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In the NY Times opinion page last week was a piece by Nicolas Kristoff about restraint in politics. He said that one of the things that has held our country together is the understanding that our leaders will use the powers given to them in The Constitution in a restrained way. The reasons for this are obvious. We do not want people gaining power and making a hatchet job of our political institutions. The nuclear option that allowed a mere majority to pass legislation that had required a two-thirds super majority, was the beginning of a change in how the game is being played. And this sets a precedent for the next party in power.


The Constitution gives the president broad powers. He/she can load the supreme court, raising the number of justices to any number they like. Anyone can be pardoned. The president can rule by decree. Of course the creators of that fine document thought of all of this and put mechanisms in place to challenge any of those moves, but those mechanisms can be perverted. The self-regulating system of checks and balances can be bought if enough checks are brought to bare. Money can become the reason for all actions and if this becomes true it means that outside agencies, foreign governments or private corporations can promote a person in the position to do their bidding. This is why we need rigorous investigation of foreign interference, because a candidate who gets elected by the designs of a foreign will have the means to deter an investigation.


In economics, when Adam Smith talked of the guiding hand, it was a hand of restraint. He believed that humans were intelligent enough o accept the fact that blind self-interest would lead to blind relationships where the needs of vast numbers of people would be ignored by a favored few. In economics we know of a principle called personal costs versus social costs, where invariably people will ignore personal costs if they can be pushed onto social costs. Examples of this are illegal dumping, all littering of non-perishable items, an infected person knowingly infecting others with a disease because they have things they want to do.


It was a credit to the people of California that after initially not taking the drought very seriously they came around and started conserving so a water crisis was averted in much of the state, and then the rains came, the snow pack improved, and people could return to their old habits, but many won't. They have learned that this cycle of drought isn't going away and they will change they ways to include restraint. For the most part these are educated people ho understand the complexity of the problem. In almost all cases self-restraint goes hand in hand with understanding the complexity of a problem. In all other cases restraint is enforced by criminalization or economic cost. If you raise the price enough, people use less. There are also improvements in technology, such as low-flow showers, and toilets. Improvements in the kinds of plants people have in their yards, meaning more adaptable to the climate of the region. Water will always be the basis of agriculture and if it comes down to a us or them contest, agriculture will lose out to people with enormous long-term consequences. 


In South Africa, when the water crisis became evident, the first step was voluntary restraint. It had almost no effect on usage. The second step was to raise prices, but it was too late. Now in an attempt to keep the entire system afloat, barely, costs of water are skyrocketing, and some areas are being shut down from having water service. If the rains fail to materialize this year, there is fear of widespread panic. The farms in the region are beginning lose their crops.


We should all see this as a harbinger of the direction we're headed, to a time of panic and conflict because we were not able to make clear the value of restraint.


And I should say right here that I too should learn how to restrain myself. I will make the claim that I've gotten better on the path to enlightened novel writing.


mark henry smith Added Feb 4, 2018 - 3:42pm
Go Eagles. Show no restraint in your defeat of the Patriots.  
George N Romey Added Feb 4, 2018 - 3:46pm
It seems as though capitalism has brought us to no holds everything. I’m not seeing much of a long term future but I’ll probably be gone by then.
Dino Manalis Added Feb 4, 2018 - 4:19pm
Our politicians need to restrain partisanship and work together to achieve the best results for the public.
Katharine Otto Added Feb 4, 2018 - 4:23pm
I've been reading a lot of American history, including the Constitution, and I question whether the word "restraint" applies to the sneakiness with which politicians and their financiers move to direct the course of the nation.  Just having finished biographies of John D. Rockefeller and Woodrow Wilson, I have decided they were practical and patient and knew how to manipulate the rules to get what they wanted.  Both believed they were chosen by God to lead and felt their ends justified their means, even if their means were shady.
I don't think foreign influence is any worse than domestic influence.  Everyone who is attracted to power seems to have some agenda that either benefits him/her personally or benefits their group.  So what?  All these agendas probably balance each other out, in the long run, which is why the nation is stagnant.
What does concern me is the renewed talk of nuclear arms, blaming it on N. Korea.  You can't tell me Russia is encouraging the US in this.  Our history of more or less constant war is no other nation's fault.
George N Romey Added Feb 4, 2018 - 5:01pm
Humans just don’t do “restraint” well.
Katharine, Wilson was very arrogant and that’s how those creating the Fed fooled him. I’d say the same words relating to how Wall Street man handled Obama.
The rich can be patient. They have wonderful lives and have the luxury of time and money. We don’t. 
Tubularsock Added Feb 4, 2018 - 5:10pm
Katharine,  finished "biographies of John D. Rockefeller and Woodrow Wilson?
At least you have a solid excuse for heavy drinking!
But Tubularsock is way ahead of you on that relief effort!
The Burghal Hidage Added Feb 5, 2018 - 9:32am
Begrudging congratulations to your loathsome boys in green :)
Good contest last night. So...what to do with the next 58 years :)
The Burghal Hidage Added Feb 5, 2018 - 9:33am
and on topic, your theme agrees nicely with Jeanne's bit today
wsucram15 Added Feb 5, 2018 - 9:39am
mhs..what? show me this in Article 2 please..?"raising the number of justices to any number they like. "  Whomever wrote this is full of is a Congressional restriction on Article 2 powers from 10 to 7 in 1807, and to 9 in 1837. 
Do not make me tear apart the NYT.  
wsucram15 Added Feb 5, 2018 - 9:55am
On ruling by decree..THIS IS ONE OF THE LARGEST PROBLEMS FACING US SINCE IDK..Ford, Carter, Nixon, Reagan, Bush (41 and 43 being very bad), Obama and now Trump.This is the fault of Supreme Court initially in a case (United States v. Texas which created a split decision (4-4 at the time) and has never been grated certiorari since. Congress then could have addressed the issue which limits their powers of legislation, but again,they have failed.
So on this point the author is also wrong, no President is granted these rights, they expanded Presidential powers to mean this, it is only a political move.
Money is the reason all of this is happening. All of it..for years.
Sorry I really am a Constitutionalist MHS..we all need to be now.  Please read what I wrote. 
