Compromising On Compromise

Today’s Courier Herald Column:

After over a year of effort, Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss and Virginia Senator Mark Warner announced that their bi-partisan “Gang of 6” had reach a consensus on a deficit reduction plan. Agreement on a budget plan with significant deficit reduction has become key in both the House and Senate as a condition to raising the nation’s debt ceiling, set to be reached by August 2nd. The “gang” was joined by Conservative Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, who had earlier left the group, signaling that Senate Conservatives were also likely to support the effort.

The plan is a mix of spending cuts, elimination of some tax breaks, and some tax cuts. The Alternative Minimum Tax would be eliminated, but $1 Trillion in new revenues would be increased over the ten year period. Chambliss points out that on a net basis, the plan will still be scored by the Congressional Budget Office as a tax cut.

The plan broadly outlines savings from Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, and will most likely bring means testing – the idea that wealthier recipients pay more or receive less – to the seniors’ programs.
The plan received broad bi-partisan support in the Senate, where a gang of 60 is required for any bill to become law. President Obama also signaled support for the plan, signifying likely support from the Democratically controlled Senate as a whole.

The Republican controlled House, however, spent Monday passing their Cut, Cap, and Balance plan, which would cut over $100M from spending in next year’s budget, cap federal spending at 18% of GDP, and mandate a balanced budget in the future. The passage sets the stage for active negotiations with the Senate, though many House Republican scoff at the notion of a compromise that will include any revenue increases.

Attitudes and opinions on how to proceed run the gambit among conservatives attempting to navigate a political arena balancing the mandate from the 2010 election to reduce taxes and spending, but also meet the fiscal needs of the country forced by the debt ceiling limit being achieved before a budget they have already passed being appropriated. Some, like Georgia’s Paul Broun, have used the opportunity for personal grandstanding, refusing to vote for Cut, Cap, and Balance because the plan does not “pay down the debt immediately.” Broun’s continued demagoguery on the issue obfuscates the point that to pay down debt immediately, taxes would have to be raised, or the entire U.S. discretionary budget would have to be eliminated. Entitlements and interest on the debt currently account for all US tax revenues collected.

Others, such as freshman Rob Woodall, make the case for a more pragmatic approach. Interviewed on radio show host Martha Zoller’s program, Woodall emphasized that while Republicans control the House, Democrats control the Senate and Executive Branch. He also noted that if fiscal conservatives refuse to yield on any issues, “Liberals” only need to pick off less than 20 Republicans to pass whatever they want. The key, he urged, is to quickly determine the most conservative plan that can pass both houses, and then move forward with plans for items that continue to address the nation’s fiscal issues, such as comprehensive tax reform. Woodall has been able to schedule hearings on the FairTax, of which he is a sponsor.

Woodall’s approach is similar to that of Ronald Reagan, who not only did not fear compromise, but encouraged it. Compromise need not be giving up ideals for the sake of a deal, but getting as much of what you want as you can rather than getting nothing. House Republicans have made their stand with Cut, Cap, and Balance. They now need to fully engage the Senate in honest negotiation, and see how much can be integrated into the developing framework for this week’s grand compromise.

74 comments

  1. Nathan says:

    This was released from Congressman Lynn Westmoreland’s office:

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2560, the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act of 2011. The legislation cuts $5.8 trillion over ten years – with $111 billion in cuts in the 2012 fiscal year alone – while capping discretionary spending at 20 percent of GDP. Most importantly, it requires a balanced budget amendment pass the House and Senate before allowing a $2.4 trillion increase to the national debt ceiling (the amendment would still have to be ratified by three-fourths of the states to take effect). This plan stays in line with assurances made by House Republican Leadership to cut $2 in spending for every $1 increase in the national debt. Congressman Westmoreland voted in favor of the legislation. Below is his statement on the bill.

    “Look, I don’t love this plan any better than the next conservative. The spending cuts aren’t high enough, the spending cap is too high, and it still leads the way to raising the debt ceiling $2.4 trillion. Unfortunately, President Obama and Congressional Democrats put us on such a spending spree over the last two years, it’s going to take a while to turn off the spigot. You can’t turn an aircraft carrier around on a dime, and you can’t stop a federal budget of almost $4 trillion a year in one day.

