

Therefore, I think it important to talk about whether or not to repeal the Bush/GOP tax increases set to take effect on 1/1/2011. The Republican Congress established this tax hike in legislation in 2001, and then-President Bush signed the tax hike into law.

President Obama has proposed repealing the tax hike for middle income taxpayers. Yesterday, it seems that House Minority Leader Boehner stated that he would vote in favor of such a repeal of the tax hike he in fact voted for in 2001.

Language matters.

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The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

You are correct....and the

You are correct....and the GOP Congress and W 'had their chance' to make their tax cuts permanent from 2004-2006 when they held the majorities across-the-board.

Why didn't they? Because the hit to the deficit-projections were too enormous to consider.

So they, and the Dem Congress from 2007-now, 'let sleeping dogs lie' and didn't do anything about the tax hikes coming until now, conveniently before an election.

The biggest piranha in this debate? The Alternative Minimum Tax....the dreaded AMT.

If that is not adjusted upwards, 24 million Americans will see an ugly tax chomp next year, up from 'only' the 4 million who are now subject to it.

20 million middle-to-higher income taxpayers getting swatted with one flyswatter is not going to be a pretty sight for any politician to see.

But if we extend all the Bush tax cuts, that is another $3 trillion in spending reductions we have to find to ever get within 5 light-years of ever balancing our budgets again in our lifetimes.

Crocodile tears

The concern for "deficit projections" from both parties is indeed touching.

Dealing with AMT, along with making permanent the R&D tax credits that have been dealt with year-to-year, should be important parts of the immediate tax bill. More than anything else, taxpayers and small businesses need some sense of certainty and stability for orderly financial planning.

Eliminating the corporate income tax, with appropriate provisions to make sure that sole proprietors and other business owners can't take advantage of some gray area between business and personal income, would be a huge step forward. James is right on how that would significantly lessen the stranglehold that big money corporations have on our political process.

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The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

Keynes would be rolling in his grave

If he could somehow find out that past administrations (but this one in particular) claim to adhere to his theories.

Much like jesus/christians...Keynes was far less of a kook than his followers (he was still dead wrong, though, on most things).

What do I think?

It is unlikely that Keynes was "using the transatlantic phone lines a lot" prior to 1933 to communicate with Roosevelt. The first transatlantic telephone call was made by radio in 1927. The first transatlantic telephone cable was laid in 1956. Roosevelt was elected in 1932, taking office in 1933. There is evidence that Keynes and Roosevelt first communicated directly in 1934 by letter and in person. Keynes had little, if any, effect on Roosevelt's policies prior to the outbreak of World War II.

The notion that the Great Depression which began in 1929 would have ended in 1932 or 1933 if FDR had not adopted Keynes' policies after he took office in 1933 is patently absurd.

You create fictional characters, created out of political cloth, the "proponents of big government" which you equate with "modern-day proponents of ‘Keynesianism’". You take two assertions, falsely attribute them, then pontificate about the conflicts between the two assertions. This is essentially campaign spin, half-truths in a political frame.

You claim on your site that you "intend to present the cold, hard, stonecold facts with the links to sites to back them". I see little evidence of this.

John Maynard Keynes' titled name is Baron Keynes, not Sir Keynes.

there is a recorded visit by

there is a recorded visit by Baron Keynes with FDR in Washington in 1934.

Thanks for the clarification on the transatlantic radio.

if you read the 164 postings on Telemachus and use all the links to the various resources, you will see facts as never given on either the conservative or progressive side of the aisle.

Both sides do it. Admit it. You know it is true.

If my insinuation that the Great Depression might have ended in 1934 is 'absurd', then please, pray tell everyone what was so great about a top-down, directed federal stimulus program that did not get America completely out of the Depression, and in fact suffered a severe double-dip in 1937, and in fact, was not 'cured' until the economic engine of America was fired up in 1942 to build the war machine that toppled Japan and Germany.

10 years of not succeeding is a long, long time for an economic philosophy to have not 'succeeded', don't you agree?

and we are headed down the same road today, are we not? 3 years and counting....I am not sure our generation is as tough as our grandparents and parents who did in fact survive the Depression and WWII....and then raising us as children.

I think our young people today are just as tough

but the situation has changed dramatically. There aren't millions of family farms to return to for cashless sustenance and family support....as a for example.

Stan Bozarth

I am not sure the Boomers or

I am not sure the Boomers or our children are tough enough to have endured a hand-to-hand battle with the Japanese in the Pacific or the Germans in Europe after being drafted by the millions and after having endured the Depression before that.

As a generation of Americans in comparison to our predecessors, we are all pretty darned 'soft', you gotta admit it...

Thank you...no...I will neither admit nor accept that.