Even A Broken Clock Added Feb 5, 2018 - 10:58am
Mark, good article. I'm sensing a common theme here, where folks are feeling the need to go back to constitutional principles because of the current threat we are facing in having one of the co-equal branches of government seemingly abdicating their responsibilities in order to support their embattled executive leader. Your post and Jeanne's are two data points - need a third post to prove a trend.
George Will had a good column today on the issue of restraint, in this case, personal financial restraint. It is becoming apparent that those who managed to be responsible financially over the decades will end up being called to bail out all of the grasshoppers who lived for today only.
wsucram15 Added Feb 5, 2018 - 11:10am
Yeah..Im sorry, everyone, this is really personal/important to me. Restraint is good, but if we as citizens continue to do so..without pushing legislators to work together, we have have not honored our duties as US Citizens to protect this country.
mark henry smith Added Feb 5, 2018 - 11:42am
Thanks all for commenting, except Michka whom I deleted.
EABC, The Civil War, as Kristoff pointed out, was an example where restraint broke down. And like our time, a foreign power was very much involved in the process. I like George Will, he is a level-headed thinker, not an ideologue like so many pundits on both sides.
And how true that this live for now phenomenon, this get all you can now mentality, this lack of personal accountability on all sides, will make the immediate future a messy wicket.
Jeanne, the self-restraint of the wealthy is much more important to the health of a nation than the self-restraint of the poor. All of our legislators tend to be wealthy people. They tend to be leaders in industry and in their communities. If they don't act as models of restraint, there is very little incentive for the regular folk to follow suit. I call that trickle-down dick-waddedness.
Jeanne, I do believe you're right, that the way powers are being granted is based on narrow interpretations, and I don't write my pieces with the articles next to me, which I probably should if I don't want to misquote, but I'm not really that concerned about accuracy, more the flavor, so as I recall what Kristoff said, was about Frank Roosevelt's intention to pack the court and his legal grounds to do so, mentioning the number 20.
To be really good at writing these pieces I would need to research and scrupulously read them for typos because I'm appalled at all the mistakes I made in this piece. But I was in a hurry to watch the game and what a game it was.
Ruling by presidential decree has been allowed, but the courts have kept limits on it as we've seen with the travel ban. I am so happy to have people here to clarify the issues.
George, the markets are starting to shake because economic numbers are surprisingly good in the rest of the world and bond yields are rising. When the big boys flee, bye-bye Trump bounce. Dino, I don't think the two parties have any interest in working together. There is just too much animosity and intransigence. All leaders tend to believe they're on a mission from something. And Katherine, I think in the past we've seen competing self-interest cancel out over time, but the money people have bought both sides and work them against each other to create a vacuum in the middle that they can exploit. If all sides are extremes, the things that get done will be either terribly skewed towards one or the other, creating an incentive to backlash, or so nothing that it is basically inconsequential and the status quo remains unchallenged.
Tax cuts in times of debt have been the game plan of Republicans since Reagan with the same argument that increased economic growth will lead to increased tax revenue and reduced deficits. The fact that this has never happened has never restrained a politician on the right from using it as justification for tax cuts. The argument on the left that food stamps would improve the health of poor people hasn't been proven either, since all it does in many cases is allow people with poor eating habits to eat more junk. Restraint doesn't appear to be a natural human attribute, as George points out. It appears to be a learned behavior.
I was thinking about child brides because I wrote a funny poem about a guy, a fake me, Marko, meeting a very mature Amish girl and wanting to court her, and become an Amish man, until he finds out she's only sixteen, but he still thinks about how much they truly liked each other. He would have done the right thing, restrained the urge to have sex be the reason for being in a relationship with this young lady, waited, if waiting is required, but the relationship goes nowhere. And in writing the poem I thought about the difference between Roman Polansky and Woody Allen.
Woody and his young lady fell in love. There was nothing dirty about it, nothing done below board. He made it clear that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with this young lady, and she made the same desire clear to him and both made it clear to any who asked.
Mia Farrow freaked out and made all kinds of claims against Woody, none that were substantiated, and many of his children, and step children, some the children of Andre Previn, turned against Woody, whom they had loved. My point here is about love and how important it is in all things to use love as a guide to our actions.
Roman Polanski is an example of immature, lustful, selfish, impulsive love, object love, the love we see in so many of the powerful who rule our world, love of power and money taking control of any concerns for the welfare of the people under their influence. Woody Allen is the example of a mature love, a love of a person,
opher goodwin Added Feb 5, 2018 - 11:50am
Mark - there doesn't seem much restraint around at the moment. Trump seems to be running roughshod over human rights, environmental protection, worker's rights, health and safety, taxes and any other constraints on bosses making a profit.
mark henry smith Added Feb 5, 2018 - 11:52am
the end got cut off.
who may not be appropriate in how we look at things, but fits the way mature love happens, across generations, across racial boundaries, across ethnic divides, across gender barriers. It is a restrained love because the purpose is not to get something from, but to build something with and building things requires restrained consideration.
Dino, that's for you. Both sides need to think about love, since how we see love says so much about how we see our responsibilities. I ask everyone I communicate with now, How can I heal you?      
mark henry smith Added Feb 5, 2018 - 12:07pm
Opher, you are right on there. What he said about his wife after she'd given birth to their son, what he tweets, the man is a walking time bomb of ego and id-iocy. In Freudian psychology he would be diagnosed as a person with a completely unformed super-ego, but if you told him that, he'd interpret it as a compliment upon hearing the term super-ego applied to him.
But I believe Trump is absolutely necessary. I believe he is in the pocket of the Russians, and if you know of his business dealings with shady Russians, it's logical. I believe he is doing what he's doing for calculated reasons, to completely destabilize the government and bankrupt it economically and morally. That there are private players who want the entire enterprise to go to crap so they can pick up the pieces and create an even more menacing military state. We are a military state with subtle messages of the benefits of our military system being constantly interjected into events, like the Super Bowl. I believe it is a way to slowly prepare for a major conflict, an inevitable conflict between competing systems.
Trump is in place to break all of the social illusions of the great-society ethos apart. What's coming is going to be ugly and all of the talk about saving the world from climate change will pale in comparison to saving the world from war. Sorry. Hope I'm wrong. Hope restraint wins out.    