    “But at the end of the day, if this is the bill that can get the ball rolling on a balanced budget amendment, then it’s got my vote. While the president may continue to claim, ‘We don’t need a constitutional amendment to do our jobs,’ clearly he does. And honestly, I don’t necessarily trust that all of my colleagues in Washington and future Members of Congress will stay within our means.

    “According to the latest debt numbers, every man, woman, and child in this country owes more than $46,000 to our creditors – creditors like China and Saudi Arabia. This is not a problem we can continue to kick down the road. If we want to continue the American tradition of leaving this country a better place for our children and grandchildren, we must address what Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen calls ‘the single-biggest threat to our national security’; and that’s our national security.

    “There is no one answer to our debt problems. Many changes are going to be necessary to save this country from our current situation, and these changes aren’t going to fix anything over night. But a balanced budget amendment will at least establish a permanent and legal requirement for Congress to stop this ‘spend now, pay later’ mentality that has become so rampant. Plus, a balanced budget is nothing new; currently 49 US states have some form of it required for their own state budgets. As the debate over raising the national debt continues in Congress and at the White House, I strongly encourage my colleagues in both the House and the Senate and President Obama to support a balanced budget amendment. Georgia families have to make tough decisions to live within their means; the federal government should be no different,” stated Westmoreland.

    For more information on the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act of 2011, visit http://rsc.jordan.house.gov/Solutions/debtceiling.htm.

    • trainsplz says:

      I agreed with him 100% that those guys should act like grownups and do the job. But the assertion that the president should “lead” by bringing his own budget to the table seems weird. The idea is that the executive branch isn’t supposed to write legislation, right? Maybe it’s just sad but true.

      • SOGTP says:

        @train. The President has no statutory authority on spending. Congress should have told him to shut up and spend what we tell you to spend. You are correct.

      • trainsplz,

        The president has inserted himself into this (remember his attacks on Republican budget solutions and his threats to veto GOP budget plans) and if he’s going to run with the big dogs then he needs to get his Chihuahua butt up off of the porch.

        Republicans in the US House have passed a budget, meanwhile Democrats have passed nothing in two years.

        If President Obama really wants a budget solution then he’ll begin doing constructive things instead of standing off to one side and attacking others. I’m not sure that President Obama wants this impasse solved because he envisions himself as Bill Clinton circa 1995.

        • Calypso says:

          Just came across this:

          WASHINGTON — The White House shifted gears on Wednesday and signaled that President Barack Obama could support a short-term increase in the U.S. borrowing limit as long as it is part of a broader deficit reduction deal.

          Obama’s new stance on a short-term fix shows the White House has recognized that time is running out for Congress to act before the United States runs out of money on August 2.

        • trainsplz says:

          So, we’ve got “lead by bringing your own budget,” “spend what we tell you to spend, which is currently unknown because whatever passes the house republicans is certain to torpedoed by the democrat senate,” and some advice about doing something unspecified, but constructive by not being a chihuahua.

          I’d love a balanced budget amendment. The one in Germany sounds rad, and I’m glad that GA can’t run a deficit. But it seems to me that tying the debt ceiling to the cut-cap-and-balance deal – which is a pretty big change and which the house R’s had to have known was not going to jibe with the executive branch or even the senate – isn’t particularly “constructive” either.

          • trainsplz,

            And where is the Democrat plan from the US Senate and President Obama?

            The constructive thing would be to give an honest assessment of what he wants. We have yet to hear anything other than vague suggestions and complaints about the other party.

            If you think my advice is vague, then what do you think of “eat your peas” as a metaphor?

            • trainsplz says:

              I think that Obama’s honest assessment, as reported at: http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2011/07/obama-this-may-bring-my-presidency-down-but-i-will-not-yield-on-no-short-term-extensions.html

              was: “I have shown enormous willingness to compromise and have taken huge heat for it,” he said, “but my responsibility is to the American people and there comes a point when I need to say, ‘Enough.'” “It cannot all be on us,” the president said, arguing that Republicans need to give on the revenue side of things as Democrats are willing to do so on spending cuts.