The young men and women I know who today are serving are fine, strong people by and large. And my generation (I'm 69) proved itself in the hell that was Vietnam. We didn't live through a depression and the primary reason we lost in Vietnam was because the politicians didn't have the guts to do what it took to win. (As an aside, I'm not defending that war. It was a stupid, useless war and I often pray that the men who created it are, as we speak, roasting on a spit in the fires of hell.)

If there is anyone in this country that is "soft" and deserving of our scorn it's the many pussies in Congress and the executive branch and their feckless assistants who don't really give a rats ass about our military or our nation. They're all in it for their own benefit...not the benefit of either our nation or the men and women who put their lives on the line. LBJ is a perfect example...as is GW Bush and Dick Cheney.

BTW, Iraq and Afghanistan are also useless wars. Our men and women there are not soft. It's Congress that can't stand the heat. Useless stacks of crap!

Stan Bozarth

Bank Run Burr is another example

A chickenshit fratboy coward.

Richard Burr had the

Richard Burr had the 'courage' to put his name on a ballot and run for public office.

Have you ever done a similar thing?

If so, I salute you...everyone should try to run for an elective office at least once in their lives above the level of student body council.

Like it or not, many today see elective public

officials as folks who are more interested in burying their faces in the public trough for as long as possible rather than being courageous individuals seeking to serve their fellow citizens and their nation. Attributing a "courage" attribute to simply running for public office is understandable in the sense that these people's lives come under intense scrutiny by the media and they have to sometimes endure unwarranted criticism. Real courage in public office is doing what's just and proper based on facts and ethics unembellished by political BS and ideology.

Many in government today have legislated for themselves (and their sycophants) salaries, benefits and retirement compensation FAR beyond the limits of decency. I find it outrageous.

Stan Bozarth

Yes

I have run for office and was elected to the Chapel Hill City Council.

But if you think that required "courage," we have a wildly different view of what courage actually is. And if that's your only evidence of Mr. Burr's bravery, then my comment stands doubly true and underscored.

well, then I honestly salute

well, then I honestly salute you...running and getting elected for any public service office is an honorable things to do that Mr. Jefferson was the highest calling for a citizen.

I stand by my assertion that ANYONE who even runs for the public office of dogcatcher is 'brave' and should be accorded due respect and honor...even if you violently agree with them.

That is what leaders and people of conviction are supposed to do in a freely elected democratic republic.

Richard Burr is one of them.

You can't be serious

Leader? Person of conviction?

Burr voted yesterday against tax breaks for small businesses. As an anti-tax zealot by any standard, this vote reveals that his only conviction is to himself and his reelection campaign.

And what about this spectacular performance? Is this what you mean by "people of conviction?"

Frank, you're trying to defend a record that is fundamentally indefensible. I'd have a lot more respect for your positions if you'd stop wrapping yourself in Republican righteousness.

This is another difference between right and left. I've personally taken many Democrats to task for boneheaded moves, including Basnight, Perdue, Hagan, Kissell, McIntyre, and more. But you seem to be in lockstep, unable to dig into the rot inside your own party. Burr has done absolutely nothing of note in 16 years in Congress. Not one damn thing.

James: I have taken my

James: I have taken my former colleagues to task on many things and have written about it many times on my blog.

I have basically been taking them to task for their failure to support the 'small government' principles that Jefferson espoused and the GOP failed to support from 2001-2006.

So much 'disgust' had I that I registered as an Independent in 2007 along with about 37% of the other registered voters in NC who are flat-out fed up with both the machinations of the Democrat machine in NC AND the GOP counterpart to it.

We'll see if the 'I' vote gets to 50%+1 and becomes the 'Majority Party' in NC.

As to Richard Burr's 'courage', there are many people in North Carolina, and according to the recent polls, a large majority of them, who are going to vote for precisely because he voted against the Obama stimulus bills and the health care bill.

You might not agree with those stances but there are others who think he did the right thing in each of those votes.

i give any credit to any politician who is willing to put their name on the ballot so people such as your self can call them 'chicken shit frat boys' I think was the phrase for all to see in public.

hell, the worst thing Abe Lincoln was called was 'two-faced' and a 'baboon' and sometimes a 'two-faced baboon' at the same time....

it goes with the territory. It is just that damn few people have the guts and kahunas to put up with such nonsense and ad hominem attacks ad infinitum

I forgot to add the word

I forgot to add the word 'coward' to the 'chickenshit fratboy' honorarium....

Always happy to be accurately quoted

You're catching me at a bad time, Frank. I have not found myself feeling this hostile in more than a year. But the sad truth is, I hate what Richard Burr stands for ... which is nothing other than his own cushy job in the Senate.

On another thread, you were able to point to something Liddy Dole had done (which many, including myself, believe was the ONLY thing of note she accomplished in her career) ... but no one anywhere has been able to point to anything meaningful that Richard Burr has accomplished. Not one damn thing. Sixteen years in Congress and nothing to show for it.

If you can come up with something, I'll be happy to back off my harsh judgment.