George N Romey Added Feb 5, 2018 - 12:48pm
We are headed for a world wide event although it may takes decades to get there. We have a global debt bubble that one day will burst . Jesus thought debt evil and he might just be right. We’ve never been able to deleverage even after the big warning sign in 2008.
Flying Junior Added Feb 6, 2018 - 1:35am
Hey Mark,
We do not want people gaining power and making a hatchet job of our political institutions.
I agree this is new.  Call me a partisan, it did not begin with Obama.  He cared about existing institutions and welcomed contributions from republican colleagues.  Didn't wsucram cite the Republican amendments to the PPACA?  What would the WB be without her?  Who could be a credible referee?
Thank you for citing my state as a primary example.  The carrot and stick approach has been in place for some time.  Back in the 1950s water was free in Bakersfield as it flowed down the three rivers from the Sierras.  But for the last twenty-five years water has been scarcer and more disputed. Farmers against homeowners.  The wealthy against the middle class.  Rates climb  every five years.  Governor Brown has done admirable things in instituting fiscal restraint in the great state of California.  We even voted ourselves a half-point sales tax increase.  He honestly appealed to us to save water and we took him seriously.  Yet he has allowed the fabulously wealthy in North La Jolla, Beverly Hills and elsewhere to use unlimited quantities of water to irrigate their Babylonian Hanging Gardens as long as they were able to pay for four tiers of water rates.  Golf courses continue to receive preferential treatment gaining disproportionate rights to drinking quality water, water mains for the sought after purple pipe reclaimed water and even sinking ever deeper wells to drain the water tables in rural and mountainous areas thereby stealing water from homeowners, farmers and ranchers who traditionally relied on well water.
However, the latest cycle has been longer and more protracted than any other in recent history.   Going back almost 150 years.  By cutting back on my garden irrigation, I unwittingly allowed three elm trees to die.  I managed to save my pine trees and my palm.  But I used to be able to count on dew and precipitation to keep most of the trees alive.  I could stunt my palm tree to save water if need be.  Trees are dying from the drought all over the state.  Trees are dying in our suburbs because people aren't watering their lawns and shrubs in an effort to save water.  Trees have died across the city.  I'm calling climate change has aggravated persistent drought in California.  Twenty years ago it was still considered a cycle.  The Pacific Decadal Oscillation.  The 1997-1998 El Niño brought about the greenest spring in memory.  I planted a Hibiscus hedge.  Saw my California Fan Palm establish itself as a mature tree.  My Elm trees were bursting with life.  The grass was green.
The snow and rain that ended the recent drought has not repeated itself.  The hoped for El Niño never came.  We almost immediately gibed into La Niña conditions.
Let's see some restraint ye monied capitalist classes.  Spread the tax cut joy!  Double the salaries of your most oppressed and impoverished laborers!  Invest your runaway profits in local communities.  Trump is King.  Everyone shall profit from his beneficence.  An new era in equality and love is born.  Hallelujah.
Flying Junior Added Feb 6, 2018 - 1:41am
That was some serious ass-whupping on the Patriots.  But they played a helluva game as well.  Brady is the new Montana.  Best Super Bowl in I don't know how many years.
I was rooting for Philly to support my brother, the Field Negro.
Leroy Added Feb 6, 2018 - 7:24am
You're right, Mark; we should show restraint in all things.  We begin with our own lives.  I might prefer the word "conserve."  My parents showed restraint.  I have lived a life of restraint.  That was all blown away when I got married.
mark henry smith Added Feb 6, 2018 - 1:45pm
Thank you all for those fantastic comments, except Jeffy Michka who will be instantly deleted on any of my posts for behavior unbecoming to a writerbeater. And that says something about what he's been doing.
George, what happens when all of these people who have their money tied up in retirement accounts for forty years find they've been treading water or worse? It's the gambling mentality. People have been sold on the idea of risking some to get a lot, not realizing that investing some in guaranteed returns might not make you a billionaire, but will allow for a decent life and less stress. The stress of this system of ups and downs must be driving people nuts, and I think that's the point. Rather than have a guaranteed, decent, simple services, single payer health system, we have a mishmash of private insurance plans that take up to thirty percent or more of all the money coming in. The ;point of government should be to provide security in areas where it can.
Flying Junior, I was in California in 1976 when they had the first big drought with massive water restrictions and fires breaking out, record temperatures all over. Now with the increases in population and agriculture, the demands for water are staggering. The movie Chinatown made clear that water has been a source of controversy in California for ever. And the way California is structured, the way water rights were initially granted, will always give the most to agriculture, and that's how it should be, since agriculture is so vital, but it should not mean that waste is tolerated. And California, like all the world, caters to the rich. If you can pay, you can get, and why not? That money is a way of improving the infrastructure, as long as the people at the bottom are still allowed to have a reasonable supply, a retrained supply. Yes, trees are suffering all over the state, and the dying trees add fuel to the fires.
What is happening in Capetown is the worst case scenario. There is so little water that only the people at the top will get any in the near future and all the rest will be scrambling. Farmers are drilling as fast as they can to get water for their crops, draining the remaining reserves in aquafers. People will be rioting for water soon and then people will be dying. There was a time when restraint was asked for and the warnings were not heeded. It's an economic phenomenon that many private individuals will use resources profligately to their benefit with disregard for the social costs and the economic solution is to charge. But at some point the societal solution is to ration, and then triage.
Leroy, I have always lived a very small life, believing in a life with as little waste as possible, except for some drugs I liked. Now even those drugs have been banished. I have made so little money in my sixty years, and lived so frugally that my dad liked to joke that the world economic system would fall apart if everybody behaved as I did. I liked to retort that it will fall apart anyway based on the waste inherent in the consumer society model, the triumph of unfettered hedonism, a complete lack of restraint and mature perspective. Capitalism is not efficient with resources at all, that's a myth. The point of capitalism is to be efficient with capital, that's all. In capitalism it is often a more efficient use of capital to throw away good products and let people starve to preserve higher prices for commodities. Lots of examples exist.
My thesis for the day is, in all of these games society plays with resources, the big players win because they can exercise their will in the battle for scare materials. If we want fairer playing fields, the only answer is the elimination of big players, but if we are going to allow big private players, we need big pubic players to enforce some rules.        
mark henry smith Added Feb 6, 2018 - 3:12pm
Jeff write your own post. You are not welcome here. Take your insanity to a professional. It's not even funny, just sad. Really, how can I heal you?