              To me, that’s not vague. My impression from that is that Obama would like to seize wealth from people with wealth and have that wealth contribute to, although not in total eliminate, the deficit. Second, he’ll admit to cutting programs, which is vague. I agree that “eat our peas” is vague and ridiculous, but I think that Boehner’s “ands and buts were candy and nuts…” is way worse.

              The alternative is to pass a fantasy budget in the senate that outlines the dream situation of the party, even though it won’t pass. Which is seeming like a better and better idea, even though it sounds so ridiculous when people do it.

              • Where are his numbers?

                We don’t tax wealth in this country, we tax income. The wealthy can afford to hide their income or defer it until the most advantageous times. People who are attempting to get wealthy get socked, not the truly wealthy.

                At this point, to rush through a compromise that NO ONE HAS ANALYZED is another example of “we have to pass the bill to know what’s in the bill”. If the President was truly worried, then he would have been focused on this last year when there was no budget at all. Or earlier this year he would have been a leader and not a demagogue.

                Obama says the right words, but his actions tell a different story.

              • Ambernappe says:

                Strictly campaign catch phrases to the voters who do not understand but will be able to say that the President is not going to let “rich people” get away with anything. By the way, I have not heard or read any mention of the standard IRS deductions for “over 65 years old” and “disabled” being changed to income based,
                and at a fairly low income level.

          • seekingtounderstand says:

            GA is in big trouble with the new private/public plans which includes lots of debt… reservoirs, toll roads, and any other fraud the local commissioners want to come up with.
            SB 122 will be another way to expoit the tax payer in Georgia. And gov. perdue gutted GBI and attorney generals office leaving no ACCOUNTABILITY for the corrupt local commissioners.
            PREDICATION: When Ga Republicans can no longer hide behind Obama being in office, their record of debt and corruption by their friends will ensure our move to
            TEA PARTY DEMOCRATES. As a long time republican who is sick of it…… we will have to take over the democratic party to get insiders out of office. Just wait until those “LEXUS ROADS” go in…….people will be livid.

      • Three Jack says:

        trains, the house passed 2 separate budgets even though the dem senate and dem president promised to prevent either from becoming law. normally i would agree that the president should not be in the mix with congressional duties, but he can’t just keep saying no without offering an alternative option.

        last week the president adamantly stated he would not support a short term extension. today he reversed course when jay carney announced that they would possibly sign off on a short term extension.

        5 years ago then senator obama strongly opposed a debt ceiling increase along with every other dem senator including joe biden. i think he said something about there being a lack of leadership in the white house creating need for the increase. fast forward to 2011 and he’s out there saying the world will end without a debt ceiling increase. is this leadership?

        how the hell does anybody work a compromise with somebody who has no idea where he stands on a given issue and has yet to offer his plan in some format that includes at least an outline of details?

        • trainsplz says:

          thanks, three jack. I’d say that the “lack of leadership” argument used by the democrats then – including senator obama – was probably false. by extension, it’s probably false now, too, though. honestly, I think that if they can’t get their act together in DC to keep our credit rating, they are seriously messing up. but your complaint is valid – obama should have his own team on this, with policy written and ready to go.

  2. CadeThacker says:

    Ok, somebody please enlighten me. Here is my over simplified view:

    1) $2.7 Trillion more in the hole over just the next two years. (debt ceiling hike)
    2) Even at the highest number out there, pie in the sky, we get $4 trillion cuts over 10 years.
    3) We run $1.3 trillion deficit every year.

    So math goes like this:

    $1.3 trillion * 10 years = $13 trilion more in the hole
    + $2.7 trillion of known debt ceiling hike = $15.7 trillion (they will raise it more, but oh well)
    – $4 trillion in cuts (which I’ll bet my first born child will not actually happen) = $11.7

    So even if all this “grand bargain” junk works, we are still $11.7 trillion more in the hole then right now?

    Tell me how this helps?