Everyone has a bad period of

Everyone has a bad period of time in politics, Mr. Protzman.

I had a sinus surgery on the day Bill Clinton was elected...and it was elective surgery I decided to have because it was 'less painful' than going to the Inauguration.

(we went to most of them while in DC....we still are the best and most potential-filled nation on this planet because of the very same democratic republic we fight about...openly and without fear of physical or 2nd Amendment types of retribution...I hope, right?)

I have not delved deeply into Burr's record although I know him and like him a lot, not because we share the same limited government philosophy but because, believe it or not, he drives a 'Thing'! I am serious...one of those old beat-up 'Things' that someone at VW thought was a good idea in the '70's.

Saw him get in it one time in DC...the top was off (didn't work anymore so it was a convertible), there were holes in the floorboard...and it was snowing!

He's much more like 'regular folk' in North Carolina than any of the pretentious stuffed shirts in Washington on either side of the aisle.

A beer offer with him at 'He's Not Here!' I am sure we could arrange and you could talk to him about his record and your concerns....

I am a big believer is people from opposite sides of the Maginot Lines to talk with each other as you know...we all got more in common than what the pundits chattering heads on MSNBC and FOX have anyone believe.

the men and women who

the men and women who voluntarily choose to serve our nation and go in harm's way are true American heroes, bar none...they are the bravest of the brave.

I am just not sure the Boomer Generation and below have been asked to 'sacrifice' very much for the common good. Most of us have avoided the draft either when it was in force before 1974 or just because we we were too young to be drafted.

and I am wondering if anyone can tell us when we all as a collective group of Americans have been asked to sacrifice really much of anything in terms of creature comforts, money or anything like our parents and grandparents did, for example in the Depression or WWII.

For many Boomers, this extended recession is the first time they have experienced true economic loss in terms of jobs or homes or IRA value.

Are we 'toughening up' to get ready to make the tough decisions we need to leave a better place for our kids.....or are we just going to keep blaming the other side for everything under the sun?

In my ongoing comments about Congress...

Congress is AFRAID to reinstitute the draft and cause each generation to learn to what it means to serve because they know people would be more critical of their unwarranted wars and failures in foreign policy. Further, the vast majority of Congress would poop themselves if they thought they or their families had to actually pick up a rifle and do what they cause others to do.

We expect our leaders to ascertain what's right for the people of our nation to do to support our national needs. From what I can tell all that Congress requires of us is that we pay our taxes, believe their BS, and let them continue to play their games. Many of us would like to do, and do more....but we can't do those things on a meaningful scale until government gives those things a real impetus...such as a national energy program...of environmental program, etc.

This is not a challenge...just a curiosity. Can you tell me two things Liddy Dole conceived, created, sought consensus, and passed through Congress into law that now has or will have a lasting positive impact on our nation...in the minds of the citizenry.

Stan Bozarth

I'll give you one HUGE

I'll give you one HUGE one....the tobacco quote buyout in 2004.

Got rid of the archaic old quota system that was systematically propping up prices and limiting production and ended it forever.

That was a major piece of legislation and it also allowed the quota holders to get out whole based on the value of their quota holdings on a budget-neutral basis...the fees to pay for the buyout were paid for the big, bad tobacco companies and of course, the fees were passed on to the smokers as a form of 'user fee'.

Ending ANY federal program

Ending ANY federal program EVER is a HUGE deal, Mr. Bozarth!

It happens about as often as Haley's Comet returning.

As far as I can find, only one other federal program (1!) since the Reagan Revolution has been eliminated or truly removed from the annual federal flow of taxpayer funds and that was the Federal Helium Reserve started in 1916 to service WWI-era dirigible for surveillance purposes!

Imagine how many other ancient and now-obsolete federal programs are stuck in a 2400-page budget that could be eliminated or reformed significantly and yield massive savings to reduce the spending and therefore the annual deficits.

The number is legion and the amount is stupendous....I'll send you a link to the budget and you can see for yourself.

So...I downloaded it and it's a crock of manure

There's not enough detail to make it useful to make the judgement you suggest...which, BTW, I'm certain is true. The obsolete Helium Gas storage program has actually been replaced by the Congressional Gas storage program wherein the some 600 of these feckless twits will soon become a national methane resource since they are soooo full of it. The big bucks we pay for their gas is stunning...

Stan Bozarth

there are 3 documents there,

there are 3 documents there, each with more excruciating detail than the other....the Analytic Perspectives and Historical Tables are 'where it is at'

But just for good measure and 'proof' that there are place to cut federal spending all over the place, take a look at these two great summaries from CBO: Budget Options I and II.

http://www.cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=10294

http://www.cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=9925

Then you might be one of the handful of people outside of a few on the Budget Committees who have ever read the darned thing...it is a little like arguing about the Bible or the Torah or the Koran with someone who has never cracked them open but definitely has plenty of opinions about them