George N Romey Added Feb 6, 2018 - 6:01pm
Marko this is how big government has evolved. An entity big enough to watch over big business. Ultimately big business got smart and acquired “big government” through the PAC and lobbyists system. 
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Feb 7, 2018 - 3:55pm
"In the NY Times opinion page last week was a piece by Nicolas Kristoff about restraint in politics. He said that one of the things that has held our country together is the understanding that our leaders will use the powers given to them in The Constitution in a restrained way. "
Like LBJ or the Clintons or Obama??
The NYT is merely a noisy drum for the left to beat the same old chant.
mark henry smith Added Feb 8, 2018 - 10:55am
ryck, I don't see Kristoff as being a left-winger by any stretch of the imagination. He's to the right of center if anything.
The point he was making, in my estimation, is that if we start not caring what the opposition thinks, just use majority tactics, which is completely in disregard to the intent of our Constitution, we will have another Civil War. I know some people want that, but the vast majority would rather have a compromise where powers are used in restrained persuasion. The velvet glove over an iron hand, rather than an iron glove over a velvet hand.
I think Trump is doing an important service, being the bull in the china shop, pushing everything to the point of idiocy and catastrophe. Maybe a new party will arise out of this.     
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Feb 8, 2018 - 4:26pm
"ryck, I don't see Kristoff as being a left-winger by any stretch of the imagination. He's to the right of center if anything."
He writes for the NYT. NO more may be said. 
"I think Trump is doing an important service, being the bull in the china shop, pushing everything to the point of idiocy and catastrophe. Maybe a new party will arise out of this.   "
You might not like that new party. 
mark henry smith Added Feb 9, 2018 - 11:57am
ryck, The NYTimes has David Brooks as a columnist, not a leftist at all, a moderate republican. This labeling of a publication as being left or right is ingenuous. Many publications make a point of publishing opinion pieces from both sides of issues and I think The NYTimes is pretty even handed in that regard. I do think that there is an editorial angle in their news coverage, but that's much harder to eliminate, since almost all people have a fundamental belief whether some actions are merited or not.
That is true, that I may not like the new party, but if they had a mechanism for reducing debt, taking on healthcare to develop a more efficient, less costly. more inclusive system, tackled the massive military complex that has led us into unproductive obligations all over the globe, I'd be willing to accept some limitations in other areas.    
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Feb 9, 2018 - 12:50pm
"ryck, The NYTimes has David Brooks as a columnist, not a leftist at all, a moderate republican. "
A diversion? NYT is balanced now""
In my previous column, I tried to imagine what a moderate Democratic growth agenda would look like. You could call it the Moon Shot Approach. In this approach, government tries to spur economic development first by creating the context for growth with a big infrastructure program and then by focusing subsidies and tax credits on key sectors, like energy research. -- The Growth Imperative By David Brooks--
Thus the approach that guarantees that business will not accept this rubbish is offered for a restroke and fresh gilding. This is a command economy dictum whereby government decides what, where, when and why widgets are to be made and also only by union labor. This is a recycled vision of the first Obama stimulus that failed. The GDP sinks to 2.4% we learned today[1] even in spite of wonderful spending and predictions to the contrary. Such a paltry growth rate argues against the ability to handle large deficits and massive debt in the long term. Canada is paying 3.5% on short term bonds so why park your money here?
So, this hokum is advice from a ' moderate Republican?' He is as much a Republican as I am a Democrat. This is ALL big government control to the penny. The Quest for Magic Windmills is a leftist platitude. 
mark henry smith Added Feb 9, 2018 - 1:16pm
But Brooks is not advocating that program at all, from what I see. He's making fun of it, it's complete lack of feasibility, just as you point out.
This has been the problem with so much of the great society ethos, as I point out, this idea that we force change, like forcing bakers to bake cake for people they don't approve of. It creates all kinds of perverse incentives.
Like bussing. Rather than bus in teachers of different racial and ethnic qualities, who would have radicalized education, they bussed students out of their communities and made them more insecure, and created an educational system where communities had less and less investment in their children's education. My understanding is that personal investment means more to the success of a program than all the perfect planning in the world. Because with personal investment comes restraint of action. One of the reasons I was told by a black man that race riots never occurred in Philadelphia, because black homeownership was so high. People are always unwilling to destroy their own property that they've invested time and effort to create.
Read that Brooks piece again. He is not praising moderate Dems at all,    
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Feb 10, 2018 - 12:49pm
Apparently  you are tying to state that NYT is a moderate and well-reasoned paper??
Such crap. The NYT is known as the Walter Duranty Papers [1]
[1[  In honor of that celebrated Communist stooge and liar and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for the NYT. The color RED is used in my essays in honor of Walter Duranty, a saint, if there could be one, in the Marxist Archives of Honor.
“He said that these people had to be "liquidated or melted in the hot fire of exile and labor into the proletarian mass". Duranty claimed that the Siberian labor camps were a means of giving individuals a chance to rejoin Soviet society but also said that for those who could not accept the system, "the final fate of such enemies is death."Duranty, though describing the system as cruel, says he has "no brief for or against it, nor any purpose save to try to tell the truth". He ends the article with the claim that the brutal collectivization campaign which led to the famine was motivated by the "hope or promise of a subsequent raising up" of Asian-minded masses in the Soviet Union which only history could judge.”
That phony prize still hangs in the lobby of that  paper. Disgrace. 
mark henry smith Added Feb 10, 2018 - 1:06pm
Okay, but my point is only about the Brooks' piece. That it does not appear to advocate what you say it does.
And of course we can cherry-pick bad actors and bad commentary from either side and use it to discredit our enemies their entire social movement.
I'm in the middle. I don't love Trump and I don't hate him. I don't want to be tied too closely to either political party, but I'm going to work for the democrats because the people I've met at their meetings have some good ideas on the local level. The way communism was instituted in The Soviet Union, China, and Cambodia was brutal and never should have been tolerated, but the world can be a brutal and tolerant place. Our own history is rife with examples.