    • John Konop says:

      It all depends; this is the first step in a process. The biggest drivers are expenditures and revenue. The biggest drains are entitlements and military. The biggest revenue gains will be producing more than we consume.

      The gang of 6 did a very good job in outlining a base budget to keep the economy moving. Unlike the joke of a plan presented by the GOP, The gang of 6 had the guts to deal with entitlements. Also they also dealt with tax loopholes and simplifying the tax system.

      We still need major reform with healthcare, because we spend twice as much as must develop countries and yield a lower life expectancy, than many spending way less.

      The real question is how we grow the economy. And that can only be fixed by producing more than we consume from foreign imports. That will take a combination of trade reform to build production and infrastructure investment to make us less dependent on foreign energy. And if done right than we will not have tax revenue issue.

  3. Doug Deal says:

    We do not stop growing debt until we stop spending more than have. 4 trillion over 10 years means we go from a 1.4 trillion deficit to a 1 trillion deficit, and this assumes Congress keeps its promises.

    The sad thing is that we can talk about compromise all we want, but the solution set to 20+ years of completely irresponsible behavior is way beyond even the “Draconian” proposals of the fiscal conservatives. The space occupied by compromise solutions does nothing but delay default a short time but makes it a whole lot worse in the end.

    We are broke and its only a matter of time before the city cuts off our electricity and water.

    • bgsmallz says:

      Well…actually, if we were ‘broke’ we wouldn’t have a AAA credit rating, etc. etc.

      Do we have a huge spending problem? Yes. Do we have a huge deficit problem? Yes. Do we have a huge revenue problem? Yes.

      The analogy is better served thinking of it this way…we are able to pay the power and water bill, we missed the due date because we can’t decide who should write the check (back in June?), now we are making the Power Company and the Water Company itchy because instead of saying ‘the check’s in the mail’ when they call about our bill, we are arguing on the phone with each other in front of the account rep, telling them we might rather ruin our credit rating and have the lights and water turned off (knowing full well that we NEED lights and water and will just have to pay more for them in the future if we let them disconnect them…think of it as a reconnect fee and penalty) than to actually just cut the freaking check and keep our squabble over how we pay internal rather than threatening our external debts.

      I understand negotiations, but being self destructive is just lunacy. There is going to be a referendum in 2012 on the House and Senate and Presidency….and guess what, it is going to be decided by independents who lean somewhat to the right or left…not tea partiers and not left wingers… we should look at the polls and see where the chickens are going to come home to roost. I think taking a grand compromise puts the GOP in a position to show it can govern and gives it weight when in 2012 they say ‘give us more power’…however, who can have confidence giving this group of self destructive crybabies more power with the way they have handled this negotiation? Its going to back fire…

  4. Clint says:

    The Gang of Six plan is much more realistic to PASS than the Cut Cap and Balance plan put forward by the House Republicans yesterday. Both do little to really get into the guts of the problem though. To do that, you’d need to go w/ Senator Coburn’s $9.5 trillion plan.

    The problem is that on one side you have unrealistic conservatives who are protecting special interests and on the other side you have unrealistic liberals who are protecting special interests. Neither are willing to meet in the middle and compromise. Unfortunately, we have a President who can give a good speech but lacks strong leadership skills that doesn’t know how to bring the two factions to a general agreement.

    The short terms solution is to go for the deal that closes the most loopholes and cuts the most spending that can pass both chambers and be signed into law and avert a financial disaster.

    Moving toward 2012, just vote for someone else. That means, look beyond just the rhetoric that someone offers and look at their actual record and see if it matches up w/ their rhetoric. It’s going to take some heavy lifting to get our financial house in order and the same old same old that’s been there a dozen or so years and done little to fix the problem isn’t going to cut it anymore…

  5. Thadius says:

    Ok… Who’s going to run against Saxby?
    If you go ahead and come out now, I will send you money.

  6. rense says:

    It is hilarious to hear the GOP talk about Obama’s lack of leadership.

    1. The GOP controlled Congress from 1994-2006, the White House from 2000-2008, and all three branches of government from 2000-2006 and didn’t do squat about the federal deficit.

