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View Diary: Conservative Exceptionalism (184 comments)

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  •  They also don't understand debt (5+ / 0-)

    Debt is the lifeblood that fuels economic activity, expansion and growth. Without it we'd all be living in a stagnant cash or barter economy in our poorly heated hovels, living on turnip stew and the occasional field mouse. There would be no radio show hosts because there would be no radio. Or drive by, for that matter, because there would be no cars, or roads, just a few muddy cow paths between villages. Stupid and cowardly people like O'Reilly wouldn't have a place in society, except at its very bottom. No loofahs, either, except some hollowed out gourd left over by wandering wild boars. Or foxes, but not the news kind.

    Debt is what makes modern economies possible, at the personal, company and government level. There's simply no way around it. Even non-debt forms of capitalization, such as stocks, are ultimately financed by debt, as investors borrow money to buy stock on margin. To be in debt, in big debt, in long-term debt, even in perpetual debt, is not necessarily a bad thing, if for a good purpose, like owning a home whose payments you can afford, or getting an education that will enable to you get employment that will earn you the money to pay off your student loan, or starting or expanding a business.

    Or, for that matter, and to this point, to make possible government investment in national defense, infrastructure and public-private partnerships, that keep us safe and enable and stimulate economic activity and growth, ultimately paid for with increased tax revenue (even as new debt is incurred, in perpetuity). This is how governments can afford to do the things they need to do. Always has been, always will be (I hope). To only do what you can afford to pay for right now, via tax revenues, is to assure economic and national decline. Anyone who doesn't get this isn't fit to discuss economics at any level. Even RW economists agree on this, their beef being with with the level and nature of government spending and the taxes that ultimately pay for it, not with the interim debt incurred to pay for what even they agree government should be doing.

    To quote the father of the US economic and financial system:

    A national debt, if it is not excessive, will be to us a national blessing. . . . It will . . . create a necessity for keeping up taxation to a degree which, without being oppressive, will be a spur to industry.

    ALEXANDER HAMILTON, letter to Robert Morris, Apr. 30, 1781

    Also:
    Our national debt after all is an internal debt owed not only by the Nation but to the Nation. If our children have to pay interest on it they will pay that interest to themselves. A reasonable internal debt will not impoverish our children or put the Nation into bankruptcy.

    FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, speech, May 22, 1939

    No nation ought to be without a debt. A national debt is a national bond; and when it bears no interest, is in no case a grievance.

    THOMAS PAINE, Common Sense

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 06:46:52 AM PST

    •  Exactly. As small business owners, our biggest (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kovie, Laconic Lib, offgrid

      threat has been banks that won't lend.  Had it not been for the stimulus and piling on debt to keep going, we wouldn't be going.  So as far as we're concerned-- taxes, schmaxes. We'd WELCOME that problem.  

      •  Repubs are for an extract and hoard economy (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cactusgal, Laconic Lib, offgrid

        Not a produce and grow economy. If some LW Luntz could come up with a catchy way to say that, we'd be guaranteed electoral majorities for decades. If we could stimulate our economy back to health, raising tax rates on the rich would be the least of their problems as they'd be making even more money. And the only way to do that is through debt-financed investment in the economy.

        The ONLY way to do that. Anyone saying otherwise is a liar or fool.

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 07:29:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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