Would China be the power it is today without the purges? How can we know? How can we know how history will judge Trump? Any of us for that matter? But I certainly agree that we need to respect human dignity as we go about creating a better world and not merely a political agenda. That we need to be a nation of laws and apply those laws equitably.      
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Feb 10, 2018 - 2:56pm
"Okay, but my point is only about the Brooks' piece. That it does not appear to advocate what you say it does."
As I said before: the person you picked does not  represent the NYT in general. 
Try Krugman or others there. I have dozens of blogs on those turkeys.
Propaganda Gem:  Krugman Distorts History as He Grubs for More Taxes.
We can always appreciate the propagandistic essays of the NYT—aka the Walter Duranty Papers[1]-- as they attempt to ‘form public opinion’ by scaring the dolts that read and believe their fluff. The current experiments on   the existing disinformation methods are always a treat to read from the Times and some of their staff.  It is difficult to believe that so many people are so simple, but we have to respect their reported daily circulation numbers although they are losing money and are in danger of bankruptcy. Today, we are treated to an economic Doom prediction from their m0st famous non-economist one Paul Krugman.  Woe is us. Let us all call for a tax hike to save us!
 The theme:  An evil plot has been hatched to burden future administrations with fewer taxes! Such an outrage! Such nasty capitalism!
Here it the pitch:
A poison pill, in corporate jargon, is a financial arrangement designed to protect current management by crippling the company if someone else takes over.
The Conscience of a Liberal As I read the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center’s analysis of the presidential candidates’ tax proposals, I realized that the tax cuts enacted by the Bush administration are, in effect, a fiscal poison pill aimed at future administrations.”[2] -- Fiscal Poison Pill by Paul Krugman [Emphasis is mine in all quotes.]This link references all quotes in this essay unless otherwise stated.
This is an incoherent glubberance as we must expect from a Marxian-Revisionist leftist who cannot control his rage at the mention of tax cuts. Taxes on the masses are the only source of money and power for the sordid left so we can expect an explosion of emotion whenever they are prevented from converting our society into a dung heap like their ideological brothers did in the USSR, Cuba and North Korea. Those guys knew how to properly handle the capitalists and entrepreneurs with murder, famine and death.
But, to be fair and to show some ‘sensitivity’ to the leftists in our country, we have to realize that they are frustrated, very emotional and need a way to vent their miseries in many ways. Unfortunately, the only soothing balm for a leftist is the hope for a new and wonderful tax hike so they can waste the proceeds and confirm for the tax payers their belligerent ignorance and trumpet their eternal spite. As such, they must rely on the most privative of political methods. Some have likened liberalism to the folly of probing some primate’s orifice in the glorious search for diamonds, which compares well with the up-to-date history of liberal social programs. Follies like this are absurd, but typical liberal and the eternal quest continue for wealth to waste in defiance of success. [3]
[1] In honor of that celebrated Communist stooge and liar and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for the NYT. The color RED is used in my essays in honor of Walter Duranty, a saint, if there could be one, in the Marxist Archives of Honor.
[2] Fiscal Poison Pill  By PAUL KRUGMAN Op-Ed Columnist Published: June 16, 2008.
[Emphasis is mine in all quotes.] This link  references all quotes in this essay unless otherwise stated.
[3]It has been stated in more explicit terms than printed here that: Liberalism is like probing a baboon’s sphincter for diamonds. There is little chance for success, but there several opportunities
mark henry smith Added Feb 10, 2018 - 3:29pm
so you don't like liberals? Is that the takeaway?
The poison pill Krugman talked about is the debt that fiscal conservatives insisted wouldn't happen when they cut taxes. They lie when they say cutting taxes will increase the economy and create more revenue. It's never happened and there's no evidence that it will. That's just economics, not liberal ideology. The debt is now used as a hammer, but it has been one of those rubber hammers because none of the dire consequences predicted have been seen. But, there are limits to everything.
This equating communism with liberalism is just a way of using rhetoric to paint the whole town red. Liberalism is a social movement that promotes more liberal thinking in all areas, not conservative that promotes more stringent thinking. I think something in the middle is desired, a mix of economic responsibility and social programs that promote healthy living and opportunities for social advancement among all groups, men and women.
The limit on my posts appears to be saying something so loathsome or threatening in a comment that I'll have to delete it in violation of my own principles of free speech. But there is a reason to the madness here. No one should have to read pernicious lies about themselves on posts that have nothing to do with the comments generated.
ryck, I commend you for staying on point.     
Jeff Michka Added Feb 10, 2018 - 7:10pm
No one should have to read pernicious lies about themselves on posts-But it's okay to make and leave them when they're about others you don't like.  I can fully see where your ex wanted to terminate making more of people like yourself. AND something so loathsome or threatening in a comment-UNLESS IT'S YOU...  Looking for a career in music as a backing vocalist?  All anyone ever hears from you is "Me. Me, Me..." Just can't get it right, huh?
mark henry smith Added Feb 11, 2018 - 2:10pm
Oh solo Jeefro. Where is all of this coming from?
Loathsome lies? When did I say anything about you being an ex-con? That you have the character of a molester is clear from what you're doing here. This is classic molester behavior, if you study the psychology of molesters. People they've gone after become objects of intense fascination, and hostility. I have no hostility towards you. I don't even know you. You just seem pathetic to me coming onto my posts to do the same shtick over and over. What was the point of this one? Restraint.
And I like this. Your venom is my flu shot.   
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Feb 11, 2018 - 5:02pm
"The poison pill Krugman talked about is the debt that fiscal conservatives insisted wouldn't happen when they cut taxes."
I am not sure about this. Cutting taxes does not ensure a change in  the debt. 
Krugman only advocates three things in the last decade:
[1] more government
[2] more spending
[3]  ignores Democrat debt levels. 
From 2011
"“Amid all the debt hysteria, it’s worth taking a look at the actual arithmetic here — because what this arithmetic says is that the size of the deficit in the next year or two hardly matters for the US fiscal position — and in fact the size over the next decade is barely significant.”-- The Arithmetic of Near-term Deficits and Debt By Paul Krugman August 6, 2011, 12:00 PM"
Higher taxes!