    2. For the GOP, “leadership” means adopting the GOP position, which means deep cuts in Democratic spending priorities while leaving GOP spending priorities either unscathed or exposed to only minor cuts, and no tax increases. In this way, the GOP suffers absolutely nothing in terms of policy, ideology or politics, while the Democrats and Obama take a huge hit on all three. If it doesn’t benefit the Democrats in terms of politics, policy or ideology, why do it? For the good of the country? Excuse me, but Democrats don’t believe that GOP economics are good policy. If they did, they’d be Democrats! And the reason why Democrats were elected to the White House and Senate in the first place is because the voters decided – based on a mountain of evidence, that GOP economics, or at least that as represented by George W. Bush and the Congress that ran things from 1994-2006 – doesn’t work either. I know, good GOPers are supposed to blame everything on Barney Frank, Chris Dodd and Frank Raines, but not everyone is a GOPer.

    3. Enough with this “the GOP has passed two budgets and the Democrats haven’t done a thing” act. The GOP has passed two budgets that they knew had no chance to pass because those budgets reflected GOP ideology and politics. If the House were serious about a budget, their GOP leaders would negotiate one with the Senate Democrat leaders. That’s what happened in the 1980s, when a heavily Democratic House negotiated with a heavily Republican Senate.

    4. Obama wants to provoke a crisis to get re-elected? Excuse me, but haven’t the GOPers been bragging ever since winning in November on how they were going to use the debt limit as a vehicle to force Obama to adopt their spending cuts? Only when Obama doesn’t fold like they expected him to (because really, Obama has nothing to lose; he knows that he is not going to get re-elected unless the GOP nominates someone really bad, or there is a major game-changer) do they decide that he is the one playing politics?

    Elections have consequences. Yes, the GOP won in 2010, but the Democrats won in 2008 and 2006. The GOP needs to quit acting delusional and negotiate.

    • Three Jack says:

      rense, so you’re criticizing the house gop for passing 2 budgets that reflected gop principles? really?

      i’ve been as critical of the gop as anybody during this debate, but facts is facts. the gop put plans on paper and passed them with some dem support in the house. dems have not introduced a budget in 2 years unless you count obama’s massive spending budget that failed in the dem controlled senate 97-0. you can dismiss the gop bills if you want, but at least they have followed procedure by doing what the house of reps is supposed to do.

      this thread is about compromise. the house has a well defined position, the senate and president have rhetoric. if dems want a deal, harry reid needs to introduce either of the house bills on the senate floor as normally happens, offer amendments, pass legislation, go to conference and present an agreed upon bill to the president….been doing it that way for centuries.

      • John Konop says:

        …..rense, so you’re criticizing the house gop for passing 2 budgets that reflected gop principles? really?……

        This reflects GOP principles?

        ……Ron Paul Shreds “Cut, Cap, And Balance”, And Basically Calls House Leaders Liars…..

        ……First, it purports to eventually balance the budget without cutting military spending, Social Security, or Medicare. This is impossible. These three budget items already cost nearly $1 trillion apiece annually. This means we can cut every other area of federal spending to zero and still have a $3 trillion budget. Since annual federal tax revenues almost certainly will not exceed $2.5 trillion for several years, this Act cannot balance the budget under any plausible scenario……….

        Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/ron-paul-slams-cut-cap-and-balance-2011-7#ixzz1SdetfCsz

        • Three Jack says:

          john, i don’t disagree with paul on this bill, but it is one of two passed by the house to address the budget mess. it’s now time for the senate to have hearings on both bills, bring them to the floor for amendments and a vote. then go to conference and come out with something that deals with the debt.

          the gop house has done it’s job, time for the dem senate to do the same or accept blame when the world ends on august 3rd as you predict.

          • benevolus says:

            I think you are mixing two separate issues.
            We are NOT going to have a new budget by August 2. It is impossible to get that done at this point. That deadline is just for the debt ceiling. Republicans have been insisting on a budget deal in return for raising the debt ceiling, but they are going to have to raise the debt ceiling with just a plan or framework for the whole budget.

            That’s the way I understand it anyway.