And I don’t just mean a return to Clinton-era tax rates. Why should 1990s taxes be considered the outer limit of revenue collection? Think about it: The long-run budget outlook has darkened, which means that some hard choices must be made. Why should those choices only involve spending cuts? Why not also push some taxes above their levels in the 1990s?”—Things to Tax. By Paul Krugman--
And then there’s the idea of taxing financial transactions, which have exploded in recent decades. The economic value of all this trading is dubious at best. In fact, there’s considerable evidence suggesting that too much trading is going on. Still, nobody is proposing a punitive tax. On the table, instead, are proposals like the one recently made by Senator Tom Harkin and Representative Peter DeFazio for a tiny fee on financial transactions.
And here’s the thing: Because there are so many transactions, such a fee could yield several hundred billion dollars in revenue over the next decade. Again, this compares favorably with the savings from many of the harsh spending cuts being proposed in the name of fiscal responsibility”—Things to Tax. By Paul Krugman
Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax 
mark henry smith Added Feb 12, 2018 - 2:01pm
ryck, I'm not a supporter of tax and spend, but Krugman was proven right about how debts wouldn't hurt the economic performance of the country in the short term. It appears that all the debt scares have been abated, even in Greece, for the short term.
The Reagan tax cuts didn't pay dividends until Clinton was in office. That's one of the problems with expectations. People want to see immediate results. And consequences.
The debt burden won't hit the economy until entire sectors are laid off. We know that unemployment statistics are grossly underreported because it doesn't include systemic  unemployment. These economic dilemmas we face are not left or right, liberal or conservative, they require drastic rethinking about how we create a government that helps balance the fundamental responsibilities of providing security and opportunity to all citizens. Whether those citizens have the initiative to use the playing field a legitimate government makes a legitimate effort to provide is something society beyond government has to address.   
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Feb 12, 2018 - 5:16pm
"The Reagan tax cuts didn't pay dividends until Clinton was in office. "
Go look at the SP-500 starting in 1981. The payoff was big. 
"...they require drastic rethinking about how we create a government that helps balance the fundamental responsibilities of providing security and opportunity to all citizens."

Does call for higher taxes?
So, were you thinking about Obama when he doubled the debt to  $20T with 8 years of lousy economies??
Krugman was never right on anything. He is a political troll. 
Jeff Michka Added Feb 12, 2018 - 5:24pm
You appear to have some resources so why don't you go buy a life the way you bought a wife?-I'll recommend you go buy a child for yourself, since your ex had the sense to prevent Marko from propagating. Didn't tell you until after, eh? Another wonderful personal relationship of Marko. Did your last "wonderful woman" Marie or something poof after you demanded she have your child? Regardless, she did, wisely poof. LOL
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Feb 12, 2018 - 5:27pm
mark henry smith Added Feb 13, 2018 - 2:46pm
I like trolls. They taste good with a fine chianti and fava beans.
ryck, this childish, they are never right because they're from the left is just silly. Krugman was right about the ability of the economy to handle higher deficit spending without causing an inflationary spike, as was the message of conservative economists.
My point about the Reagan tax cuts was in regard to the deficits and how Clinton was able to achieve balanced budgets while keeping social spending. Bush came in and blew the budget out of the water.
Now, I know people like you don't accept any argument, but I'm not arguing with you, just stating what history showed. I was not a fan of Reagan, and his massive increases in defense spending along with tax cuts that ballooned the deficit, but it turned out okay. Except it was the start of the plan of right wingers to bankrupt the federal government into limited role they want, but not the American people. The American people want it all.
Jeffy, your venom is my Usabucco.    
George N Romey Added Feb 13, 2018 - 2:52pm
RR was big government. He just had his priorities, a huge military. I think there are some that want the US to go in to default because somewhere someone is going to profit from it.
We are on the same course as other empires. Trying to control the world, claiming enemies everywhere and never ending military muscle flexing. Let’s see if the US can be successful where all others failed.
mark henry smith Added Feb 14, 2018 - 1:13pm
George, I agree. There is someone pulling the strings. How do you get to trillion dollar yearly deficits out of a growing economy and limited military engagement? There's something absolutely screwy going on.
What's happening in The Middle East seems to be calculated to lead to escalation and justification of even more spending and militarization.
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Feb 14, 2018 - 1:40pm
"ryck, this childish, they are never right because they're from the left is just silly. Krugman was right about the ability of the economy to handle higher deficit spending without causing an inflationary spike, as was the message of conservative economists.
Krugman ALWAYS suggests more spending and more government which causes the debt to rise and debt service to soar. That is inflationary, wait and see. 
"...they are never right because they're from the left is just silly. :
The drooling left has never been right. Look at Obama's doubling of the national debt [did Krugman argue against this??] that essentially doubled the debt service. 
Paul Krugman: Debt Is Good

 We owe a debt to debt:
Debt Is Good, by Paul Krugman, Commentary, NY Times: ...Believe it or not..., there’s a reasonable argument to be made that part of what ails the world economy right now is that governments aren’t deep enough in debt.
I know that may sound crazy. After all, we’ve spent much of the past five or six years in a state of fiscal panic, with all the Very Serious People declaring that we must slash deficits and reduce debt now now now or we’ll turn into Greece, Greece I tell you."--
spend spend spend............unless  you are Republican. 

mark henry smith Added Feb 14, 2018 - 3:11pm
Didn't Obama get trapped by the financial crisis? I thought the banks should have been left out to dry, but that's not what happened and congress stepped in to bail and deficits took off. What's happening now is crazy.
I have never been a spender. I live frugally, have never incurred debt, though I should have I guess and probably will to start this project I'm involved in, but I don't like how inefficiently money is spent from either side. The basic concepts in how this money is allocated is flawed and the basic ambitions of politicians on both side are flawed from my perspective.
Let's look at Greece and see how they're coping with debt that dwarfs GDP, because that's our model. And an immigrant crisis made up of poor Americans who lose basic services, housing, and are homeless not because of anything they did, but because of an economic and political system that regards them as expendable.
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Feb 14, 2018 - 4:52pm
"I have never been a spender. I live frugally, have never incurred debt, though I should have I guess and probably will to start this project I'm involved in, but I don't like how inefficiently money is spent from either side. 
target="_blank">Paul Krugman: Debt Is Good
Are you not good?