    • rense,

      You’re right about #1. We Republicans did a terrible job on spending under G. W. Bush.

      On #2, Republicans have offered a starting point. Democrats have yet to do even that. All they have done is complain about the Republican budget plans, but were afraid to offer a plan last year or this year. And in the past, the House would pass a budget plan, the Senate would pass a budget plan and the two sides would slug it out in the budget reconciliation committee.

      On #3, Yes, we Republicans remember the “deals” we reached with Democrats in ’81 and in ’91. Republicans agreed to the tax increases and Democrats reneged on spending cuts both times.

      On #4, I have heard rhetoric from this President but seen no plan. We’ll see how serious he is about completing a deal. Of course, he’s publicly attacked everything the GOP has put forth and lied to our senior citizens which shows that he’s really serious about bargaining, right?

      • John Konop says:

        Ken in Eastman,

        Obama is in a trap ,he has already agreed to the gang of 6 budget deal. The only thing holding the deal up is the GOP house. This is a real first step.

        • Interesting analysis, John. He does seem smitten with that option and it might be a way to provide a compromise with no obvious losers immediately. I still fear that it will decimate (literal meaning) the GOP base after the deal is analyzed thoroughly.

          My problem is that I have heard – I have not seen the plan – the cuts are “fuzzy” and might not be what they seem. That would be a problem.

          I know I sure do want structural changes in our federal spending, and we need it. Zero-based budgeting would be good and no one even talks about it anymore.

          • John Konop says:

            I agree, but on a macro the gang of 6 plan is a good first step. It takes on entitlements and it does flatten taxes with lower rates and eliminates many loopholes. Pre- the negotiations Obama and Dems did not back the plan. And in the past most fiscally conservative support a flat tax and entitlement reform. The plan is very similar to what the Heritage foundation proposed.

        • Three Jack says:

          john, when did obama agree to the gang of 6 deal? he said it was a step in the right direction, but there is no agreement even in principle. hell, it will take cbo a few weeks to score the thing after it has been written up. so far, it is only words with no legislation…did obama sign off on a verbal proposal?

          • John Konop says:

            “Art of the Deal”, Obama is in a box if he does not sign off on the deal he looks unreasonable. If he does not get enough Dems behind the deal he looks weak. And if the deal happens it is step in the right direction.

            • Three Jack says:

              john, when did obama agree to the gang of 6 deal…simple question. i know what happens if he doesn’t, but you wrote that it was already done. “Obama is in a trap ,he has already agreed to the gang of 6 budget deal. The only thing holding the deal up is the GOP house. This is a real first step.”

              and how can it be held up by the house when there is no legislation to hold up? you want to blame the gop, that’s fine. but in this case it is the liberal senate that is holding up the gop submitted budgets.

    • Doug Grammer says:

      Rense,

      One request. Please show me where I can find the President’s proposed plan. Thank you.

  7. SOGTP says:

    @Doug. The President doesn’t get to submit a plan. All statutory authority for spending is in the House. The leadership in the House is getting rolled.

    • Doug Grammer says:

      Alright then….. which member of congress is Obamacare named after? When the President wants to put forward a plan, he can. A member of congress can introduce that bill for him, but let’s be realistic in our discussions. And is your name Rense?

        • bgsmallz says:

          “And is your name Rense?” Come on. I think SOGTP is from Mars most days, but he certainly has every right to chime in on a stupid rhetorical question.

          Anyway, I’m not sure if you understand the budget process or if I do either, but my understanding of how it has historically been done is that the Congress makes the budget and that the President influences the budget with his veto power….I’m pretty sure that is how it has worked for a long, long time. The President is involved with the negotiation, but he doesn’t propose a plan nor should he. I’m pretty sure this is how it has worked for Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and any other modern Presidents working with a Congress controlled by the other party.

          Or should I just make one request of my own…Please show me where I can find any President’s proposed budget plan. Thank you.

  8. John Konop says:

    This is also why we must fix trade as well as the budget. U.S. production is dying because of no real legal rights for anyone in countries like China. Spin it anyway you want but this is flat out theft!