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Feb 14, 2018 - 4:54pm

Paul Krugman: Trump will bring global recession

By target="_top" rel="author">ADAM CANCRYN
11/09/2016 01:59 AM EST
The economic fallout of a Donald Trump presidency will probably be severe and widespread enough to plunge the world into recession, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman warned in a New York Times target="_blank">opinion piece published early Wednesday.
Calling Trump the "mother of all adverse effects," the Nobel Prize-winning economist predicted that the GOP nominee's administration could quickly undo the progress that the markets around the world have made in the eight years since the financial crisis."
Oh, woe is us!
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Feb 14, 2018 - 4:58pm
A note on the Bush fiscal legacy
 August 27, 2009 11:01 am
'Right now, the OMB is projecting a debt/GDP ratio of 77 percent by 2019 — 69 percent if you net out financial assets acquired via the TARP and all that. This may be somewhat over-optimistic, but stay with it for a bit."
It is %104 now but debt is still good??
Krugman is a political slug. 
Jeff Michka Added Feb 14, 2018 - 5:39pm
All you've done is make inferences and speculations about me, knowing how, in an online environment, to attempt to ruin someone else by inference and "speculation." Sounds like your ex, Wendy, knew how to best deal with Marko. Making sure he did not reproduce. Oh yeah, that was someone else's fault too, eh?
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Feb 15, 2018 - 9:25am
Enter your comment here...
mark henry smith Added Feb 15, 2018 - 11:56am
Thanks ryck,
Debt is a necessary evil of capitalism, an ingredient in modern economic stability. Keynesian capitalism says that government spending can be a source of economic stimulus in times of economic downturn. And it has been shown to be correct. The problem is when the political system starts to use debt as a source of income for private entities that don't need help, but want profit.
That's what we have. Debt is being incurred to become profit to private entities that the public will be expected to pay off. This has been the attitude in Washington for ages, selling government assets in rigged bidding schemes, and using monopoly power to reward industries such as not allowing the government programs to use mass buying power to get better prices on pharmaceuticals. These are just two examples amongst many.
See, the reality is, that like Trump, if something just goes on long enough without being corrected it becomes the norm. The norm on both sides has become to use the government to solidify the base that allows a party to hold power, rather than work towards the long-term solidification of the country's interests, from my perspective, because every bill, every program, every expenditure comes with a perspective and a rationale.
The real question always comes down to what kind of society do we want? Yesterday showed a huge hole in how government is making our country more secure in regards to weapons. And health, education, and media are all part of it too.
mark henry smith Added Feb 15, 2018 - 12:02pm
Oh, he's back.
Hello Jeffy. Nothing new to say, I see. Moron. Thanks for contributing. I see that the point of this post escaped you again. There are more important things to think on than you. You are obviously too self absorbed to notice. A terrible tragedy happened yesterday.  
Your venom is my serum.
George N Romey Added Feb 15, 2018 - 12:07pm
A debt based economy benefits the few while enslaving the many. We once had consumption other than big ticket items (excluding secondary education) from wages. Over the past near 40 years it’s come more from debt. The average car loan has gone from 3 years to near 7. Who benefits? Those in the rent seeking position.
mark henry smith Added Feb 15, 2018 - 12:39pm
That's a good point, George, that many people only think about the monthly payments and not the over-all amount. I heard that ten percent of Americans own 85% of all stocks. These people have these stocks multi-generationally. They understand that if the poor owe forever, small amounts being provided to the balance sheets of publicly held corporations, it will benefit their interests. And almost every person in our elected offices is bound to be one of the ten-percent, so is it any wonder why laws are written the way they are?
The working poor are slaves to a debt establishment that encourages people to live beyond their means. The debt establishment encourages us all to do the same, except those at the top who control the debt.    
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Feb 15, 2018 - 2:05pm
"All you've done is make inferences and speculations about me, knowing how, in an online environment, to attempt to ruin someone else by inference and "speculation." Sounds like your ex, Wendy, knew how to best deal with Marko. Making sure he did not reproduce. Oh yeah, that was someone else's fault too, eh?"
I did not write this crap--you did
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Feb 15, 2018 - 2:08pm
"A debt based economy benefits the few while enslaving the many."
So, tell us about how leftists use tax monies to buy votes by spending in deficit that goes directly into debt. Example: California
 Illegal aliens benefit "benefits the few while enslaving the many" from this action of government debt. 
Jeff Michka Added Feb 17, 2018 - 5:08pm
There are more important things to think on than you. - Marko, eh?  Well, I'm sure you can cajole syck ryck the Barry Goldwater republican into your cabal. 
Jeff Michka Added Feb 17, 2018 - 5:10pm
Are you not good?-Hey, syck ryck....Marko is perfect in every way.  Just ask him.
mark henry smith Added Feb 18, 2018 - 1:59pm
Beauty is in the mind of beholder.
Sorry, if I was perfect I wouldn't be here. I'd be president.
Marko is in a covenant with God, that's all. Does that make somebody perfect? I think not. I think it makes them difficult to understand, perhaps.
Just because you're smarter than they are, doesn't make you better. That's what my daddy always told me when I was dealing with idiots.
You venom is my milk of magnesia. 
George N Romey Added Feb 18, 2018 - 2:03pm
And the Republicans haven’t used debt for their little pet projects like the military. BTW New Jersey run by your beloved Republican Christie is in about as bad shape as California.
mark henry smith Added Feb 18, 2018 - 2:34pm
George, I don't think either side of the aisle has anything really innovative to add to the argument. Money has taken over and money will win either way. It will take a revolution in how we understand and use money to change the direction of our country. Student debt is out of control now. These kids who spent to get a degree in a non competitive field are screwed, serfs for life, and it's not just the money, it's the stress put on them by the collectors, constant reminders of how terribly they were misled.  
George N Romey Added Feb 18, 2018 - 2:41pm
Marko we are headed towards a forced jubilee on all fronts. It may come after my time but debt can’t continue to grow at this rate indefinitely.
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Feb 18, 2018 - 3:59pm
Who is Marko??
mark henry smith Added Feb 18, 2018 - 4:29pm
Marko is the name I use when writing and performing, ryck. It was bestowed upon me by a girl in Arizona who thought Mark didn't sound romantic enough for a poet. When I heard he say it with the rolled r, I agreed, and I turned Marko into my alter ego in my fiction as Marko Noyes. Noyes is a family name from Puritan times. Jeff Michelob is some fruitcake who started trolling me for something I wrote and now he's obsessed with me, it seems. Seems a "little" queer, but it takes all kinds to make a world and who am I to judge, until they start making crazy threats.   
Jeff Michka Added Feb 20, 2018 - 7:06pm
Who is Marko??- A FICTIONAL EGOTIST Who smears me, yet seems victim of his own smears and threats: As I suggested, sycko. Marko is perfect in every way. Just ask him. You did and he told you.  He has it all backward, and I've got the material that shows it. Seems a "little" queer, but it takes all kinds to make a world and who am I to judge, until they start making crazy threats.-The only crazy threats are from Marko, and I 'm  supposed to get angry at him suggesting I'm gay. LOL    

Jeff Michka Added Feb 22, 2018 - 12:36pm
I did not write this crap--you did-True, you do write your own crap, Barry Goldwater Republican...
mark henry smith Added Feb 22, 2018 - 4:42pm
Wow, twas brillig and the slithy toabs did spire and gimble through the wabe.
Your venom is my Jabberwocky.
Jeff Michka Added Feb 22, 2018 - 7:38pm
Wow, twas brillig and the slithy toabs did spire and gimble through the wabe.-STILL NOT WORKING ON ME, "Marko" the ex con.  No wonder nobody can trust Marko. hE'S AN EX CON, AND HIS WIFE DIDN'T WANT THEIR CHILD SO HAD HERSELF VACUUMED CLEAN...
Jeff Michka Added Feb 22, 2018 - 7:39pm
I wrote and now he's obsessed with me-T HE ONLY ONE THAT APPEARS OBSSESSED IS YOU, Marko. I'd rather just kick you to a curb...
mark henry smith Added Feb 23, 2018 - 12:34pm
Wow, did I miss something? I thought this was my post?
Okay, whatever. Love the big print, it adds weight. What are you trying to prove here, Michelob? How big an asshole you are? You've already proven it. Let it go. Nobody believes that I'm an ex-con because I've never been arrested, or charged. You are obsessed and I'd have to assume it's the drugs talking. You should have yourself vacuum cleaned. Start with your ears. Wasn't supposed to "work" for you. You don't matter. You never did. That's where you're confused. You can beat a dead horse to water, but you can't make it drink.
Thanks. Your venom is my malapropism.
Jeff Michka Added Feb 23, 2018 - 5:00pm
You don't matter. You never did. That's where you're confused.-More Marko boasting. As opposed to "Marko matters, Always did"? That's where you're confused. Marko, according to you is a ficional character with fictional problems. Once again you are more than welcome. Your venom is a fictional problem.
rycK the JFK Democrat Added Feb 23, 2018 - 5:02pm
"Thanks. Your venom is my malapropism."
Block this bozo.
mark henry smith Added Feb 24, 2018 - 12:11pm
No, I just do my work not knowing whether it will matter to anyone else, but it does matter to me. I like doing it and I want it to be exceptional. It is a process of growth. You are helping me in that process, Jeffy, and I thank you for that. You don't matter because I don't care what you do and no one else here does either.
ryck, I've been deleting his comments and he just shows up elsewhere doing the same thing on everybody's posts, so let him do it here and not annoy everyone else. I do believe it's some kind of bot program, not a real person.
Jeff Michka Added Feb 24, 2018 - 6:34pm
I do believe it's some kind of bot program, not a real person-of course you do, and expect others....hope others...will think the same.  This could end, Marko, if you quit smearing me, but that ain't gonna happen.  Thanks. Your venom is my malapropism-Once again, you're more than welcome.  Glad it helps you meet "your goals," whatever they are, and I forgot how you are limited by all the stuff I SUPPOSEDLY SPREAD AROUND defaming you, ex-con ficitional Marko.  Oh yeah, how is that silly woman in Texas(?) making way buying all your works?  Has she taken her own life, yet?  Anyone buying into Marko without question should just end it all.
mark henry smith Added Feb 25, 2018 - 2:08pm
the on-line experience is something I wanted to explore, it being so ubiquitous and it has been very rewarding. i don't know if people "buy into me" or not and is that really a reason to do anything? well, i guess it is if your hope is to make a living, someone has to buy into your product.
now look, not one smear or negative comment about you, in fact, if you've noticed, none for a long time. if you noticed the point of the last post you commented on, it was that the worst thing you can do to somebody is convince them that they don't matter. you don't matter, but only to me that i know of. i'm sure there's someone who you do matter to somewhere, or a dog, or cat, or gerbil, or goldfish.
have you ever eaten a goldfish?
your venom is my mary poppins.
Jeff Michka Added Feb 28, 2018 - 6:50pm
it was that the worst thing you can do to somebody is convince them that they don't matter. you don't matter, but only to me that i know of.-Operative words: worst thing you can do to somebody is convince them-You failed to convince me or probably anyone else still bothering to read this thread.-I don't have any concerns about mattering to Marko.  Despite all the words to others here, the only one who matters to Marko is Marko.  And that's okay.  Just say so.  Perhaps your new friend Geo R will write how much Marko matters to him.  Like you, the only thing mattering to Geo is Geo.  The same guy wishing a war where the draft takes young people, and they die in a war,so folks like him can have their jobs.  That crap from ol Geo lost him to me forever.  I will never like or respect Geo because of that level of cruelty.  The next thing was his wanting to help out in Puerto Rico if he could get that nice 6 figure job and some contractual job security.  Real humanitarian Geo is....bah.
mark henry smith Added Mar 1, 2018 - 12:31pm
I think most of us are merely trying to do better, be better, have better. And, I'm sorry to inform you, I do matter to people, and as my work improves, and I improve I imagine I'll begin to matter to more and more. And at some point when I matter enough someone will want to pay me to matter even more to even more people.
George is okay. And if I matter to him, and Jeanne, and some others on here, and some other people in my life, that's enough. I know I matter to God or else I wouldn't still be here. God has a plan for me, that's obvious.
I will write a post about it.
Much less venom here, but still your venom is my Sacher Torte. If you're ever in Hilton Head, there's a shop that makes the best Sacher Torte and they know how to spell it.