    …….China is known for producing fake electronics, watches and handbags (see what percentage of fake products in the U.S. come from China), but apparently there are now replicas of entire Apple stores cropping up (find out where real Apple stores opened in the country). According to an unnamed blogger, the stores looked exactly like the real thing and employees believed they were working for the company. Apple has not yet commented on the alleged fake stores……..

    http://specials.msn.com/A-List/Lifestyle/Fake-Apple-stores-found-in-China.aspx?cp-documentid=29576327

    ….. “As much as 80 percent of the fake products seized in the US are originating from China,” U.S. officials have said, adding that such large scale dumpings have been going on for the past five years……

    • Three Jack says:

      “U.S. production is dying because of no real legal rights for anyone in countries like China.”

      nope, u.s. production is down due to unions pricing themselves out of existence. unfortunately it’s taking a while to completely end unions with collective bargaining contracts.

      • John Konop says:

        Three jack,

        How do U.S workers compete with sub 2 dollar an hour workers with limited legal rights?

        How do U.S companies compete with currency manipulation, no enforcement of intellectual property rights, no health and safety standards………..

      • John Konop says:

        Henry Ford was asked why he pays his workers so much and he replied I want them to make enough money to buy my products. Think about it?

      • benevolus says:

        The Heritage Foundation finds the US to be the third best country in the world for “labor freedom”, behind Singapore and Bahrain.

        “U.S. labor regulations are highly flexible. The non-salary cost of employing a worker is low, and the severance payment system is not burdensome. With private-sector union membership steadily shrinking, more union members currently work for the government than for private businesses.”

        http://www.heritage.org/Index/explore

  9. Harry says:

    U.S. production is dying because of no real legal rights for anyone in countries like China.
    There are limited legal rights in China. I think US production is dying because of many reasons, a couple of which are: low quality US workforce, US laws that discourage production of wealth, and increased global competition.

    • drjay says:

      “There are limited legal rights in China. ”

      hahaha, for whom, it’s the wild west over there as far as manufacturing goes…

      • Harry says:

        There are limited legal rights as long as one “follows the rules”. It’s not the wild west. Is corruption and inequality present? Sure.

        • drjay says:

          one of my father in laws contractors had a billing dispute with a chinese manufacturer–they had a meeting, their was an impasse, the contractor said, well i’ll see you in court, the chinese guy, said, no court, we will settle this the chinese way, you pay me in 30 days or i will kill you and your family…that’s just one of the stories i’ve heard over the dinner table throught the years…it’s the wild west…

  10. Bucky Plyler says:

    Here’s what most conservatives I know (including me) want concerning this subject. Label it any way you want to, but here are the bullets.

    * No new (compromised in any way) or added taxes. The gov’t has enough revenue….in fact it has too much.
    * Spending cuts…$4 trillion in a decade is not enough. Considering the track record of the federal gov’t we don’t believe any of the deals we’re hearing about.
    * DO not raise the debt ceiling AND we certainly do not need a compromise that allows for 2.4 trillion more in debt. Approx. $200B comes in a month. Stop the scare tactics..pay the interest on the debt, SS, Medi, the troops…. prioritize the rest and/or make real cuts now …not in 10 years.
    * Pass a balanced budget admendment. Any politician that says we don’t need this in order for them to do their jobs has lost all credibility with us.

    Chambliss & Isackson talk some of these points but not all of them. We are not inclined to vote for them again over this issue…particularly if there will be some good opposition for both of them in the next election cycle.

  11. griftdrift says:

    Okay. Let me type slower.

    First of all the deficit is not $14 trillion. The debt is $14 trillion dollars.

    Now what percentage of revenue, not borrowed money, they are not the same thing, would be acceptable to you.

    • Bucky Plyler says:

      “If 14% of GDP is still too much revenue”. ( I typed that real slow…)

      My point is to keep your expenditures within your revenue..is that simple enough for you ? Google Dave Ramsey if this point is too radical for you…FYI : he believes in using no debt personally or for his businesses. I don’t necessarily advocate that.

  12. seenbetrdayz says:

    ‘If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.’ – Thomas Paine

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